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Tips and Instructions for Growing Phalaenopsis Orchids

Aug 17, 2007
Actually, there are a few kinds of flowers that have been developed from tissue culture methods, but in just small quantities. Phalaenopsis orchids were considered the brand new variety which have grown in the country. There is slighly low air movement in my old greenhouse, that's why I decided to move to the new one. I think air movement in my new greenhouse is OK and all my plants are seperated by individual wood-pots as they gradually grow bigger and bigger since transfering from the flask.

You know all the root of infected plants are healthy and it seems the root is not affected, just the leaf. The leaf starts to core in round shape with seem like water inside. One thing I really suspect is rain-water, cause we're now in raining season while the new greenhouse is not covered by plastic that allows rain-water to go down directly and deeply into it.

Yes, growing them in an environment in which they get rained upon frequently can be a major contributor to the problems you are experiencing. If putting a roof on your growing area is not possible at this time, you might try tilting the orchids to one side about 30 degrees, this will allow rain water to flow off the leaves. This, along with better air movement, may help minimize or reduce the problem.

I received a Phalaenopsis orchid as a gift, at the time it was in full bloom and remained so for months. Once it finished blooming, I cut the spike, after referring to many sites for advice. Unfortunately, I think I misunderstood, as I cut the spike so that it was a total length of 2 inches. Since then the spike has died and remains a dried out stick. I water and fertilize it as recommended but I am concerned that it will never flower again, as I killed the spike.

You did nothing wrong by cutting off the spike, that is what I usually suggest people do after all the flowers are gone. Actually, cutting off the spike helps the phalaenopsis recover quicker from the blooming process and begin getting ready for the next blooming. The little stump left died back naturally and causes no harm to the phalaenopsis plant itself, but if it bothers you to see the dried out stick you can cut it shorter.

How to get it to bloom again? Grow it where there is bright but indirect sunlight, temperatures between 60 to 85 F, humidity above 50%, light air movement, water and feed when the potting media becomes barely moist. In early to mid fall, expose it to night temperatures of about 55 F with day temps. above 65, this may coax it to initiate the bloom cycle.

Also, at the same time, do not feed it fertilizer but mix one teaspoon of epsom salt in a quart of lukewarm water and water it. Feed it the epsom salt mix for three watering cycles then go back to your usual feeding.

It has been over a year since you received it and there is no telling how long it had been in the current potting mix before that, so I would suggest repotting it into fresh orchid mix. Phalaenopsis are one of the orchids that love to be repotted annually and the best time to repot them is early spring. If all goes well, you should see a spike emerge in early winter. As it grows longer and longer, you can place a support stake close to the spike and loosely tie the spike to it about every 6 inches or so.

Do any handling of the spike only while temperatures are above 65F as the spike is not very flexible below that. Until all of the buds open, make sure you keep the spike facing the light in the same way, do not rotate the pot around or the flowers will open facing all different directions.

When I bought my lovely phalenopsis orchids they were in plastic pots inside clay, and potted with what looks like sphagnum moss. I was told to submerge each plant in a light fertilized solution for no more than 5 minutes each week. They are all doing well, one has been blooming since November and right now has 10 flowers and four more buds, all have new leaves, one has a not very promising, but still-green stem, one's stem browned off and I removed it, and one has a keiki!

I would recommend waiting to repot the phalaenopsis until after the blooms all fall off. Until then, keep a watchful eye on the sphagnum moss and the leaves. Moss breaks down fairly quickly and when it does it compacts around the roots, keeping the roots wet too long which can lead to the roots rotting. If the leaves begin to wilt and/or shrivel, that would indicate you need to repot as soon as possible because the roots are rotting.

Remove the flower stem, place it in a bud vase then repot. Personally, I will repot any orchid in moss as soon as I get it home but doing this is not easy and may result in damage to the flowers. Normally it takes me less than 5 minutes to repot a Phalaenopsis but upwards of 10 to 15 minutes for one in bloom.

Most new stems will be all green or reddish green while roots will be grey or whitish-grey with a green tip. If it was a new root under the clip and you damaged the green growth tip, that could be why it is not growing longer. Leave it alone for now, it may sprout new roots growing off the side of it.
Phalaenopsis are best grown indoors but if the temperatures are above 55F you can place them in your screened porch in bright but indirect sunlight. Keep in mind that the potting media may dry out sooner there.

As for the keiki, leave it on the stem until it has two or more roots over 2 inches long, remove it and put it in its own little pot. Try to use the smallest size pot that will just barely contain the roots. It is better to have to repot into the next size larger pot next year than to take the chance of too large a pot and ending up with rotten roots.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.SendFlowers4.info/. SendFlowers4.info is a great place to shop for flowers, gift baskets, and plants when you are looking for a special gift. Start here to search by "Special Occasion": http://www.SendFlowers4.info/category/occasions.html.
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