Archives for posts with tag: growing indoor plants


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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I thought it may be a good idea to reiterate some earlier stuff on orchid growing as I believe that many beginners think that orchids grow in a similar way to other house plants, this is a misconception and will undoubtedly lead to problems growing these unusual plants.
The first picture shows a phalaenopsis orchid growing in its natural habitat and the second growing in my bathroom. Aerial roots can clearly be seen on the first photograph where the orchid is growing on a tree branch in the tropical biosphere at The Eden Project.

My orchid is growing in a bark medium which simulates the bark of the tree, which they grow on in the wild. On the right of picture 2 is a flower spike in bud and on the left a keiki or plantlet with its own flower spike. Eventually this plantlet will grow aerial roots and become a separate plant.

Orchids are parasitic and derive some of their water and nutrients from the host plant, which is why you need to simulate these conditions carefully in order to grow them successfully.

IMG_2012
It is the 29th of August 2015 and the orchids seem to be growing quite well.
The pink one which is over eight years old is still growing new flowers on the old stems.
The other large spotted orchid which is called ‘Flare Spots’,
still has two flowers on the old spike and now has a new spike which will eventually have at least ten new flowers.
The twin plants now have developing flower spikes too, and the single miniature is losing its flowers with just one left.
The keiki from ‘Flare Spots’ now has a better root system, but the flower spike seems to be’holding back’ and not showing any new growth, possibly still developing roots.
I still feel that my growth conditions seem close to optimum for these species.

Old Stem

Old Stem


There were surprise changes this month when the two flowers on the old stem of the spotted orchid, started to show signs of dying back. Within a week they were gone.
Here is when I do prune back, as you can see I have taken off the flowering part which is now light brown and woody, and if the remainder of the stem dies back in the same way I will prune that back too. The other new stem has eight flowers on its flower head, three of which are brand new this month.
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The new miniature orchid seems to be growing alright in the same conditions as the other two.

Mini Phal

Mini Phal

The first orchid (pinky mauve) is still growing very strongly and has not lost any flowers as yet.
I have found it helps to wet the aerial roots on all of them, or mist them from time to time too, and only cut off the dead, withered ones.

My strict rule of thumb is : only remove if it is dead!


Original Phal

Original Phal