Orchids as a group of plants include hundreds of genera and many thousands of species. However, most people have been introduced to this exotic plant variety thanks to the beauty of Moth Orchids or Phals. Phalaenopsis Orchids are natives of China, Indonesia (which sees the most diversity), Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, India, and other parts of Asia. Thanks to growers in China, Taiwan, and Thailand, the world has seen the interest in owning and growing Phalaenopsis become more widespread.
Adopting and caring for your Orchid Phal
Adopting: Adding a beautiful orchid to a plant collection is a feeling only a plant parent can understand. At eplants, we bring you display-ready plants with high-quality growth, compact shape and well-formed leaves.
Locating: Exposure to strong, direct sun will scorch the leaves of a Phalaenopsis Orchid and could cause irrevocable damage to the plant. These plants do best in brighter areas that offer filtered light. If you are locating an orchid indoors, give it a spot with bright indirect light where it can rest easy for months, even years.
Potting: Phals are epiphytes, meaning they grow on trees as they collect their nutrients from the atmosphere around them. Grown at home, they require airy containers, preferably with holes in them. If you are a beginner, it is best to use a commercially available orchid mix. If you would like to make your own mixture, make a loose combination of coco chunks (coconut shell fibre chopped into small 1/2″ cubes) some wood charcoal, and leaf compost in a ratio of 40:30:30.
Watering: Orchid roots have developed the ability to absorb water from the air around them. However, depending on where you live, it is best to water your Phals in the mornings once every few days. Once they start flowering, you can cut back on the watering schedule a little.
Fertilising: A general thumb rule among orchid growers is to fertilise these plants weakly, weekly. Use a specific, commercially available organic liquid orchid-fertiliser dissolved at half the strength and feed your plant once a week. You could make an even milder concentration of the same fertiliser and use it as a foliar spray. If you are using chemical fertiliser, make sure you use it in the right dilution, or you could end up harming the plant.
Orchids have this ‘exotic’ air about them which leads to a false belief that they are a hard-to-grow genus of plants. Of course, these are species that have evolved in rarefied environments and hence need special care but commercially grown Phalaenopsis are mostly easy to collect and grow. With thousands and thousands of species and hybrids to choose from, collecting and growing orchids can be a hobby for a lifetime.
Did you know
Orchids are one of the oldest families of flowering plants.