How does the orchid bloom? Their broad, spreading leaves cover their roots. They bloom at least 2 times a year and display their flowers for up to 12 weeks. If the orchid is well cared for, flowering can be seen 3 or even 4 times. Phalaenopsis flowers (lat. Phalaenopsis) are herbaceous plants of the Vandaceae tribe of the Orchid family, native to the rainforests of Australia, South-East Asia and the Philippines. Phalaenopsis orchids are mostly epiphytes because they grow on the trees, but sometimes they also grow on the rocks. The first phalaenopsis was discovered by Georg Rumph, a German naturalist, on an island in the Moluccas, but the flower received its name from Karl Blum, director of the Leiden Botanical Garden, who looked at the exotic orchid through binoculars and took it for a butterfly, so he called phalaenopsis – “moth-like “. To this day, florists call these flowers “butterfly orchids “. The genus Phalaenopsis has about seventy species.
Things to know about the orchid flower
The succulent leaves of Phalaenopsis, arranged bilaterally, form a root rosette. The flower stalks are long, curved and the butterfly flowers are arranged in a bunch. The variety of colours is striking: purple, lilac, white, yellow, green and red, brown… Often the lip of the flower stands out against the petals (monochromatic, tiger, reticulate or striped) in contrasting colours. Phalaenopsis, like vandas and dendrobiums, are monopodial orchids, which means they do not form bulbs.
How do you take care of Phalaenopsis orchids after they bloom?
Phalaenopsis care is all about placement, watering, nutrition, temperature control and protection against pests and diseases. It is best to place the phalaenopsis pot on a window sill that is west, east or north-east facing. If you can’t place the plant on the south side, place it on the table near a window behind a curtain in the shade – direct sunlight will cause burns on the plant, which look like spots on the phalaenopsis leaves and flowers. Every 2-3 weeks, rotate the plant 180º so it doesn’t lean to one side. But during bud formation, it is best not to disturb the plant.
It is advisable to fertilise the phalaenopsis after every fourth watering, but no more often than once every 2 weeks, in order to achieve a more abundant and lush flowering. After watering, place the pot with the orchid in a basin of soft water with a solution of either liquid (half dose) or dry fertiliser (not more than 1-1.5 g per litre). Phalaenopsis can be fed all year round, except when the plant is sick or has just been transplanted.
How often should I water my orchid flower?
Should you water a flowering orchid? How do I know if my orchid needs water? How do you water a potted orchid? Use soft water of room temperature for watering. To soften the water, either boil it or add citric acid or a bag of high-grade peat overnight. In the latter case, the water is also acidified, which is also important. Softened water that has settled for a day should not be used all the way through, as it can leave traces of salts at the bottom. Water with a high iron content is dangerous for orchids.
Water the plants with a watering can by moving the water in a thin stream over the entire surface of the substrate until the water starts to come out of the drainage holes. Any water that has accumulated in the tray should be drained and the watering and draining procedure repeated. Make sure that the water does not enter the leaf axils or the growing point. If this happens, it should be blotted out with a cloth or blown away. Between waterings, the substrate should dry to a thickness of 2-3 cm as the roots need air from time to time to survive.
What is the best lighting for orchids?
How much lighting do orchids need? What color light do orchids need? Does orchid need direct sunlight? Phalaenopsis plants need a well-lit, warm place without direct sunlight to grow comfortably. These plants also grow in good artificial light. Attention: The buds may fall off if there is a lack of light.
What type of soil do orchids need?
Do I need special soil for orchids? Can you use any soil for orchids? Larch bark is even better – it is more durable. But it dries out very quickly so it is advisable to add sphagnum moss in a 1:1 proportion – it retains water for a long time and also has bactericidal properties and protects the roots from rotting.
Do orchids need moisture?
How do I put moisture in my orchid? What conditions does an orchid need? Do orchids like moist or dry soil? Orchids like moist air. To increase humidity, trays of moist pebbles can be placed near the plants. Spraying 2-3 times on a hot day will help, most importantly with the finest spray so that the water sinks to the leaves as a mist. Make sure that the water does not come into contact with the flowers. The treatment is best carried out in the morning so that the phalaenopsis has time to dry out by evening. Orchids can be bathed periodically (2-3 times/month) in the shower to clean the leaves of dust and unwanted micro- organisms.
How much heat do orchids need?
How cold is too cold for orchids? Where should I put my orchid in my house? Do orchids do well in heat? The optimum temperature for this plant is around 4°C between day and night. To achieve this, open a ventilator during the night in summer to reduce the temperature and limit the heat from the radiators in winter. It should also be considered that Phalaenopsis can become ill if the night temperature drops below 16°C. The maximum daytime temperature should not exceed 32°C. The most comfortable growing temperature is 20- 25°C.
Can you propagate an orchid from a flower?
How do you start an orchid from the beginning? Can you grow a new orchid from a stem? This orchid species is propagated mainly by offspring, lateral shoots that form on a stem or flower stalk. The offspring mainly emerge in the summer due to the increased temperature and humidity. For replanting, the offshoots that have their own 5-7 cm long roots are removed from the mother plant and transplanted into small pots filled with orchid substrate.
How do I get rid of orchid pests?
What can I spray my orchids with? What is causing holes in my orchid leaves? What do spider mites look like on orchids? If the plant is kept in dry air, it can be infested with scale infestations. Phalaenopsis can suffer rotting of the roots due to flooding. Excessive drying of the substrate will cause the leaves to droop, thin and shrivel. The phalaenopsis does not tolerate draughts; strong air currents will stop flowering and cause the buds to drop.
How can the flowers of the orchid plant be propagated?
Orchids can be propagated through various methods, including division, backbulb propagation, keiki propagation, and seed propagation. However, the most common and straightforward method for propagating orchids is through division. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to propagate orchids through division:
- Choose a Healthy Orchid: Select a mature orchid plant that is healthy and actively growing. Ensure that the plant has multiple pseudobulbs or growths.
- Prepare the Tools: Gather the necessary tools, including a clean, sharp knife or shears, clean pots or containers, fresh potting medium suitable for orchids, and a rooting hormone (optional).
- Prepare the Plant: Carefully remove the orchid from its pot and gently shake off excess potting medium to expose the roots and pseudobulbs. Inspect the plant for any signs of pests, diseases, or damaged areas.
- Divide the Orchid: Identify natural divisions or growths that can be separated into individual plants. Each divided section should have at least three to four pseudobulbs and a healthy set of roots. Using a sterile knife or shears, cut through the rhizome or roots to separate the sections.
- Treat the Cut Sections (Optional): Some growers choose to apply a rooting hormone to the cut sections to encourage root development, although this step is optional.
- Potting the Divisions: Prepare the pots or containers with fresh orchid potting medium. Place each divided section into a separate pot, making sure the roots are spread out and in contact with the medium. Gently press the medium around the roots to hold the plant in place.
- Provide Adequate Care: After potting the divisions, place them in a suitable location with indirect light and optimal temperature and humidity conditions for the specific orchid species. Follow the care instructions for the particular type of orchid you are propagating, including watering, fertilizing, and providing proper air circulation.
- Monitor and Maintain: Regularly monitor the newly propagated orchids for signs of growth and root development. Adjust the care routine as needed to ensure the plants receive the appropriate amount of water, light, and nutrients.
It’s important to note that the propagation process can vary depending on the specific orchid species and its growth habits. Some orchids may have specific requirements or prefer alternative propagation methods. It’s always recommended to research the specific orchid species you are working with to ensure the best propagation success.