Phalaenopsis Orchid Care
February 01, 2024

Phalaenopsis Orchid Care

Best conditions for Phalaenopsis orchids

Phalaenopsis orchids originate in the tropical rainforests of New Guinea, Asia and northern Queensland and thrive in humid environments. Our Phalaenopsis orchids are locally-grown, so they are already acclimated to our Brisbane climate.

Make sure you place your orchid somewhere with filtered sunlight – or artificial light, if needed – and ideally in a spot where the air isn’t too dry (orchids make great additions to light and bright bathrooms).

Don’t overwater your orchid

The most common mistake made with Phalaenopsis orchids is overwatering. As these plants don’t grow in soil, they only catch whatever rain falls on them. Too much water can lead to root rot, so it’s essential that your orchid has good drainage. Watering only a tiny amount (an ice cube’s worth) every week to ten days is usually enough. If you’re not sure if it’s time to water it, stick your finger in the soil. If the soil feels wet and sticks to your finger, then wait a few more days. Otherwise, it’s time to water.

When to prune your orchid

Growing blooms takes a lot of energy, so when the flowers die, giving your orchid a prune can help it conserve energy so that it can grow back and flower again. If just the tip of the ‘spike’ (the long stem that the flowers and buds grow from) has started to go brown, then you could cut the spike about 2cm above the highest node (the nobbly bits on the spike) in hopes of the spike growing a second branch. This method may result give you new flowers more quickly, though they are likely to be a little smaller than before.

However, if the spike has gone completely brown, cut it all the way down to the base. It will take longer to reflower, but your plant will look more lush. If your orchid is looking a bit lifeless, it might also be worth trimming the spike back so that the plant can direct more energy on growing new leaves and roots.

How to make an orchid stem grow straight

Orchids are phototropic, so they grow towards sunlight. Placing an artificial light source directly above your orchid will encourage it to grow straight, though that may not always be practical. The best way to control the direction your orchid grows is to stake it. Once the spike has grown about 5cm, gently, but firmly, place a stake next to it, then attach the spike to the stake with an orchid clip or twist tie, adding more clips as the spike grows until just before the part where it starts flowering. It’s important to start staking when the spike is still young and flexible. Once the spike hardens, attempting to stake it could cause it to snap.

Repotting your orchid

Younger plants benefit from repotting to give them more room to grow. The best time to repot your orchid is after the blooms have finished and you’ve pruned out the spike. Use a pot that allows for air and drainage and that you use a specialty orchid potting mix. You might also like to use a humidity tray to keep your flowering friend happy.

Three simple rules for caring for phalaenopsis orchids

Caring for Phalaenopsis orchids comes down to three things:

  • Place them moderate sunlight
  • Go easy on the watering
  • Prune them back after they've finished flowering.