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Light: Low to intermediate
These orchids will do ok in both low and intermediate light conditions, but bright light can influence a better bloom display. East facing windows are adequate and south or west windows need to be partially shaded.
Temperature: 60º F (16º C) – 80º F (26º C)
Phalaenopsis orchids are generally pretty hardy when it comes to temperature, but the optimum temperature is the one in which you feel comfortable in. They can withstand extremes for short periods of time, but too cold temperatures can cause bud blast and too high temperatures can lead to wilted leaves. Abrupt temperature swings may also cause bud blast and flower loss.
Water: When the potting medium is completely dry
Watering a Phalaenopsis should be done when the potting medium is dried and the roots obtain a silvery color. The frequency will vary depending on environmental conditions like temperature, humidity and also the potting medium chosen. Watering this orchid too often may cause the medium to break down faster and eventually suffocate the roots. The water used can be soft to medium soft, although they can tolerate slightly hard water as well. The quality of the water used will affect blooms and hard water can burn the root system.
Like all orchids, Phalaenopsis enjoy humidity around them, but these hybrids are made to tolerate low humidity environments commonly found in homes. Even so, a relative humidity of above 40% will ensure a healthier plant. When conditions are very humid it is strongly recommended to increase air movement, thus preventing disease. In low temperatures humidity can be lower, while in higher temperatures it should be increased along with air movement.
The Phalaenopsis orchid is the most common orchid we can find in stores. Its ease of care and long bloom time make it one of the most desired orchids by the wide public. All of these widely spread orchids are very complex hybrids, that were obtained by crossing different species and their hybrids to create Phalaenopsis varieties that can produce long lasting blooms and can adapt fast to various environments.
The Phalaenopsis orchid should be fertilized either with a balanced fertilizer (eg: 10-10-10), either alternating a high nitrogen fertilizer when it is actively growing roots and leaves and a low nitrogen one when a spike is being formed. Regularly feeding this orchid will enhance the overall appearance and can lead to better blooms. This will also play an important role in its health and development, as Phalaenopsis orchids are not light feeders. Never fertilize more than the dosage recommended on the label and when using tap water, only use half the recommended dosage.
Phalaenopsis orchids usually bloom once per year, starting to spike in the autumn or winter and blooming in spring and summer. Odd flowering are not unusual though. Cutting the spike above the final node before the flowers start may induce secondary spikes to be formed, but it’s not a general rule. If the flower spike dries completely it is best to cut it from the base.
The roots of the Phalaenopsis orchid can photosynthesize and need good air movement, so it is best to use an airy potting mix and a clear pot with additional ventilation slits.