Caring for an orchid, phalaenopsis as an example

White-flowered Phalaenopsis orchid in a red pot.

If the growing and caring for an orchid usually requires time, care and a lot of experience, that of Phalaenopsis is actually much simpler and affordable.

It is also called the “butterfly orchid” because its flowers look a lot like that fluttering insect.

This is an easy plant to care for and it will decorate your home for months on end.

Read also:

Where to place your phalaenopsis orchid

The place where your orchid stays is essential for it to develop in a harmonious manner.

  • The ideal temperature range is from 40°F to 50°F (18°C to 21°C).
  • Considered to be an indoor plant, Phalaenopsis will also be quite happy outdoors during the summer months.
  • In summer, you can thus bring it out in the shade on your balcony, deck or terrace, in the garden.
  • In any case, select a luminous location but without any direct sun.

The Phalaenopsis I was given stopped bearing flowers

After a few weeks of nice blooming, the flower wilts and you might wonder if it will ever bloom again.

  • This is perfectly normal, since blooming can last for several weeks, but there comes a time when it must end.
  • Sometimes, you’ll have to wait up to 2 months before seeing a new flower appear.

What should I do for it to bloom again?

The Phalaenopsis orchid can bloom again after its first bearing of flowers if these guidelines are followed:

  • Cut the stem from which the wilted flowers grew just above the 2nd bud.
    If this is already the second time the flower blooms, cut short the stem on which the flowers were born.
  • As long as your orchid lives, you’ll be culling the stems that have born flowers.

How often does it need watering?

Phalaenopsis orchid cherishes moisture, and needs to be watered often but without forgetting that the root area must drain well or the roots will rot.
It is thus best not to drown the soil, while ensuring it always finds the moisture it needs.

  • In spring and summer, you can water 2 to 3 times a week especially if the weather is hot.
  • In winter, watering twice a month is enough.
  • Regularly mist water on the leaves.
  • If the tap water in your area is very hard, best select rainwater or mineral water because orchid is very sensitive to it.

Repotting the orchid, technique and timing

Like all indoor plants, repotting is part of the orchid’s life cycle. It supports the root system.

  • Repotting is important. This step usually should take place every 2 or 3 years and is critical to ensure continued development of your plant.
  • Follow these tips on how to repot an orchid

Read also on caring for an orchid:

Pink-flowered phalaenopsis flower blooming.

Phalaenopsis orchid on social media

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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Close-up of a bloom (also on social media) by Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois, own work
Pink orchid by Džoko Stach under Pixabay license
Backlit orchid (also on social media) by Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois, own work