The Phalaenopsis or ‘Moth Orchid’ is the one of the most common orchids sold in the Unites States and is one my favorite types. I especially love these orchids because even out of bloom their leaves are gorgeous!
Phalaenopsis orchids are very easy to produce because nurseries can “force” them into bloom year-round. Nurseries have a “perfect” growing environment in which humidity, light and temperature are controlled. This environment allows nurseries to produce blooming orchids year round. In nature orchids bloom on seasonal schedule. That is why if you are researching Phalaenopsis orchids, a lot of websites say that they should be out of bloom in the summer/fall even though you just picked up your Phalaenopsis, in full bloom, at your local nursery in the summer/fall. This can be very confusing because all these websites will tell you to repot an orchid, in a certain season, even though they are in full bloom (you are not supposed to repot orchids in full bloom unless they are in dire need). Now I know that these orchids were forced into bloom and I needed to wait till they had dropped their blooms to repot. Check out my Season by Season guide post where I explain this further.
Once you have acquired your own Phalaenopsis and they have gone through the full process of blooming and being properly repotted they will eventually bloom at their natural rate in your home – if you are giving them “natural” cues. Natural cues are important because if you are growing your orchids indoors then they may not “feel” the coolness of the fall. Phalaenopsis orchids “know” to spike (a spike is the beginning of the bloom stalk) when they feel the drop in temperature that comes with fall. If grown indoors the plant should be given two weeks of near minimal temperatures in the fall to initiate bloom spikes, which can be done by cracking a window for a few nights. This has always worked for me.
Phalaenopsis go through the following process IF grown naturally (in the midwest of the U.S.)… not in a green house;
My Phalaenopsis are very easily grown in our house and they stay in bloom for a very long time. Many other types of orchids can be very finicky but Phalaenopsis can be repotted anytime, though it is usually best to do so when not in bloom. I have had to some emergency repotting when a recently acquired Phalaenopsis was in major distress (for example one was potted in a pot that had no drainage and the roots were rotting = orchids will die with no drainage/standing water).
My Phalaenopsis do well living in my large windowsill (as shown above). They enjoy the natural light and since I have them on humidity trays they enjoy consistent moisture. Please see my previous post on repotting and watering.
Hope that helps,
Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with pictures of your orchid.