Herb plants belonging to the Orchid family. They are represented by epiphytic (plants living without contact with the soil, most often on another plant, receiving nutrients from the environment) and lithophytic (plants for which life is needed rocky or rocky terrain) forms. Epiphytes predominate among phalaenopsis.
In nature, phalaenopsis lives in the humid tropics of Indonesia, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Philippine Islands.
Phalaenopsis General Information
In literal translation from the Greek Phalaenopsis sounds like "moth". This is not surprising, because the flowers of this unusual plant are in the form of a flying tropical moth or butterfly. A variety of colors is amazing. Even if you set yourself to collect all the existing colors and shades of orchids in your home, then you will have to spend a lot of time on achieving it. But even one or more phalaenopsis can significantly decorate your home and give you positive emotions from the contemplation of their indescribable beauty.
How to choose Phalaenopsis?
So, you decided to please yourself with the purchase of this beautiful plant. What should be considered when choosing an orchid?
- The plant is desirable to acquire during the flowering period. Then you can choose the color that you like or which is missing in your collection.
- Attention should be paid to the leaves: in a healthy plant, they are dark green, fleshy, with a wax shine. Flowers with damaged, dry or discolored leaves are best left in the store.
- Phalaenopsis roots are green and powerful. If you move a healthy potted flower, the roots will sit tightly in the substrate. If the orchid root system suffers, the roots will be sluggish and mobile.
The choice of location and temperature
So you purchased your phalaenopsis and now he needs home care after the store. In order for the flower to be comfortable, you need to choose the right place where it will live and choose the temperature regime, since it directly depends on it whether the orchid will please you with flowering or not.
Phalaenopsis is very fond of light, so you need to keep it in well-lit places, for example, on window sills. But remember that direct sunlight can cause burns on the plant. Therefore, it is better to put them on the east or west side. If the windows in your house are facing south, you can make a regiment, place it near the window and settle the phalaenopsis there.
Regarding the temperature regime there are some features. In order to stimulate the flowering process, it is necessary to create a temperature gradient: in summertime, maintain 24–26 degrees, and in winter, reduce the temperature to 15–17 degrees for a couple of weeks. The flower will withstand 30–32 degrees, but if such numbers hold on for a long time, your phalaenopsis will react to this by dropping its beautiful flowers and withering leaves.
With proper care at home, an orchid-phalaenopsis will delight you with flowering from 3 to 6 months.
Choosing the right substrate and pot
In order for the Phalaenopsis orchid to feel well, care at home must imply a responsible approach to the selection of the pot and the soil in which it will grow.
The substrate is necessary for phalaenopsis to impart a stable upright position, since in nature, the flower is watered with tropical rains and from the same when the diffusion of moisture through the leaves gets nutrients. The roots of phalaenopsis are called airy and should not be permanently in the water. Therefore, especially for them there is a substrate for sale, consisting of bark, which provides constant access of air to the root system of the flower. If there is insufficient humidity in the room, you can add a little peat moss to the substrate, however, the main thing here is not to overdo it, as it will retain water.
It is better to choose a pot transparent, then the state of the substrate and the roots of the plant will always be under your visual control. The size of the pot is important: if it is great for phalaenopsis, the soil will dry out badly, which will eventually lead to rotting of the roots. A too small size of the pot will lead to permanent trauma to the root system. For aesthetics, you can put a transparent pot in a multi-colored flowerpots, although the appearance of a healthy and flourishing orchid will attract all views.
Humidity and watering
In order for the orchid to grow and delight its owner required air humidity in the range of 30−40%. If the air temperature exceeds the comfort for phalaenopsis, the pot with a flower can be put on a tray with wet rubble or pebbles. But do not forget that with excessive moisture, the roots may start to rot.
Watering or Phalaenopsis “bathing” is a kind of ritual, which allows the flower to provide proper care. At your hand should always be separated or rain water. The water temperature for bathing orchids at home should be slightly above room temperature — approximately 26–8 degrees.
In a container filled with prepared water you need to immerse the plant pot for 20–45 minutes for sufficient impregnation of the substrate with moisture. After bathing, put the pot with phalaenopsis on a tray or in-depth plate so that excess moisture can be removed through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Moisture stagnation around phalaenopsis roots should not be allowed.
This ritual should be performed at intervals once a week. But if the temperature in the room where the orchid grows is above 30 degrees - you need to do it 2 times a week.
How to replant phalaenopsis?
Orchid transplanted no more than once every three years. This is best done in the spring. But it may be that the transplant will be needed by the plant immediately after you bring it from the store. It is advisable to do this when the orchid stops blooming.
For transplantation it is better to use a new substrate, but if there is no such possibility, then the old one will do. It needs to be washed, boiled and completely dried.
Phalaenopsis need to extract from the pot, clean the roots from the remnants of the soil. Then his nit is good to see well and if there is, then remove the yellowed leaves and spoiled roots. Slices should be treated with antiseptic. You can handle scissors, which will cut off the unusable parts of the plant.
If there are no holes in the bottom of the pot where you will be replanting the orchid, need to do them yourself. Then a layer of expanded clay is placed on the bottom, which will perform the drainage function. The flower is placed in the center and evenly sprinkled with the substrate, not forgetting that the roots should have access to air.
The conditions under which the orchid will bloom
- Control the humidity of the air in the room where Phalaenopsis lives. If necessary, moisturize, because in summer the humidity is often lowered.
- Adequate lighting is necessary, but not direct sunlight.
- Temperature fluctuations should be minimal, except for lowering it to stimulate the flowering process.
- Try to refrain from moving the orchid pot from place to place.
It is difficult to highlight the main condition, since compliance with all of them in the complex leads to the desired result.
After stopping flowering, Phalaenopsis needs special care. In order for flowers to appear again and again, you need to give the plant a rest. For this, the peduncle is trimmed to the third bud or remains intact. When the orchid is ready to bloom again, it will throw out a new flower spike.
How to propagate home phalaenopsis?
When you realize that home care for orchids is pretty simple, then you may want to try to multiply your pets. Here, too, there is nothing difficult, but you need to be patient.
With careful examination of the peduncle, it is necessary to determine the presence of dormant buds. For her awakening need a temperature range of 24–29 degrees. A sharp object makes a semicircular incision in the area of the base of the scales of the kidney and it is removed using tweezers. A bare bud is treated with cytokine paste and covered with a piece of sphagnum.
In 4–6 weeks one or several cubs can be observed on the plant with two or three tiny leaves. The number of babies depends on how many kidneys you have processed. But it should be remembered that on one plant it is not necessary to process more than one, since it can give all its power to the children, and perish itself.
At the end of 3-4 months, the cubs appear first roots. As soon as they get stronger and reach a length of at least two centimeters, cut a young orchid with a piece of maternal and transplant into a separate pot. Roots must be covered with moss to protect from drying out. If in the room where the young flower will grow, the air humidity is insufficient, you can make a greenhouse from a plastic bag. Further care is the same as for the rest of the phalaenopsis.
Another condition that provides decent care is the right fertilizer, because it is important.
- In order for the plant to easily release new leaves - it is necessary to use complex fertilizers, with a greater proportion of nitrogen in them. But you should know the measure, so as not to overdo it, because the massive growth of leaves prevents flowering. To correct this mistake, feed should be stopped.
- And there are enough leaves. Now you can spur phalaenopsis to bloom, feeding it with fertilizer with a greater content of potassium and phosphorus than nitrogen. Pour the mixture should be up to the moment, until the flowering process begins.
- For phalaenopsis orchids often use ready-made liquid feedings, therefore the need for their independent preparation disappears.
- In summer, plants should be fertilized on average twice a month, and in winter once.
The Phalaenopsis Orchid is the most common home-grown species. It requires quite complex care. But with all the rules of cultivation, it can bloom up to 6 months a year. Careful care is needed for leaves, roots and flower stalks. For cultivation you will need a special substrate consisting of bark and moss. But even a plant that has ceased to bloom or is damaged by improper care can be saved.