Moth orchid as they are commonly known, are a lot easier to care for than you may think. Here are a few tips to help you get years of flowering from these stunning plants.
The trick is to have a nice warm spot around 22-25degres during the day, out of direct sunlight where your orchid can grow quietly. Orchids like to be restricted somewhat. Do not over water. Feed your plant at least once a month. Do not worry if roots creep out of the pot as they are actively photosynthesizing or looking for water and nutrients
Let there be light
Orchids need bright, indirect sunlight; Northern or western exposure is best but be careful the foliage can get sunburn if it gets too much direct sunlight. This will appear on the leaves as black splotches, if this happens move your orchid a bit further away from the window or light source.
Water from at the top of the pot generally around every 4-5 days in summer and in winter around every 10 days. Although you can over water, don’t be afraid to water your orchid. It is best to place it in the sink this way you can drench the plants and then let the plants fully drain before replacing in pot holders or saucers. If you have a really warm house in winter you may need to do this more often. In all cases make sure the orchid dries out sufficiently before re-watering. The biggest mistake we can make with our orchids is to be too kind and over water.
Make sure your orchid is not sitting in water. If conditions are very warm (e.g. summer) either move the orchid to a cooler spot or give regular light mist with a spray bottle.
Feeding and Temperature Control
Your orchids do need to be fertilized at least once a month. We recommended Briggitta Orchid food or Manutec orchid food. When your orchid is forming spikes we recommend you use Manutec orchid booster fortnightly.
Just remember that when fertilize your plant water from the top first. Otherwise you can damage the roots.
Phalaenopsis orchids need temperatures around 22-25 degrees during the day and a minimum of 15-18 at night. Don’t forget if your home is very dry you can occasionally mist your orchid to keep the plant moist.
To get your orchid to flower again, they must have a drop in temperature at night. This is normally around a 10 degree drop in temperature. Feeding will encourage growth and help to keep long lasting flowers.
Increase the light, orchids respond to bright light which will encourage them to re- flower. Light is energy that no amount of fertilizer can replace. Once your orchid has finished flowering cut the spike back to just above the top node on the stem and a new spike should grow from this point. If the stem has gone brown snip it off at the base.
If your Orchid has lots of roots creeping out of the pot then it may be time to re-pot.
Orchids like to be restricted somewhat so use a pot which is approximately 2-3cm bigger in diameter than the current pot. If the old media (orchid mix) is breaking down remove it and replace with new mix. Only repot after your orchid has finished flowering.
After repotting leave your orchid to sit for 2-3 days to recover and heal from any root wounds before watering or feeding again.
Please feel free to come in and see us or call with any question all our staff at Oderings are happy to help with any questions you may have. You are also welcome to bring your orchid with you.