Phalaenopsis Orchids

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;

  • Spring …continual but end production of blooms. After blooms have fallen off, then repot.
  • Summer….production of new leaves and roots. Orchids need new roots and new leaves to store up energy for the following years blooms.
  • Fall…production of new spikes and the beginning of blooms (around October/November). Make sure you have stakes on hand to clip the spikes to.
  • Winter…continual growth of spikes and further blooms

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,

Hannah

Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com with pictures of your orchid.

91 Comments on “Phalaenopsis Orchids

  1. Hi Hannah, can I ask a general question, whenever I buy an orchid it always has two or even three flower spikes. I’m having a lot of success with getting them to flower again thanks to your advice, but I only ever get one flower spike at a time. I don’t mind this, just very delighted to see them growing, but I was wondering what the growers do to get them to have more than one spike at a time?

      • That’s get t yo be it then, if you only get one too! No wonder they need a rest in between, but happily mine seem to start a new spike before I can even pot them on!

  2. Hello! I’m not sure how much light my Phalaenopsis should be getting. When they say “indirect” sunlight does it mean it shouldn’t be hung at an open window even if the sun is not shining directly into my room? Because the sides of the leaves seem to be dry/turning brown and I’m afraid I gave it too much sunlight.

  3. You say to stake the stems, is this nessecary as I took my stakes off because I wanted it to grow as near natural as possible. The stems didnt droop much from the staked position. There was 9-11 flowers on both spikes.

  4. Hi,

    I’m new to orchid growing, so please bear wit me.. πŸ™‚
    I bought a phalenopsis orchid at the end of march and it was in full bloom. After barely a week after entering her new home (haven’t repotted!) she lost all its flowers and now has two healthy looking but bare spikes. I’m wondering whether I should cut them back (maybe partially?) or not?

    Thanks in advance!

    Andy

  5. I bought 4 Phaleonopsis this past August 2015. After blooming i repotted with repotme pots and mix. Two of my plants each have a spike but one plant has a new leaf growing but all the other leaves look very sad. Is this something i should be concerned with?

  6. I bought 4 Phaleonopsis this past August 2015 and shortly after found your site. After blooming i repotted with repotme new pot and mix. Two of the plants already have spikes started in December. I’ve search your site thinking I’ve seen something but can’t seem to find so I’ve decided to ask. My one plant has a new leaf sprouting so i think it’s doing ok but the other leaves are drooping and look sad. Is this something I should be concerned with or am I doing something wrong?

    • Hi,

      As long as you are only watering it when it’s dry and placing it near a shady window you should be fine. It seems they are repotted well. Sometimes they get droopy after repotting or during times of new growth. You can always send me a picture at myfirstorchid@gmail.com and I can take a look.

      If you do please copy you questions and answers to that email.

      Hannah

  7. hi – i have been charged with repotting my mom’s orchid. she said it is a phalaenopsis but it has only bloomed once and, instead has done nothing but grow leaves – 6 pairs now, plus it is growing almost horizontally (that could be from the way it was originally planted???). the stalk is thick and the leaves look like my 2 phalaenopsis which seem to bloom constantly but only have 3/4 leaves. i have had mine about 2 years (my first ever) and i repotted them about 4 months ago when they finished their second blooming. i cut them back (the bloom stems – one to the base and on the other one to the base, the second to a bottom node. i understood they wouldn’t bloom for about a year after repotting but both started growing bloom stalks immediately and now are both in full ‘bud’ – but my question is, does mom have a Vanda since it grows so many leaves, or do the phals also grow many sets, just mine don’t? mom’s seems very healthy so, if i don’t hear from you, i am going to repot as a phal, but i am going to cut of the bottom set of leaves (sharp, sterile scissors) to help me repot it more upright. basically i have read at least 15 websites and still am unsure what mom’s plant is!! oh, when it was gifted to her the blooms were blue, but the one rebloom it did last year after Christmas, the blooms were white, so assume it was given coloring the 1st time. i sure hop i make since. could send a picture if i knew how

  8. Hello, I have gotten your very helpful advise with my Phalaenopsis orchid. It has a few small flowers not too long ago, but the entire stem has turned brown, the flowers have fallen off, and the area where the flowers were has turned black!! I wonder if it is just the end of the blooming season for my orchid or if something is wrong. The main leaves are still a little droopy and wrinkly, which I know means the plant is stressed, but it is sprouting two new leaves that look very healthy. Is this the time to repot my orchid? Or should I wait until the leaves have finished coming up? Is repotting the way to get bigger flowers next year?

  9. Hi, I just got a (I believe a phalaenopsis)orchid plant as a house warming gift and I want to keep it alive; is it okay for me to put it under my over hang on my porch for some air and little sunlight? or would it be better in the stuffy house? I was thinking outside, but I noticed you put all your plants inside. I live in Hawaii and its summertime and its hella hot right now and indoors is Hot, hot hot! Also the leaves are yellowing….ughhh help!

    Leipupu

  10. Hi Hannah,

    First, this blog is great, I’ve never had an orchid before and I learned more from you in a few posts than I did searching the internet for 40 min.

    So I just got an orchid from my boyfriend and so I am desperate to keep it alive. Over the weekend I was out of town and one of my roommates severely overwatered it, to the point where it was sitting in excess water (there is a plastic inter container with a drainage hole but the ceramic pot has no drainage hole).

    The moss (the same kind you use) is still really moist after a couple days and I don’t know what to do. 6 of the 8 blooms have fallen off, and the other 2 look like they are getting ready to go (2 of the 6 fallen admittedly fell off before the over-watering incident).

    I currently have the orchid out on its side in just the plastic container so that air can hit it from both sides to help dry out the moss faster, but I obviously have no idea if that is right.

    Can you lend me any guidance or advice? Anything is appreciated!!

  11. Hi Hannah!

    First off, thank you for the wonderful information! I have been scouring the internet for advice on Orchids and yours is the only good, useful info!

    Anyway, I bought two Phal. Orchids end of August this year from Lowe’s (Just Add Ice orchids) and they were both in full bloom. I keep one in my living room with good filtered light during the day & one in my master bedroom. They both have clear plastic pots with drainage holes. I had been watering with 3 large ice cubes maybe once a week or two. I pretty much left them alone & they were beautiful up until recently. The other night I opened our windows and left them open overnight with ceiling fans on in both rooms. I’m in central Illinois & it got down to about 60 degrees that night, maybe even cooler. That’s just the temperature on my thermostat when I woke up the next morning. Well anyway, the blooms started dropping one by one over the past several days. I watered both with ice in that timeframe, thinking they just needed water since I don’t water them often at all. The heat has been on at about 72 degrees in the house except for that one night. Do you think the Change in temperature plus the ceiling fans being on over top both of the Orchids could’ve caused them to drop the blooms? If not and this is natural, what should I do next to keep it blooming and healthy?

  12. Hi,
    I have a phalaenopsis orchid that I recently re-potted. It has a very small root system and I did not have a good size pot or packing peanuts to make the pot smaller. The orchid was originally in sphagnum moss potting medium, but I re-potted it using a bark mixture. When I went to water it the roots seemed dried up and did not have a firm grasp in the pot.Is it better to keep the orchid in sphagnum moss instead of bark? Is there any hope for this orchid? I fear it may be going down the same path as one I lost previously. Thank you.

    • Hi Becky,

      I would love to help! You can use either mix – it takes sometime to adjust from one medium to the next though.

      If you just repotted it I would let it rest and not repot it again. It’s a lot of shock to repot an orchid.

      You are welcome to send me a picture if you need to at myfirstorchid@gmail.com.

      Hannah

    • It depends on the type orchid but my Phalaenopsis orchids bloom for a few months (I have had them for a long time). When I get a new one from the store though – I only expect a few weeks.

      Hannah

      • A violet Phaleonopsis was given me in February or March 2013 with 1 flower on it by a friend who found it in his recycling room. He got it to rebloom and since he already had one like it he gave it to me. It has not stopped flowering since I got it and now has 2 flowers on it and both show no signs of wilting.

  13. First i would like to say thank you for this wonderful website its taught me a lot of new facts . My question is what’s the first thing you should do when you just bought your orchid. mine is a moth orchid

  14. Hi Hannah,

    First i would like to thank you for this wonderful website. I have had my fist orchid for the past year or so. It’s been an interesting journey… as i do not have any experience in growing a plant at all.

    I’ve been reading a lot on what to do next with my orchid. Currently my orchid looks beautiful and it blossomed very well. But now I believe it grew some new roots, i am not sure what to do next? some say i should re plant it? some say i should wait till they grow a bit more to stake it… I really don’t know and would really appreciate your help. I sent you pic to this email myfirstorchid@gmail.com

  15. Hi! My daughter gave me a beautiful orchid for mother’s day and it was beautiful with about 10 blooms for 2 1/2 weeks and now the blooms are limp and falling off. We live in Savannah so it is rather humid and it gets a good bit of sunlight. Have I killed it already?

  16. Hi,
    I just received a phalaenopsis orchid that was rescued from a journey to the garbage. Its roots look pretty good,but the leaves are a different story. There are 3 leaves. All of them have these strange bumpy spots on them. They look like someone poked them with a pencil or something like that. The third leave on the bottom is also bumpy, but is yellow at the base and very tip. Any thoughts? Thanks.

  17. Hi I have a phalaenopsis orchid that grew a flower spike and was growing consistently for a while. Then it started growing a bud and I was very excited. After the bud became a little larger it became this pinkish yellow color and hasn’t really changed in size or color for a few days. There was also the startings of another bud on the end of the spike but that has also not changed. What happened here? Is my orchid not going to bloom this time around? Thank you for your help

    • Becky,

      I would love to help! Unfortunately I can’t tell for sure because I would need a picture but it sounds like you may have Bud Blast as shown here…

      https://myfirstorchid.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/bud-blast-2/

      Look at the picture on that link and if it seems to be the same then you will know for sure. Bud blast can effect one bud or multiple buds. Once it’s starts on one then unfortunately that one is lost but you may be able to figure out what is causing it and stop it from spreading.

      You can send me a picture at myfirstorchid@gmail.com and I can let you know for sure.

      Some questions you can answer here or if you choose to email me then I can respond either way.

      How do you water it? How much and how often?

      Does your pot have a drainage hole at the bottom?

      Is it placed near a window for natural light?

      Thanks,

      Hannah

      • I think that it may have been bud blast. Right after I wrote I went to look at the orchid and when I touched the bud it fell off.
        I water it about once a week or week and a half. I run water from the tap into the pot until it drains through and then I make sure it leaks out all the way before putting it back in the decorative pot.
        It does have drainage and is placed on top of a dresser that gets indirect sunlight.
        I have the plant in a decorative pot that is a makeshift humidity tray with two other orchids and with two others nearby. I also mist them all once or twice a day with water and I have not fertilized it since I got this orchid in March.

      • Hi,

        Bud Blast is tricky because it’s hard to tell why it’s happening especially since this is a new orchid for you (bought in March).

        Many times when we get orchids into our homes they were mistreated before we got them. Mass production of orchids in green houses force them into bloom and then ship them to stores. The shipping process is taxing to orchids and then they are placed in grocery stores etc., that over or underwater them and give then zero natural light.

        Then we get them and think we have hurt an orchid because of all the stuff that happened to it before we got it.

        You seem to be watering it well – just make sure it’s dry before you water it. Orchid roots don’t like to wet all the time. I would also maybe mist them a bit less.

        Decorative pots can be tricky because even though you think that the orchid is well drained it still may leak out some more water and that water has nowhere to go. I have a post on decorative pots and even though you are not using them when you water it’s worth the read.

        https://myfirstorchid.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/orchid-disaster/

        Explain real quick how you use it as a humidity tray because if you are doing what I think you are then maybe this is not the problem…maybe placing rocks at the bottom??

        And the dresser it’s located on… Does sun actually hit it? Here is my post on lights requirements…

        https://myfirstorchid.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/light-requirements-for-orchids/

        Hope that helps and let me know,

        Hannah

      • Okay, thank you for your help!

        The dresser does get sunlight, the sun just doesn’t come onto it in a direct beam. It is sort of perpendicular to the window so the sun does go onto it.

        The humidity tray is a old pie pan that I put some stones and beach glass into and poured water into it until it came almost to the top of the rocks. I then put the decorative pots on top of the rocks with the orchids in them.

        I was worried about the water leaking into the decorative pot, but every time I check it after watering it appears to not have any excess water that leaked into it.

      • That all sounds good! Seems like you are doing everything right. That probably seems frustrating but I would guess it was mistreated before you got it and it hopefully will perform better next year under your excellent care.

        Hannah

      • Thank you so much! Glad to know I am doing things right with my orchids. I researched a lot before getting them but was still a little wary. Your website was (and still is) a big help. Thanks again, hopefully it will bloom next time!

  18. Thank You so much for creating this blog, I have learned so much in the last 10 minutes alone! I have recently received what I believe is a cute lil’ Keiki Phalaenopsis, from my Boo…my first orchid. I can’t find on here anything about the petals are slightly wilted and curling in. I’ve had it for a few weeks, and lightly watered it once before reading your blog. The roots are green and I decided to air it out a bit, in case I accidentally over-watered it, and will be getting orchid food today. I am wondering what the state of the petal is indicating?

  19. Edwin, how you look after your orchids and also all of your other plants sounds all very interesting. I’ll keep your fertilizing tips in mind!
    Sounds like your temp’s are similar to ours, I was starting to consider if it was the climate that was affecting my orchids from growing and surviving but now when I read your temps, i doubt it could be, thanks

  20. Hi! I have a Phal that was in bloom when i rec’d, blooms fell, spike yellowed, i trimmed and repotted and fertilize weakly weekly. I’ve tried to hard to care for my little plant but it’s down to two leaves, not yellow but pruny.. limp. I trimmed the black roots upon repotting and put it in new shpagnum moss. Mine is on the verge of death from my love and the one I gifted a friend (she never does anything but throw water on it once in awhile. Old media and all). and hers has 6 new leaves and is thriving. Is it too late for my plant? Did I love it to death? Considering throwing it out and trying again and neglecting the next one haha.

    • Crystal,

      Don’t throw it away just yet! I have had orchids get down to one leaf and still live.

      And I don’t think you loved it to death! Orchids respond differently from change and there is no way to tell if it was handled properly before you got it.

      I don’t do a lot with my orchids (more like your friend). I repot them every two years. I water them when they are completely dry. I fertilize them with a water solution. I clean their leaves every once in while but honestly I don’t do too much.

      Orchids kinda like being left alone. People think they are super finicky bit honestly they are pretty easy – I feel like they are more like my Jade Plants. They like water when they need it but if that is all your doing then they are ok. You can do a bunch of extra stuff (sometimes I get really into them) they like that too.

      But overall I know plenty of people who just throw some water on them and their orchids are gorgeous.

      Hannah

  21. Hi ive had my orchid for about 6 months now. its already bloomed and all the flowers have fallen off… i trimmed the spike and i am getting ready to repot. ive noticed 2 new leaves and 5 new roots coming in, but ive also noticed some kind of dark black spotted roots. i wanted to know if i should trim these in the process.. ive searched every where for an answer but havent found one. please help.

  22. Hello! I have several orchids which were given to me this year for Mother’s Day, Birthday, Just Because, etc. All of them have completed booming, except three which are still in bloom as a result of new growths. All of the orchids are getting sunlight from the south west and west windows and all have produced beautiful healthy leaves, but the leaves are dark green with a hint of purple underneath. Although the leaves are beautiful and look healthy to me, I am concerned that they are getting inadequate light because of their color. How can you determine whether the orchids are healthy or not?

    I will be moving soon and my plants will only have access to light from the east and south east windows which I am afraid will not be sufficient. They will not get two hours of light a day without being moved around. I understand that the phalaenopsis orchids do not like to be disturbed.

    I have a huge fish aquarium and I was wondering if I set it up with adequate lighting, a water tray with pebbles and control temperature, would the orchids stand a better chance versus minimum light (less than one hour of light) from an east/south east window. Any information you provide will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks. Shelby Minor
    P.S. Do I cut the branches now or shall I leave them for next season’s blooms?

    • Shelby,

      Hi – I would love to help.

      Can you send me pics of the leaves? Myfirstorchid@gmail.com. Your leaves should be a medium green color… Dark purple is not a good sign. But we can figure this out:) if you can’t send a pic we can discuss it further on here.

      I have never used artificial lights so I can’t be super helpful with that… But I there are a lot of people who do this.

      You want to cut the stems off the orchids that have finished blooming (I think this is what you mean by the branches). Next year they will sprout an entirely new stem. Most of the time the stems turn brown and look dead because they are dead – at this time you just snip them back at the base of the plant. Only cut the stem. I have a section on my blog titled, “Cutting an Orchid Stem.” Check that out.

      Let me know about the pics and we can further discuss,

      Hannah

      • Just saying, my orchid, has a hint of purple on it’s underside, it’s been putting out lots of roots, and three new leaves (one is a baby). It’s getting the fall cue so it might stall in it’s leaf growth (oh and most of this is from guidance of you and repotme) and I’m really hoping it gets a new spike. I think the purple on the underside of it’s leaves might be a variation. But it could be something else. I don’t know.
        Thanks,
        John

  23. Hi everyone, i have 2 phalaenopsis orchids, 1 i have a year and another i have 6 mths. Both bloomed great after i bought for a few months then gradually the leaves and stems turned yellow and fell off. now i have both orchids with no leaves or stems but have health green roots……how can i encourage new leaf growth??

    • Hi Bridget,

      I would love to help.

      So are saying there are no leaves at all on either orchid?

      An orchid bloom stem is natural that it would turn brown after it bloomed but I have never seen an orchid survive with no leaves at all.

      Hannah

  24. From the time before I knew how to look after them I have 2 surviving Phaleonopsis. One is small with only a few leaves and not many roots. Since I repotted them in a bark mixture and watered them when the roots were silvery green and fertillizing them every 2 weeks with urine diluted to 30 parts water they have both produced a new leaf which has grown considerably. These Phaleonopsis are in an unshaded window facing south with brilliant sunshine several hours a day but so far I do not think it is too hot. Is it okey to turn the pots round so the leaves will not grow to one side? In the summer it may sometimes be too hot where they are and so I would like to move them away from the window but do not know if moving affects Phaleonopsis negatively. I do not want to shade as I have other sun-loving plants there. I have a window facing southwest where it is cooler but also gets a lot less light so I think it would be better to place them in front of the window where they are now when it gets too hot for them in the window. Is it okey to move Phaleonopsis around to protect them from brilliant sunshine, even when they have buds or flowers, or is that not good for them? I have a Yu Pin Pearl Phaleonopsis which my daughter gave me for Father’s Day 11 November which still has 9 flowers, and a white Phaleonopsis which I received at my retirement party at work 18 June which has rebloomed with 5 enormous flowers and last week developed 3 new buds. All I have done is watered it. I have not cut any stems. Finally I have a pale lemon yellow Phaleonopsis which my daughter gave me for Christmas. Since it was cold then we waited till we had temperatures above zero before we bought it at the end of February. It still has 11 flowers which I think have paled in the brilliant sunshine we have been having the last few weeks though it was up to minus 20 C outside. My only wish is that I can get them all to reflower every year. I do not want to force them in any way but shall be perfectly happy if they flower naturally. Finally I wonder if you can get keikis by planting the stems you cut off (I do not intend to wait until they get brown but to cut them at the base as soon as all the flowers on it have fallen off) in water or bark mixture.

    • Edwin,

      Hi! Your orchids seem wonderful!

      I don’t like moving my orchids around but I do think its a good idea if they are getting hot.

      You can’t get a new orchid to grow with a stem. Look at my post on baby keiki’s – a new orchid grows from the existing orchid.

      What do you mean by urine diluted water?

      Hannah

      • If you have a Phaleonopsis you can spare and which does not have buds or flowers why not try it? Be sure though that you dilute it with at least 30 parts water. My experience is that when you pour it there is a little smell. It vanishes almost immediately. Nowadays I do not find the smell unpleasant or irritating any more either. My daughter however would not dream of using it so I bought her orchid fertilizer for her Miltoniopsis. If you like I can send you a translation of the emailed reply of the Swedish natural gardening expert to my query. I store my urine in various dilution proportions (1 to 30 for orchids, succulents and cacti, 1 to 20 for most other houseplants and 1 to 10 for vegetables) in large recycled plastic container (such as the ones used for selling several litres of fruit cordials) out of sight in my flat. This fertilizer is not to be used for a few rock plants (I do not know which and have not asked since I do not have any).

      • Hi all, love this blog Hannah πŸ™‚ as I am a keen orchid grower myself, I found the post on urine quiet interesting…does it work?? I am on my fourth orchid in the last 2 year, to my disappointment they just don’t seem to grow new roots or spikes….they bloom beautifully for months then just slowly die 😦 so I’m interested to know about feeding orchids (I think that’s where I’m going wrong) …..I live in Ireland and am now trying miricle grow water feed…thanks

      • Hi,

        Thank you for the compliments!

        I love Ireland. I have never heard of anyone doing this before this man’s post. I don’t endorse it (not saying it doesn’t work – I have just never done it or heard if it). I use regular orchid fertilizer that I buy from my local store,

        Hannah

      • I’ve only found drip feeders which are specialised for orchids….they didn’t help! I’ll keep that mans idea as a last resource perhaps, thanks for all your info you share and I’ll keep looking for a better orchid fertilizer πŸ™‚ I’m determined to keep my orchids alive for more than 6 months! Thanks Hannah

      • Bridget,

        I have had many orchids die… Don’t be discouraged. Can I ask some questions regarding them?

        Which type are they?
        How do you water them? And how often?
        Where are the placed (outside/inside)?
        What’s their light source?

        Hannah

      • They are phal’s and at present I’ve got 1 pretty healthy and another not so good, the not so healthy 1 I feel is slowly dying as it’s roots are 1 by 1 disappearing….it grew 1 new leaf over the summer and lost 1 leaf since I got it in approx June so at present it’s got 5 leaves but no blooms.
        My healthy orchid at time of purchase approx 2 – 3 mth ago had 3 branches/stems but now has 1 stem with 5 blooms , 1 stem half green, half brown and the last is gone as it weathered a few wks back so I cut at the base.
        At the moment I have both in sitting room as it’s the warmest room in house, sitting near a south east window. I mist weekly and water with feed every week or every second week depending on dryness of the bark. Standing them in sink and putting water on the bark avoiding the leaves.
        I’ve tried having orchids in the past in my kitchen and bathroom and they didn’t survive.

      • Well it’s sounds like your doing everything right. Sometimes orchids are not taken care of before we get them and then suffer after – many times this is not our fault.

        I am going to approve a comment from the guy who fertilizes his orchids using “unconventional” methods but I want you to know that one I don’t like doing this because I don’t endorse things I have not tried and two he does things differently (he doesn’t like moss – I love it) but he explains why he does it so I am allowing it.

        Let me know how your orchids turn out,

        Hannah

      • Hannah, you are perfectly right not to endorse anything before you try it so please do not endorse my fertilizing method now. Instead leave it unendorsed and let those who have an orchid to spare try it if they like. I have negative results using commercial orchid fertilizer following all the instructions to a tee. All the flowers wilted the day afterwards. That is also why I never fertilize orchids that have flowers or buds. As for moss it keeps the water which means you should water the orchid less often. Most orchids, indeed most houseplants, that die do so as a result of overwatering. If the orchid has been overwatered and it is in moss the roots will rot and the plant will die. That is why I do not like moss. You know how to treat an orchid that is in moss so you run no risk and the same will apply for those who follow your instructions regarding a Phaleonopsis in moss. I prefer no moss and watering more frequently but only when the roots are silver-green. Edwin.

      • Edwin,

        Well said! A lot of people overwater and I try to tell them not to but it always happens. Your totally right. It super unfortunate. Glad your orchids are doing well,

        Hannah

      • I have about 30 Phaleonopsis, 2 Oncidium Dancing Ladies, 1 Dendrobium kingianum keiki and 1 Dendrobium nobile. They all get fertilized with 1 part urine diluted with 40 parts water but never when there are buds or flowers. 2 that I have fertilized with urine have new spikes now with large buds and 1 which I found dehydrated in the recycling room bloomed from December till October or November after being fertilized that way. If your orchids die you may have watered them the wrong way, (stood them in a bowl of water or watered the leaves and crown) overwatered them, i.e. not exclusively when the roots are silver-grey but when they are green and should not be watered,, or fertilized them too much. Phaleonopsis survive drought but not overwatering. If you have spaghnum moss in your orchid medium I advise you to remove it as soon as possible. That moss retains the water so that the roots rot leading to the death of the orchid. Only pour water over the the bark mixture and let it all run out. There must be no water in the pot you stand the pot containing your orchid in or on the saucer if you stand it there. Phaleonopsis require hardly any fertilizer. The first one I had was a retirement present 18th June last year. After it finished blooming I did nothing except water it by standing it in a bowl of water. It got crown rot. which is certain death if not treated. I was told to remove the leaves that were affected and dab the sore with cinnamon powder. It survived, started to bloom again in December with larger flowers than when I got it and with 2 spikes which kept forming new branches and buds and bloomed until the middle of June or July . I did not fertilize it even one time but it bloomed again longer and with bigger flowers even after the deadly disease caused by wrong watering method. Swedish gardening experts told me I can use diluted urine for all my vegetables and houseplants and garden flowers with the exception of a few rock plants. I do not use it for plants that require acidic soil such as cacti, Hydrangea, Hibiscus and Azalea, and very seldom for Pelargoniums (Geraniums) as urine is high in nitrogen. Acidic soil requirements are seen to with coffee grounds. Low nitrogen fertilizer is provided with the water beans are soaked in over night (without salt of course). Everything thrives. I picked 9 cherry tomatoes today and about 20-30 between the last day of November and yesterday and 6 or 7 black tomatoes and 1 or 2 that I hope are yellow but will otherwise also be black. The tomato plant cuttings i have taken last week have rooted and I shall grow them indoors over winter with simple supplementary lighting. My balcony is glazed and with the door open though it is minus 5 to minus 11 C (12-23 F)outside it is +10-+20 C (50-68 F) there: spring in the deep midwinter!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: