Posted by Beverly Hills Orchid on 6/2/2015 to
One of the most aesthetically rewarding orchids to have at home is the phalaenopsis or “moth orchid.” Their abundance is due to the fact that they are rather easy to reproduce and can be grown at home with minimal care and management – making them desirable houseplants for many homeowners and orchid enthusiasts. Moth orchids simply need indirect sunlight (which can be had from a windowsill) and adequate moisture to thrive in an environment that other orchids may find inadequate.
Aside from ease of care, one other thing that makes Phals favourite houseplants is their their eye-catching blooms, which range in color from whites to mesmerizingly beautiful spotted harlequins. Because their inflorescence are a head turner, many orchid enthusiasts have since learned how to cajole Phals to bloom longer.
Trigger Blooms With a Night Chill
Moth orchids in general start to bloom from late winter until spring. Because the onset of inflorescence starts with falling temperatures, you can trick your moth orchid to re-bloom by exposing it to cold temperatures for several weeks. Moth orchids love temperatures as low as 60 degrees, which is low enough to help trigger flowering. Some experts often expose their moth orchids to such temperatures for as long as a month to a month and a half.
Give Them Enough Leg Room
A moth orchid’s bloom lasts until spring (although some may last longer), so it is natural to see them lose their flowers when summer comes around. Like many other orchids, this is the best time to repot moth orchids, since it is after losing their blooms that moth orchids start to grow new roots to help them prepare for the next flowering season.
Like many other plants, moth orchids also need a strong root system in order to grow flowers. Even if the leaves and the stalk may look nice and firm but lacks a robust root system, moth orchids will simply continue to thrive but not bear any flowers. Repotting helps moth orchids to develop a healthy root system.
In line with repotting, it is recommended that you use a tight pot – small enough to contain the roots until they grow out of the edges. This is quite normal since it is an epiphyte and thrives on trees and not enclosed spaces like other orchids. As the roots grow over the edges, look for small green tips growing out of the larger white roots. This is a sign of growth spurt, and means that the plant is ready to be repotted onto a bigger pot. When repotting, it is recommended that you use a good soil mix to ensure optimum root growth.