Archives for category: A Beginners guide to Growing Phalaenopsis Orchids (phals).


My eight orchid plants range in age from the rather resplendent pink one which at the moment sports 28 blooms, to keikis only developed this year.
2 are flowering, 2 are without flower spikes and the remaining four have one or two developing spikes.
I have not changed my growth regime at all since I found the best way of growing phalaenopsis orchids in this location, several years ago, nor have I changed the position or room in which they grow.
The only one that has had a set-back is one of the ‘twin’ plants whose leaves became stressed, striated and pale after a re-pot. It is now undergoing change, the leaves are becoming darker, the striations are going and it is looking more like a typical phalaenopsis leaf.
It did not need any special treatment, just a little more time and patience to do its thing

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It is already early November and the majority of  my orchids are either flowering or have well-developed flower spikes. The exceptions are the twins which have been slow to grow since their last re-potting and also the keikis from the ‘Flare Spots’ orchid and the other phal miniature which is now producing another keiki (shown in first picture). The second picture is of the previous keiki produced by this orchid earlier (no flower as yet).

Almost into September… where on earth has the year gone?

My miniatures are not flowering and the twins are looking slightly poorly. The keiki from the other miniature is thriving…slowly and has a new leaf.

The old plant (photo on left) has a profusion of new flowers despite just having lost the old ones.

The Flare Spots is still flowering as shown along with the pink – veined one (also shown).

All the rest have healthy new flower spikes and will soon be in bloom again!

For all those new to growing phals  (phalaenopsis orchids) all my plants are several years old – the oldest being well over ten years.

Look to previous blogs for growing conditions.

It is August and I have removed the keiki from the single miniature phal and put it in another pot. I am conscious of the fact that I may have done this too early as the leaves have become striated and leathery, however there is a new leaf which looks ok, – only time will tell whether it worked. The two re-potted ‘twins’ are still growing although the one that hasn’t flowered for some time has striated, pale leaves, it remains to be seen whether or not this one will survive, I could do some surgery on its roots but I have decided to leave it for a while to allow it to recover from re-potting. The other twin is surviving well and growing healthy looking foliage. The large pink orchid now has a new flower spike (shown) and its first flower (centre of lower three pictures) is a much deeper colour, in fact it was deep red dusted with gold when it first came out. This plant has just lost its last flower from its previous flower spike. The ‘Flare Spots’ (on the left) is still in bloom and its detached keiki has lost all its flowers now as has the single miniature.

The newest plant (on the right) has two new flowers on one of its two spikes, – many of the old blooms are still there, – they have been there for between five and six months and look distinctly faded compared to the new ones. That plant is exceptional and apart from growing slightly has not changed since I got it several years ago, it has not lost a single leaf or even a single leaf turned yellow, it has healthy green roots and has had many flower spikes full of flowers.

 

 


The ‘twin’ miniature phals have been looking a bit tired in recent months, and only one of them has flowered this year, so I thought it was worth re-potting them with fresh bark medium, in larger pots.
Already one of them has a new healthy green leaf and I’m hoping that this strategy will save them. I have also dispensed with the outer ceramic pots and left them just with the clear plastic inner pots, to get maximum light to the roots in this transitional phase.
The other miniature phal with a well-developed keiki has now got three roots and when they are slightly longer it will be time for me to give the plantlet a life of its own by cutting it free and planting it in a new pot.
The other orchids are still flowering and producing healthy foliage, the oldest (pink) will be ten years old next year and has both old flowers and a new flower spike too, at present.
It will soon be time to repot this one, after it has finished flowering this time and it will be necessary to use a nine inch pot, quite a bit of growth and several re-pottings since my wife bought it for me.

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I have noticed quite a useful fact over the last few years of growing phalaenopsis orchids concerning aerial roots. Whilst these roots are very necessary when the plants are growing from tree limbs in the wild, in the home environment they do not seem to be that useful.
My plants that had aerial roots still have them however and I mist the roots with rainwater once a week.
Plants that did not have aerial roots to start with have never grown them under my growth conditions and the keiki that I removed and is now a mature plant does not have any aerial roots. Nor does the second keiki which is still attached to its parent plant and is flowering at the moment, as is its parent.


Most of the orchids now have a profusion of flowers. The ones not flowering as yet still look healthy, but some will soon need re-potting.
I know many find this task somewhat daunting, but with a little care it can be achieved without too much of a problem.
Choose a clear pot one size larger, and fill to approx one third with ‘bark mixture’ growth medium.
Carefully remove the plant from its old pot and remove all the old bark mix, cut out any roots which are not a healthy green colour. Place the plant in its new pot resting on the bark medium and carefully fill the remainder of the pot with the same, taking care not to damage the roots and making sure that all the spaces are filled. Flush the new pot through with rainwater (or clean tap water) and finally feed and water and mist the leaves.
The newly potted plant should look like this picture.
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