Orchids & Ice Cubes?

Phaleonopsis orchids are epiphytes, they naturally grow in trees. They hang onto a tree with their roots and receive filtered light through the leaves. Phals enjoy the same temperatures we do. Just as we like to wear a swimsuit during the day and a long sleeve shirt at night. Fluctuating temperatures can cause buds to “blast” or drop on plants with buds ready to open. This often happens during transportation, such as when plants are transported from indoors to a car in winter or summer.

Water about 1/4 cup every 10-14 days for plants potted in spaghnum moss or a mixture. Plants potted in a bark potting medium may require watering more often. Place the plant in the sink and let the water run through. After the plant rests for a minute, repeat to allow all the water to drain. Do not get water into the crown (where the leaves join in the center). Use a paper towel to blot the water to avoid crown rot. Too much water causes the roots to rot which kills the plant. Exposure to smoke, cigarettes, paint fumes, old fruit (which emits ethylene gas) and drafts from air vents can also cause bud drop. NO ICE CUBES!

When the blooms are finished, simply cut off the stem leaving 2 nodes (brown lines on the stem). Continue watering and fertilizing the plant and it will most likely bloom again in 3-12 months. Re-pot your phaleonopsis plant every 1-3 years.

Use a balanced fertilizer (20-20-20 / 10-10-10) feeding 1/2 strength every other time you water. Use clear water once a month to push out salts from the potting mix. Be sure not to over fertilize, this can be more detrimental to the plant than no fertilizer at all. Over fertilizing will burn the leaves and cause them to fall off.