Phalaenopsis Orchid Care: How to Care for an Orchid Plant
Phalaenopsis, or moth orchids, are the most stylish and sophisticated plants you can grow in your home or office. They make fantastic houseplants, especially for beginners, and their fabulous blooms last for months on end – making orchids not only a popular Christmas flower gift, but a great gift for any occasion (Check our top plants gift list).
With many varieties, spectacular colors and exotic shapes, they’re a great choice to add beauty and style to any decor. Plus, indoor plants can have a calming effect. Orchids, in particular, help you relax and de-stress, improve your mood and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Plus, orchid care is so simple, they are easy to grow! (If you’re looking for other easy care varieties, check out our top picks for beginner plant parents!)
The hardest thing about orchids is choosing one. Pick an orchid in a single color such as purple, pink, or yellow for a pop of color. Or for a more captivating look, choose one with fun splashes of color.
How to Care for an Orchid Plant:
· Just the Right Light. Orchids like bright light, but not direct sun.
· No Drafts, Please. Avoid placing it in cold, drafty locations.
· Don’t Forget to Water. When watering, allow water to flow through drainage holes, making sure to drain excess water completely. This is best done in the sink. Water again only when soil is completely dry or the pot feels light. Learn more about watering your plants when you go out of town.
· Add Nutrients. Feed with a liquid fertilizer specifically for orchids to give your plant the nutrients it needs. Follow package instructions for how much and how often to feed. Remember to water your orchid before applying fertilizer since fertilizer can burn the exposed roots.
· Give it Time. Key for orchid care, once all flowers have withered, cut back the stem halfway. If the stem has turned brown or died, cut it back to the base of the plant.
· Repot if Needed. Generally, orchids need to be re-potted once a year. You’ll know it’s time when you see these signs: yellow foliage, lack of growth or dead or damaged roots, or the roots start growing over the edge of the pot. The best time to re-pot is just after flowering, or when new growth appears. Use a potting mix made for orchids for best results.
Indoor orchid care can be tricky but because they’re so adaptable, orchids can grow in just about any spot that gets indirect light, including on your desk at work or school, and in your home. They look beautiful displayed on a window sill or in a hanging planter. Complement your orchid with a colorful pot; this will help give the plant an extra boost of color after the flowers fade.
Nell Hargrove3 years ago
My orchid was a gift two years ago. It has already had second blooming. The green leaves look healthy. I have many stem like roots growing on the outside . I was told to leave them along and not cut them. The plants sits it kitchen window over the sink. It is almost like these roots are growing towards the water faucet.I was also told not to overwater. So my question is how do you know how much water to give it. WHAT ARE THOSE ROOTS TRYING TO TELL ME.
Connor B3 years ago AUTHOR
Hi Nell, sounds like your orchid is growing air roots. This is totally normal and healthy! 🙂 They’re reaching for moisture in the air and for light.
Orchids only need to be repotted every couple years or so, just be careful with those delicate air roots when doing this as you may not be able to bury all of them beneath the soil since they’re quite brittle and shouldn’t be broken. To help make them more malleable, try soaking your orchid in a bucket of water for a little while before repotting. Good luck with your beautiful orchid if you decide to repot! We’ll write an article on this soon to give further details and help others 🙂
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Ann2 years ago
I rec’d an orchid for my birthday- however, with it came a pack of what looks like dry dirt or fertilizer- no info on what to do with this- please advise- would hate to lose this
Connor B2 years ago AUTHOR
Hi Ann, thanks for reaching out! Someone from our team is going to contact you. In the meantime, your orchid only needs water around once per week in the winter time. You can try the ice cube method, using three ice cubes (roughly 1/4 cup of water). Overwatering is the #1 houseplant killer, so the ice method is really helpful to a lot fo folks 😊
Cindy2 years ago
I purchased several Phalaenopsis, larges and minis. The air roots on some of them have turned brown and dried out. I clipped off the dead, dried parts, still leaving a little space before the green live root. I water and fertilize them twice/week and mist them once or twice/day. They are blooming. In general they look happy but I wondered whether trimming the dead roots was a no-no. I read that it’s good to keep the pots free of debris like dead leaves. Also, one mini orchid came to me with grey spots on the leaves. I thought this was from being sprayed with dirty water but the spots have not disappeared completely after misting and gently wiping them. Is this a disease? The plant is blooming but seems a little stressed. Thanks!
Glenda Wise2 years ago
How often do they bloom???
Joanne2 years ago
Hi my orchid was a gift and I noticed that the flower was drying out. The petals were crispy. I water it once a week with three ice cubes. It really isn’t doing well what am I doing wrong?
Gabriela Santana2 years ago
The room may be too hot or cold! Make sure the orchid is in room temperature. For a more accurate diagnosis, check the texture of your stems.
Jan Jaswell2 years ago
Why is my moth orchid leaves turning yellow? I water once a week letting the water run thru
Gabriela Santana2 years ago
Make sure that you are watering your orchid moderately, overwatering may lead to yellowing leaves.