As I had mentioned in a prior post I have lots of orchids that thrive indoors in my kitchen and provide me with a lot of color and beautiful flowers throughout the year. Here are the latest two in bloom.
Phalaenopsis is also called the Moth Orchid. It is one of the most popular and easy to grow orchids. They produce flowers all year and can easily be maintained in warm rooms. There is a multitude of Phalaenopsis hybrids with a variety of colors. There are also numerous unnamed hybrids.
Phalaenopsis is a genus of over 70 species. It is part of the Orchidaceae family of plants. The member of this genus is monopodial epiphytes. They have long coarse roots. The leaves are leathery and oblong or elliptic.
They have long-lasting flowers. Flower stems branch and produces numerous flowers. The sepals and petals are free. The lateral sepals are larger than the dorsal. Phalaenopsis is native Indonesia, Phillippines, as well as Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and Australia.
Carl Ludwig Blume first published Phalaenopsis in 1825 in Bijdragen tot de flora von Nederlandsch Indie. The name is from Greek “Phalaina” is a kind of moth and “opsis” means “appears similar to”.
How to grow Phalaenopsis orchids:
Phalaenopsis requires good light, especially in winter as this is important for flowering. In summer protect from direct sunlight. Clean the leaves with a damp cloth. Phalaenopsis prefers warmer temperatures. During the day temperature should vary between 19-30°C or 66-86°F and at night 16-19°C 61-66°F. Avoid too much fluctuation.
The flowers last a long time. After flowering cut back the stalk just above the second knot. You might be rewarded with more flowers. If your Phalaenopsis is not flowering reduce the temperature by a few degrees for a few weeks. Water it regularly, slightly reduce in winter. Fertilize regularly. You can repot orchids anytime but use orchid compost. Trim off any diseased roots while repotting. Let the roots that grow up continue, do not force them in the pot as they will rot. Propagate Phalaenopsis from offsets. Watch out for mealybugs, snails and slugs.