The Phalaenopsis Orchid

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 38,710
    Orchid expert Mary Jo Lally describes the cultural requirements of the Phalaenopsis orchid.

    Mary Jo Lally

    Mary Jo Lally has been with American Plant Food Co. for 17 years and was the greenhouse manager for 7 years. The past 5 years Mary Jo has specialized in orchids and is responsible for purchasing, merchandising and care of orchids at both American Plant Food locations.
    She is a member of the National Capitol Orchid Society and regularly visits local growers and events to keep up with the latest in the world of orchids.

    The orchid that we are going to talk about is the Phalaenopsis orchid. This variety of orchid, the Phalaenopsis is the most popular orchid in the orchid market and there are many reasons for this; one reason is it is the orchid that blooms the longest. Phalaenopsis is capable of blooming anywhere from two to four months, sometimes longer. It also is the orchid that does the best in the average home. Its temperature requirements can go from 55 degrees to 95 degrees. If we are comfortable in the house, so is the orchid. It also has a variety that is just a -- it is a wonderful variety. All colors -- there are different textures; you can just see a few of them, what I have right here. Many of our customers now, rather than getting cut-flower arrangements or things like that. We will get a Phalaenopsis pot with moss and willow. They will use it instead of cut-flowers and it can go in your home. The Phalaenopsis is one of the most versatile orchids because ideally if it is grown in a northern or an eastern window, it is perfect. You just fit it in the window and that is it. You water it probably; if it is in moss, you want to water about every ten days to two weeks. If it is in barks then you pretty much traditionally water once a week. When you water, you want to take your orchid, you want to water it thoroughly, you want it to drain out of the bottom and you want to empty the saucer. There is a myth that orchids like to stay wet; they do not like to stay wet. Orchids like to dry down between watering. You have to remember that they are epiphytes and at their home range for most orchids; they grow in trees, so that they get a lot of water and then they dry down, so that with the Phalaenopsis, we just water it, let it drain out, set it down. It does not want any direct sun. Direct sun; because you look at the leaves here and it is like a philodendron leaf. If the direct sun like at southern window, if it were to hit this, that could very easily burn the leaves. Outside sun should never touch these leaves. It will burn, it could happen in the matter of minutes. But, for all of that this is the easiest orchid for us; for the average home owner and it is also, I think, one of the showiest orchids that we have. We use this sphagnum moss plant. We have plant several orchids together with moss and willow and these arrangements are capable of lasting up to two to three months and they can grow just in a bright light and they do very well; they just pretty much take care of themselves, they are all planted together. Now, for you those orchid purists amongst you, what we do recommend for people is that when the arrangement has finished blooming, that you take out your orchid; separate it, put a pot of its own and get it ready for reblooming. So, a pretty much what I have rousing things to say about the Phalaenopsis orchid and it is -- it has caught on nationwide and there are many different varieties and many different novelties and we here in America plant to, try our best to always bring you the latest variety, the most; the best novelties and the best condition of plants. On the next -- for next, I am going to bring you the Dendrobium orchid.