ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Phalaenopsis Orchid Care

Updated on October 20, 2013

Some of the Various Phalaenopsis Colors

The Poor Put Upon Phalaenopsis

The Phalaenopsis orchid with it's exotic looks and wide variety of colors, patterns, and even bloom size is a staple of interior blooming plant d├ęcor. It is known by interior plant professionals as an easy care long lasting indoor blooming accent, and a top choice. It is widely used as a focal piece in table top displays. It is used in arrangements or presented on it's own, either way the results can be stunning. If properly cared for a Phal can bloom for approximately 6-8 weeks and some have been known to go longer than that.

For someone who understands and works with the Phalaenopsis on a regular basis, commonly called a Phal, it is almost hurtful to hear the oh so common inquiry, "Oh! orchid's those are really hard to care for, right?" There is a very common misconception that this plant is high maintenance, and that is simply not true...

Surely if it is treated like unto any other terrestrial houseplant the results will most likely be unfavorable, but if you know what your dealing with you'll find the Phal to be quite simple to care for.

Orchid Watering

The understanding of how a Phal uses and collects water in it's natural habitat is key to providing proper care for this plant.

Phalaenopsis is categorized as an Epiphyte, this means it grows on other host plants, and is not directly rooted in the soil. In it's natural habitat a Phal often grows on the bark of trees, the water it collects is from rainwater and humidity only. Phalaenopsis roots are termed air roots as they naturally are designed to be exposed to the air. Keeping all this in mind about the Phal it is easy to conclude that it does not want to be in standing water, and will not be capable of utilizing water the same way terrestrial plants (plants with roots under the soil) do. If it is watered like most other house plants that grow in soil, it's roots will rot, buds will abort and, foliage will drop away.

The easiest way to water a Phal is to lightly shower it's roots with water, and allow all the water to drain away completely. In many cases this method works fine, but orchids are often sold as arrangements, it can be quite a chore to disassemble and arrangement and put it back together successfully, so there is an alternative method of watering in these cases. If you have an arranged orchid take a sponge soaked with water and lightly drip all of the water out of the sponge in a 2" radius around the primary orchid stem. In most environments about 2 sponges worth of water once a week works wonderfully.

Natural Habitat of Phalaenopsis Southeast Asia

Blooms

Phalaenopsis produce one of the longest lasting blooms of the common interior orchids. these blooms should last up to about 6 weeks with proper care, and depending on how far into bloom they are when they are purchased. The more tightly budded they are when purchased the longer they will last.

Phals are known on occasion to "abort buds" (the buds fall off before opening) from the end of the stem. It is natural to have on occasion a couple of the end buds abort. In shipping and transport the plant has been traumatized and placed into a new environment in which it may sense that it will not be able to support the little buds at the end. If there is a massive drop of all or most of the buds, it may be that the Orchid was exposed to too extreme of temperatures or dryness somewhere in transit. Make sure never to leave your plant sitting in a hot or cold vehicle. Try to get it from the store to its new home as quickly as possible, and when placing it moderate light and temperature conditions are ideal.

One of the most frequently asked questions about a Phal pertains to getting it to re-bloom. In most interior settings this can be difficult, but if the plant has moderate light available it is not impossible if you are a patient person. Many orchids sold in nurseries are not mature enough to reproduce blooms in sub standard environments like our homes and offices so they must be grown to maturity to attempt another round of blooms. The video link below has some very simple and helpful information on this topic if repeat blooms are your interest. If you just like the look and don't wish to wait for new blooms to be produced plan on purchasing a new orchid every couple of months.

Re-blooming

Summary

For household or office displays Phal are an easy choice. Aside from making sure it is well cared for in transport, handled mindfully so as not to snap it's stem, and attention is paid when watering, Phalaenopsis don't require much else.

Now you tell me, "Are those orchids difficult to care for?"

I'll bet not now that you know what your dealing with.


Questions & Comments Welcome!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • thoughthole profile imageAUTHOR

      thoughthole 

      6 years ago from Utah

      Great idea with the silk to tide you over in between blooms COAS. I have seen some very convincing silk Orchid's. I agree that the exotic nature may incite some assumptions, also many believe that a plant, is a plant, is a plant. The one size fits all approach is sure to cause some difficulties with many plants, Phalaenopsis are no exception.Understanding that plants are dynamic individual's, and knowing more about what their individual needs are makes all the difference.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Good hub! When a flower is exotic, I guess people assume it's difficult to care for. While waiting for a new bloom, I often clip a simple silk orchid flower stem to my green plant. It keeps me from getting impatient. Thanks for the helpful info!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)