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Learn to Grow and Take Care of Phalaenopsis Orchids

Learn to grow an exotic phalaenopsis orchid with just a few easy tips.

Orchids are among the most exotic and beautiful flowers in the world. No flowering plant has captured the attention or stirred passions, in quite the way orchids have: 20,000 or so wild varieties of orchids have been collected in almost every part of the world.

These amazing orchids range from the Arctic Circle to the southern tip of South America. They grow at sea level to the tops of mountains. Some live in trees, others on rocks or in the ground. Some live in bogs, swamps, forests and meadows.

The Phalaenopsis, or commonly known as the Moth Orchid, as the flower petals resemble the wings of a moth, is one of the easiest orchids to grow and have rebloom. Well-grown plants can flower often, sometimes with a few flowers throughout the year, though the main season is late winter into spring. Average home temperatures and conditions are usually sufficient.

Follow these few simple tips and you too can grow these exotic long-blooming flowers in your home!

LIGHT is easy to provide for phalaenopsis. They grow easily in a bright window, with little or no sun. An east window is ideal in the home; shaded south or west windows are acceptable. Artificial lighting can easily be provided.

TEMPERATURES for phalaenopsis should usually be above 60 degrees F at night, and range between 75 and 85° F or more during the day. Night temperatures to 55° F are desirable for several weeks in the autumn to initiate flower spikes. Fluctuating temperatures can cause bud drop on plants with buds ready to open.

WATER is especially critical for phalaenopsis. Because they have no major water-storage organs other than their leaves, they must never completely dry out. Plants should be thoroughly watered and not watered again until nearly dry. In the heat of summer in a dry climate, this may be every other day; in the winter it may be every seven to 10 days.

HUMIDITY
is important to phalaenopsis. In the home, set the plants on trays of gravel, partially filed with water, so that the posts never sit in water.

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Mark Cockson February 07, 2012 at 10:21 PM
"Moth orchids" have always been my favorite to grow because of the ease with which they re-bloom. The one I bought at Schnuck's last year is getting ready to do just that! The best prices for blooming orchids in mid-County is Trader Joe's. Remember that the Orchid Show is going on now at the Missouri Botanical Garden, so that if you do not want to grow them, you can at least make a visit and enjoy their blooms!
Garden Heights Nursery February 18, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Garden Heights is hosting orchid experts from the Greater St. Louis Orchid Society today, Saturday, February 18th from 11 to 3. They are available to talk about orchid care.
orchid flowers August 05, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Great Blog! I did not know about the tray with the gravel, that's a great tip and I will definitely try that thanks:) I am new to Orchids Love them, I killed my last one and hope to try again this week, I look forward to reading anything else you can recommend. thanks :)

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