Orchid Care: How to Maintain Your Phalaenopsis Orchids While in Bloom

Orchid Care: How to Maintain Your Phalaenopsis Orchids While in Bloom

Phalaenopsis orchids are amazing. They have that kind of beauty that undeniably stands out among other blooms in a floral arrangement and that effortlessly captures your heart straight away when it’s the sole focus of an orchid arrangement.

Also fondly called the moth orchids, there are more or less 60 unique species of Phalaenopsis orchids native to Southeast Asia. They can be found in their natural habitat in the wild forests in the Philippines and the mountains of Himalayas.

At one point, Phalaenopsis orchids were hailed as America’s favorite orchids, according to a survey by the American Orchid Society.

Caring for Your Blooming Orchid Plant

Butterscotch Baby

As with all types of orchids, the flowers are everything.

Phalaenopsis orchid plants can bloom anywhere from a modest two to three flowers to a jaw-dropping 100. There are hundreds of Phalaenopsis orchid hybrids boasting of a rainbow of different colors and hues and intricate variegations.

When you get an orchid plant, it’s probably already blooming, and you’d do everything to just to make those blooms last longer or see them again soon, right?

Likewise, if you’re a budding orchid grower, seeing your Phalaenopsis baby rebloom is such an important achievement that’ll surely make your orchid-loving heart burst with pride. It’s as if the universe is telling you that you’re finally getting it right.

But caring for your phals doesn’t stop once they bloom. Orchids are known for having long lives, for the staying power of their flowers, and for the ability to flower many times in a year. You’d like to tick all that for your orchid plant?

Follow these practical orchid care tips while your Phalaenopsis orchids are blooming.

  • Make sure you keep these orchids away from harsh sunlight exposure and sources of heat.
    Phalaenopsis orchids are low-light kind of orchids and will burn in a snap when exposed to intense heat, for instance, in scorching hot south- or west-facing windowsill in summer.
  • Water your Phalaenopsis orchid in the morning.
    Watering early in the morning gives it ample amount of time to dry during the day and prevent it from sitting in water, which causes root rot. How often you should water your orchid actually depends on what kind of potting material it comes with. Orchids planted on a bark are content with a once-a-week watering schedule, while those nestled in moss can do well without water longer. This is because bark holds less water compared to moss.
  • Be careful not to wet the flowers of your Phalaenopsis orchids if you’re watering it in the sink.
    The water pressure from the faucet may damage the orchid flowers. Seasoned orchid growers recommend mimicking the rainforest environment where most orchid plants are from. Most of them swear by misting the flowers and the leaves in the morning once or twice a week, which is also a sensible way to optimize humidity during the dry season.
  • Feed your blooming orchid weekly, weakly with a balanced but urea-free orchid fertilizer.
    Choosing a high-quality urea-free plant food for your orchid is vital, because it delivers the essential nutrients immediately, as opposed to urea-based orchid fertilizers that can take as long as up to a year to be broken down and become ready for your orchid plant’s use.
  • Stop moving your blooming Phalaenopsis orchid from one spot to another.
    Doing so can cause a change in room temperature and can stress your orchid plant.

Also read: How to Maintain Your Orchids Indoors

What to Do When the Flowers of Your Orchids Fall

Santa Monica Orchids 

As mentioned, the best thing about Phalaenopsis orchids is they can bloom once or twice a year, with flowers that last anywhere from 60 to 120 days. Don’t be sad when the flowers start falling off your phals. It’s definitely not the end.

After the last flower has fallen off your orchid plant, orchid experts recommend cutting the spike or the stem back to the second or third node. Yes, you also have the option to leave it alone and it’ll be just fine. However, cutting the stems will trigger the orchid plant to sprout a brand-new flower spike.

On the other hand, if your orchid plant is not in tip-top shape, which can be indicated by yellowing leaves or shrunken stem, you can cut all the way to the base of the plant.

There’s no way an unhealthy stem would bloom again. But with cutting it off and following basic orchid care techniques, all the orchid Phalaenopsis orchid plant’s energy will be diverted to growing fresh, healthy roots and will boost the likelihood of reblooming.

Apr 05, 2020

What do I do with all the Air roots out on the stem with the blooms.

N Beth Brown
May 27, 2019

Hello Valerie. Ideally, it is better to wait for your orchid plant to finish its blooming phase before repotting. This way, you don’t risk damaging the roots or the flowers and lower the likelihood of your orchids reblooming. When it has finished blooming, the flowers will naturally wilt and fall off. You can do either way, cut or wait for the browned flowers to fall off. Some plant expert says that cutting off such parts will actually save on plant energy.

Orchid Republic
May 27, 2019

Two questions, do I have to wait until it stops blooming before repotting? I have two dead flowers on my plant, can I remove them or do I have to wait until they fall off.

Valerie Trowe

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