Phalaenopsis Orchid are among the most popular orchids sold as potted plants because of the ease of propagation and flowering under artificial conditions. They have become extremely easy to grow and flower in the home, as long as some care is taken to provide them with conditions that approximate their native habitats.
How often you water will depend on the potting medium. Bark retains less water than moss. If your Phalaenopsis is potted in bark, watering once a week is generally sufficient. If your plant is potted in moss, water when the top feels dry. The amount of light and heat your plant receives will also affect how soon your Phalaenopsis needs watering. Watering once a week is normally sufficient to keep your plant healthy and happy. Summer months will need more frequent watering, winter will need less.
It is best to water in the morning. Place the plant in the sink and use tepid water. Do not use salt-softened or distilled water. Let the water run through the plant for a minute or so. Be sure to let the plant drain completely. Use a paper towel to blot the water to avoid crown rot.
Phalaenopsis are ‘low’ light orchids. They grow beautifully in an east window and can be grown in a south or west window if protected by a sheer curtain. A Phalaenopsis’s leaves should be olive green. If they are darker it means the plant is not getting enough light; red tinged leaves mean the plant is getting too much light. Once the plant is in bloom you can place it anywhere in your home out of direct sunlight. If your plant does not re-bloom, increase the amount of light that it receives. Phalaenopsis leaves burn easily from too much exposure to the sun.
Temperature & Humidity
Phalaenopsis orchids enjoy a fairly warm climate. The ideal night temperature is 62 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and daytime temperature range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Since this temperature range is similar to that of many homes, it makes an ideal house plant. Keep in mind that temperatures close to the window on a windowsill will be colder or hotter than your general house temperature. Fluctuating temperatures can cause bud drop on plants with buds ready to open.
Cut off the top of the Phalaenopsis orchid just below highest roots using a sharp, disinfected knife. Take care not to bruise or mangle the plant as you cut. Plant the top portion in a separate pot, allowing the roots to touch the orchid growing media. Leave the stub in its container, in the same growing conditions used for the parent orchid. Wait 1-4 weeks for small clones of the parent plant to begin forming on the stub. These are called kiekies, or baby orchids. Cut the kiekies away from the stub once they have three roots. Use a sharp, disinfected knife once again, and ensure that the small roots are not harmed during the removal process. Re-pot each kiekies separately in seeding media or orchid potting media.