Grow Phalaenopsis orchids successfully

Orchids always blow me away by their stunning beauty. I’ve always wondered how to grow Phalaenopsis orchids successfully since I’ve managed to kill two since I’ve moved to Hong Kong! It’s a pity that I couldn’t manage to keep them alive because one of them was my arrival present to Hong Kong. The second attempt ended in a similar demise.

Grow Phalaenopsis Orchids Successfully

 

How to grow Phalaenopsis orchids successfully

I’ve learned a thing or two about how to grow Phalaenopsis orchids successfully since then, not from experience, but from gathering intelligence on the Web and from my friend who has the most fabulous orchids you have ever seen. She shared some of her secrets with me and I’m allowed to share them with you!

Grow Phalaenopsis orchids successfully

My friend’s beautiful Phalaenopsis orchids blooming for the 2nd or 3rd time!

First of all, I’m going to tell you how she grows hers and then I’ll tell you what I’ve learned on the web and leave with you a nice article to read later with details about how to repot an orchid.

My friend sought the advice of a local nursery man and he told her you need to feed your orchids every two weeks. He told her to give them 1 tsp of guano. Guano is a high nitrogen seed bird waste product. Just barely water it in, so that it’s not soaking wet. An ice cube of water is enough as you just want enough to dissolve the guano. 

Secondly, she puts her orchids outside in the early, cool, morning sun, before the sun is in it’s full strength.

In her experience, Phalaenopsis orchids may take a year or two to bloom. The roots develop first and then leaves and then flowers follow on a new stalk branching off the old stalk. You should cut the old stalk back to a node. A new flower stalk will grow from that node.

Special potting mix is required for these epyphites that take grow on trees in nature, taking their nutrition from the air and water.

Special potting mix is required for these epyphites that take grow on trees in nature, taking their nutrition from the air and water. Notice the healthy green roots.

Keep your Phalaenopsis orchids inside when flowers appear. Give them good, bright light, but not full sun as it will cause the leaves to become dehydrated.

Help from the Web on growing Phalaenopsis orchids successfully indoors

I found a really good article in Fine Gardening that gave some good advice on how to grow Phalaenopsis orchids successfully indoors in colder climates, including how to pot an orchid, advice that applies wherever you grow them. The author advised to fertilize your Phalaenopsis orchids every two weeks also, but with 20-20-20 fertilizer at 1/2 the strength. It seems that orchids prefer cool temperatures over heat and humidity. A sign that your orchid is getting too much sun is if the leaves begin to get yellow or dehydrated. (That sounds like how my poor orchids met their demise!)

Grow Phalaenopsis orchids successfully

Phalaenopsis orchids at the Flower Market in Mong Kok East.

Light

Phalaenopsis orchids prefer full Eastern or Western exposure or the indirect light provided by a Southern exposure. And if you live in a warm climate, you can follow my friend’s method.

Temperature

Another source revealed the importance of day/night temperature fluctuations in getting your Phalaenopsis orchids to re-bloom. A drop in night temperatures is critical for re-bloom. This happens naturally in Hong Kong during the winter when they are getting ready to re-bloom. The night temperature should be between 12 C to 18 C.

Grow Phalaenopsis orchids successfully

Dormancy

Phalaenopsis orchids need a rest period after expending so much energy blooming for a long period. It typically lasts between 6 months up to 2 years. So don’t worry if your plant looks healthy but isn’t producing blooms. It’s resting. But you can encourage new blooms by pruning back the flower stalk to a triangular shaped node and fertilizing it like mad. Remember, roots, leaves, shoots, then flowers.

So, now that we’ve learned how easy it is to grow Phalaenopsis orchids successfully, are you ready to give it a try?? Are there any other tips you can offer?

Cheers!

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