Phalaenopsis, also known as moth orchids, add color to any home or office. This elegant plant’s long stems, dainty wing-like flowers, and deep green foliage also make it the perfect gift. Phalaenopsis are low maintenance plants, so by following just a few simple rules, you can keep them flowering beautifully.
Caring for your orchids
- Do not overwater. Orchids like to be watered, but only when they are almost dried out. Wait until the soil feels dry and the pot feels light; otherwise you may risk overwatering and rotting the roots. On average, this means you should water your orchids around once a week.
- Keep the crown dry. The orchid’s crown – where new leaves emerge in its center – can also rot if it gets wet. If the crown does get wet, blot it with a paper towel or dry cloth.
- Keep warm, but out of direct sunlight.
- Orchids thrive in humid atmospheres; keep your plant away from air vents that can dry it out. To give your orchid the humidity it needs without turning your home into a greenhouse, stand the pot on a tray of pebbles and fill that tray with water. The pebbles prevent the roots from sitting in the water, but a humid zone for your orchid where it needs it most.
- Feed your orchid high-potassium liquid orchid food to encourage flowering, either every two weeks, or according to the instructions.
- To keep bugs away from your orchid, make some white oil at home. This isn’t poison, but it will suffocate the bugs and keep them away.
- Only trim an orchid root or stem if it is dry and you are certain it is dead. Otherwise trimming the roots and stems can harm the plant and introduce a potentially dangerous virus.
- When the flowers disappear, you can simply cut the step to encourage new flowers to grow.