FAQ: Phalaenopsis Orchid

Care of Orchids

Exotic flowering habits...

Phalaenopsis or moth orchids are one of the easiest orchids to grow indoors. The flowers bloom in many colors and patterns, including white. The delicate blooms attach to thin, green stems and float above medium-green, paddle-shaped leaves. Most people purchase orchid plants when they are in bud or are already flowering. In optimum conditions, Phalaenopsis orchids can bloom for up to two to three months.

1. What type of light is best?
    Phalaenopsis thrive in bright, filtered light. For best results, place the orchid in an east or west window. Filtered light is ideal because direct sunlight can quickly burn the soft foliage. 

2. Why are the leaves turning yellow?
    Extremes in the appearance of the foliage (too yellow and hard or dark green or soft) are good clues when determining the best location for the orchid. Healthy leaves should be a medium green color. The most common cause for orchid leaves turning yellow is overwatering, followed by excessive light exposure.

3. What indoor temperature is best?
    Phalaenopsis prefer a day temperature of 80-85 degrees and 60-65 degrees at night.

4. How often should you water a Phalaenopsis orchid?
    Generally, it's best to water your orchid every 7 - 10 days... depending on the type of potting mixture. Pine bark mixes dry out sooner than potting mixes made up of only sphagnum moss. Also, the amount of air circulation and the humidity level also affect how often you need to water the plant. Phalaenopsis prefer to be kept on the moist side. However, don't allow them to become completely dry or sit in water for any length of time. Water this plant early in the day so the foliage will dry by nighttime.

5. How do I get the plant to bloom again?
    After the orchid finishes blooming, cut the stem above the node located below the first flower on the stem. A new stem with a spray of flowers may emerge from this node and flower in approximately three months after cutting. If you don't succeed at first, keep trying!