The Phalaenopsis are incredibly low maintenance plants if you work with their natural rhythms to find the right position in your interior space.
These beautiful little battlers of the tropics just need a seasonal holiday to look their best after a hard year at work. Not usually fans of air-conditioned offices, these Moth Orchids like to nest at home in a warm spot near a window. Why? Learn how to get your orchid to re-flower below.
Light Requirements: Bright Indirect Light is essential for blooms and growth.
Moisture & Soil Requirements: Water regularly in summer, allowing excess to drain away entirely.
Reduce watering frequency in autumn-winter and increase in spring-summer. A rough monthly guide is to 2-4 times in winter, gradually increasing to 4-8 times in spring-summer. However, each location will require its own nuanced watering schedule. Can survive going dry. This plant stores water in leaves and roots so does not respond well to too much water - in particular when the leaves are left with moisture on them. Pat dry your Phaelanopsis leaves to minimise risk of fungal or bacterial infections.
Growth & Nutrients: Epiphytic (grows on other plants) in nature and has a root system that seeks out surfaces to cling to but prefers a cosy small plastic container. Suits apartments or homes of any size. Feed with a specialist liquid orchid fertiliser at the start of spring each year to late summer when growth slows down.
Temperature, Humidity & Ambient requirements: Prefers warm environments inside and adaptable for nearly any situation, tolerates a range of humidity levels. Keep above 15C.
Toxicity: Non-toxic to pets and people.
Phaelanopsis Orchid Flowering:
Think of your orchid like an elite athlete; they perform well at their peak during the season but need an offseason to recover then work towards next season.
Making a mega flower spike is a massive effort for these little guys so your orchid must go through a selection of seasonal changes in order to replicate the tropical dry & wet seasons of their natural habitat. You can artificially lower the temperature for a fortnight to trigger a flower or you can let nature take its course and let your house create this change. Once this cycle is replicated, it should trigger flower spikes to grow in spring & summer in homes in temperate regions.
Room selection and placement proximity to a window is key. Choose a room to overwinter your Moth Orchid where it won't get as much artificial heat as other rooms in your house during winter. A bathroom, laundry or spare bedroom is a good place to let the seasons impact your Phaelanopsis. Place your orchid within a metre of a window in this room so it experiences bright indirect light as well as natural temperature from the transferral of heat through the glass window. Ensure no harsh direct sunlight reaches it and keep it above 15 degrees Celcius.
If you have the right winter position, you just need to adjust your watering frequency and fertilising now that the temperature and light changes will happen naturally. Reduce watering frequency in autumn-winter and increase in spring-summer. A rough monthly guide is to 2-4 times in winter, gradually increasing to 4-8 times in spring-summer. However, each location will require its own nuanced watering schedule. If your winter position does not produce a flower spike by December, or you want to trigger it earlier, move to a warm and bright position elsewhere in your house. Add dilute liquid orchid fertiliser to your watering as directed on the bottle and ensure all excess water drains away from the roots every time.
Your plant is more likely to flower when the roots are constrained in a small container and the flower spikes appear at the junction between leaves. They are easily distinguished from new roots by their green segments and sharper appearance. Keep your plant in the same position until your flowers are open
Once your flower is finished after 1-3 months, cut the spike as high up as you can so that there are no smaller flower stems, just the main spike with a few nodes present below the cut. You have a good chance of a second or third flower spike emerging from these nodes, and flowering in the same season, once the original flowering section has been removed.
Plant Size Guide
The plant in the photos is an example and an approximate guide only however we try to show small examples so you get a pleasant surprise. Sizes, flowering state and colours change throughout the seasons and variation will occur.
Plant Heights - because the plant's foliage must fit inside our Plant Cartons, the actual height of a plant's central trunk (meristem) will be shorter than the box it fits in.
Small Plants - 14cm wide nursery pot - 1 Litre volume - Plants fit in a 50cm tall box.
Medium Plants - 17cm wide pots either 2L hanging pot or 2.5L nursery pot - Plants fit in a 75cm tall box.
Large Plants - 25cm wide pot, 10L volume. Plants fit in a 100cm tall box.
XL Plants - Plants over 100cm tall in pot sizes specified, 25cm/10L or greater and are hand delivered within Auckland/Northland only.
Plant courier orders are processed Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.
North Island orders are targeted overnight delivery, South Island orders are sent on a 2-day target but these are not a guaranteed delivery timeframe.
Add 1 extra day after a public holiday as well as for rural addresses or remote towns.
Monday - We send orders placed on previous Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.
Tuesday - We send Weekend orders from previous Saturday & Sunday.
Wednesday - We send orders placed from Monday & Tuesday.
XL Plants are delivered only within urban Auckland & Whangarei and this service is for non-urgent orders. This excludes satellite destinations such as Beachlands, Pukekohe, Piha, Helensville etc and Whangarei Heads. We may deliver at any time Sunday, Monday, Wednesday or Thursday in Auckland and you need to have a sheltered accessible position for us to deliver to.
Plants in Transit
Each Small, Medium & Large plant is individually contained within its own protective cardboard Plant Carton which may be joined to other cartons in your order.
Plants typically take just a day or two to arrive, however they are usually fine in their cartons for 1-2 weeks, and many can go longer, so a few extra days are not usually cause for concern.
Whether it takes 1 or 7 days, let your plant recover from its journey by placing in gentle light and adding a little water and it will be back to its best within a couple of days. Let us know if there are any major issues via the contact page.