Archives for posts with tag: Phalaenopsis Growing for beginners

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As you can see from the picture there is a total of seven flowers now and they are on just two plants. The oldest plant has already sent out a new flower spike, a few are about to lose leaves and the slow-growing ‘twin’ does not seem to be thriving, although I have not given up yet.

The third really large plant which I received from a neighbour, (on the right of the sink) still has two flowers, when they have gone I will re-pot the plant in a slightly larger pot.

Apart from this I will continue the same regime as always with a slight difference,- I may immerse the suffering ‘twin’ in a container of rainwater for half an hourĀ  once a week, on a Wednesday, between my usual Saturday water and feed.

 

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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.

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I have been growing phalaenopsis orchids for around ten years now and the one shown above is a mature plant of the variety ‘Flare Spots’.
This plant had a keiki (plantlet) which I removed and repotted and is now flowering itself.
I have seven orchid plants which flower almost continuously, though they are in a regeneration mode at the moment, and although many have flower spikes only three are in flower at the moment.
I thought it would be useful to go over my growth conditions once again for those who are new to my blog, and especially for beginners.
At the present time the orchids are grown in a shower room which gives it some humidity and also the preferred filtered light, provided by the obscured glass windows.
For most of the time I just enjoy the beauty of the plants but once a week I do my orchid care regime as follows:-
1. The day before I fill a plant waterer with rainwater from the butt, in order to let it equilibrate to room temperature.
2. On regime day I pour some rainwater through the orchid roots inside the pot to wash them.
3. I spray the aerial roots with more rainwater at room temperature. (Do not cut off the aerial roots).

4. I mix the remaining rainwater well (about 500 mls) with 8 drops of orchid food.
5. I give each of the orchids some of this liquid feed.
6. I feed the leaves with an orchid leaf spray.
7. Using secateurs (sterilised with boiling water) I cut off any dead leaves or dead stems.

This regime takes between 20 minutes and half and hour per week for seven plants and produces pretty good orchids.