Phalaenopsis are fast becoming recognized as the most beautiful flowers in horticulture. The plants are also one of the fastest growers in the orchid family. Their long arching sprays of long-lasting blooms are very popular both on the show bench and for floral arrangements and bridal bouquets.
Whites are still the most popular with show bench blooms reaching over 5 inches in diameter.
Mature plants can bloom from mid-winter through to December if the spike is cut just above the third then the second live node from the bottom of the flower stem to produce a second and third flowering.
Warning: If the leaves go limp, cut off all blooms and spikes at the base immediately!
Temperature Range :
Minimum of 15°C at night up to 30oC in the daytime, except in Autumn (February, March, and April) when they should be allowed to drop to 12oC at night for a few weeks to help initiate flower spikes.
After this, care should be taken to ensure a minimum nighttime temperature of 15°C for the rest of Winter. Although they are warm growers, above 30°C, they tend to stop growing, so if this is likely to take steps to reduce the temperature by improving ventilation or misting the floor, etc.
In nature Phalaenopsis come from very shady locations in the rainforest, so about 80% to 90% of shade is ideal (i.e. about 10% to 20% filtered direct sunlight). The extra light (20%) is given at spiking time in Autumn.
This is filtered direct sunlight and NOT incident light coming from a side window. When the shadow of your hand is barely discernible, that is 10% sunlight.
Generally, if leaves are very dark green, that denotes too much shade (be sure excessive nitrogen in fertilizer is not the cause).
If leaves are yellowish-green, that denotes too much sun. Leaves should be firm and mid-green color.