PHALAENOPSIS CARE INSTRUCTION
PHALAENOPSIS, the MOTH ORCHID, is one of the best orchids for growing in the home, and is also a favorite with greenhouse growers. Culture for DORITIS, a related genus, and DORITAENOPSIS, a hybrid between the two, is the same as for pure PHALAENOPSIS.
TEMPERATURES for PHALS should be above 60 degrees at night, and range between 75 and 85 degrees during the day. Higher temperatures force vegetative growth but must be accompanied by higher humidity and higher air movement. Maximum is 95 degrees! To initiate flowering in the fall night temperature must be reduced to 55 degrees for 3-4 weeks!
LIGHT is easy to provide for PHALS. They like to grow in a bright window with a minimum of direct sun. An east window is ideal in the home, or semi-shaded south of west window are acceptable. In dull, northern winter climates, a fall southern exposure may be needed. Artificial lights are excellent! Usually four fluorescent tubes (in 1 fixture) are placed 6012 inches over the leaves, for 12 to 16 hours per day following the natural day length. In a greenhouse, heavy shade must be provided to prevent sunburn! 1,000 to 1,500 foot-candles is optimum. WATER is especially critical for PHALS growing hydroponically. Because they have no major water storage organs (other than their leaves). THEY MUST NEVER COMPLETELY DRY OUT! Another area affected by water content is the roots. If the Sphagnum mediums they are growing in become too dry, the fertilizer content increases proportionately to the reduced water content and the resultant high saturation level will burn the roots and can off food to the plant. Water your plant thoroughly every week. In the morning (this allows the leaves to dry off before night time) using the best available pure water (rain, reverse osmosis, distilled, bottled water or at worst…low TDS tap water) and use lukewarm water running it through the pot thoroughly. HUMIDITY at 50-90% is very important to PHALS! In your home, set the plant on a gravel tray, partially filled with water, but DO NOT SIT THE PLANT IN THE WATER! Grouping plants together raises the humidity by conserving the water plants transpire. In high humidity areas (greenhouses) it is imperative that humid air is always moving (fans) to prevent disease.
DENDROBIUM CARE INSTRUCTION
Water once a week, or right before planting material dries completely. BE CAREFUL: do not over water, and make sure to drain thoroughly after watering.
Keep Orchid in a bright area with good light, but NOT in direct sunlight. Dendrobium Orchids like it cooler at night, and warmer during the day (18-25 °C)
Once flowers have all shed, continue the above instructions for roughly 8-10 months, then shock your plant with cooler temperatures and half of usual watering. Any environment below 12 °C is great as long as it doesn’t freeze. After one month, bring it back to its regular area and back to the regular growing process and blooms will come.
It’s always best to allow the plant to finish blooming first, and then letting it rest for 4-8 weeks prior to repotting. We plant most of our Orchids in Sphagnum Moss because it’s better at holding water, therefore also easier to control the moistness of the plant. Nevertheless, Bark also has its own benefits, like allowing your Orchid to breathe better. It is also more beneficial for Orchids that like less water.
Firstly, you will need to soak the amount of Moss or Bark needed for the repotting process.
When the planting media is ready, remove the plant from its previous pot, and discard all old material, we will be using new material ONLY! You will also want to cut off any dead and rotten roots, leaving only turgid, solid white or green tipped roots. Gently rinse the bare roots with room temperature water (not the leaves), then thoroughly sanitize or replace the existing pot. If you are upsizing the pot, make sure to ONLY go one size larger. Therefore, if you are currently using a 5” pot, and see that there is not enough room for all the new roots, then you can use a 6” pot. Orchids like a tight environment.
Now we can begin using the new planting material, but remember, if you are using moss, squeeze out the water, leaving it not wet, but simply moist.
Put some at the bottom of the pot first, and then gently apply the planting material in between and around the roots. When you think you have used enough so that the plant will fit snuggly into the pot, then slowly pack the plant and its material into the pot. Make sure it is tight enough that the plant is immobile inside the pot, but not too tight that it is difficult to even fit the plant into the pot. Once completed, you will not need to water the plant for this watering cycle as the plant material should already be moist at this point.
In addition, do not fertilize during the next two weeks after repotting. Allow your plant to get used to its new environment first.
Remember, it is crucial that all your orchids are repotted at least every 1.5 years to 2 years. This is about when the material it is sitting in will start to rot and mold. When this starts to occur, diseases will begin and start deteriorating your plant.