B1 Intermediate US 93 Folder Collection
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Hi I'm Jennifer Nelson, Horticulture Educator with the University of Illinois Extension
and today we're talking about growing Phalaenopsis Orchids at home.
Phalaenopsis Orchids are probably the most popular orchid found commonly for sale
at home without having to go to a specialty grower. Anywhere from big-box stores
to grocery stores and everything in between seems to be selling Phalaenopsis
these days. And the big questions I get are what do I do with them once they get home?
How do they do I keep them alive?
Also, what do I look for when I'm buying them? So, a couple of examples just to point out
things to look for when you're buying, look for plants that still have some flowers in bud that aren't totally open yet
Because that's going to mean more value for your purchase. You're gonna get to watch those open up the
and they're going to last for months and months. Another thing to keep in mind when you're shopping for
orchids, look at the leaves and the roots don't be shy about inspecting the
plant when you buy it. This plant in particular has some new green growth on the roots.
They look like bright green tips. You should look for that rather than
anything dried and shriveled up. Also the leaves should be nice and firm and glossy
And not drooping and wrinkled. Even though it could be tempting you might see some
things on the clearance rack, this is what not to purchase.
Anything that's looking this sad is not likely to recover.
The thing to remember is even though you may have the perfect spot on your dining room table
to display the beautiful flowers you don't want to necessarily keep it there
all the time, unless that space is really conducive to good growth. So first rule of
thumb is find a space with some good light. And the good thing about Phalaenopsis is they
can grow in pretty low light compared to other orchids. That's one of the reasons
why they're so popular. So think bright, indirect light. So generally an
east or western exposure or southern exposure with a sheer curtain.
You don't want them to be baking in direct sunlight. They're native to tropical
regions to rain forest so they really need that bright light but not
necessarily baking on the surface of the sun. In temperature wise, one of the other
reasons they're so popular is that they are extremely well adapted to our
typical indoor environment so the 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit home is perfect
for a phalaenopsis. Humidity will go a long way for keeping your orchids
looking really healthy growing and blooming. Mine in particular like it
in the bathroom I have a Western window and I just put them on the windowsill.
And they do really well. They love steamy showers. In watering and fertilizing
they do go hand in hand and you'll find a lot of places will have very detailed
fertilizing schedules for orchids, but to keep it simple I like to follow the weakly
weekly schedule which is basically you're using about a quarter strength
fertilizer according to the label directions every time you water. It may
not be weekly during the winter, my orchids get watered maybe twice a month
over the summer I do put them outside and that's very helpful for breaking
any kind of pest cycle that you might have some pests built up indoors but they also
love of summer vacation just like we do. Another question I get all the time is
how do you know when to repot an orchid. And basically the potting media that they're in is a bark media
When what you're looking at looks more like soil than like bark, it's time to repot
A common misconception or question people have is they see a few roots growing over the
side of the pot and think 'oh my gosh I have to repot it'
Not necessarily. Sometimes the roots grow over the side because the potting mix is
too wet. If you're seeing an excess of roots coming over the side it'd be a good idea to
take it out and check out what's inside the pot. You may find it's all breaking
down and it's staying way too wet and that's why so many roots are growing over the
side because what's in the pot is rotting.
A few of the biggest ones that we deal with are scale and mealie bug. They are related
A scale looks like little tiny droplets ranging in color from beige-ish white to black and they're easy to miss.
They're hard to spot especially on a dark stem so they will just
look like a little raised bump and they are hard with a shell which makes them a little bit
difficult to treat and both scale and mealy bugs like to hide out in the
intricacies of the flowers which also makes them hard to spot. Mealy bugs are easier
to spot they look like little tiny cotton pieces, little fluff, in either case the
best way to control them hopefully you have a few of them, q-tips or cotton swabs dipped in
rubbing alcohol will take care of them. If it's an ongoing problem,
spraying with horticultural soap, insecticidal soap, is another good way to take care of them.
This purple one here, lavender or purple, I bought for about $3 on the clearance table
and it was just a plant and I nursed it for a year and a half before it bloomed again
and this is what I got. It did take some time for it to revive itself, it looked pretty
pathetic when I bought it. Not quite as bad as what I showed you earlier
but it was not in the best of shape. So what did I do that made it come back into
bloom so beautifully? I fertilized regularly I made sure I had good light
and I watered consistently and I didn't overwater. I also have found that the difference
between the daytime temperature and the night temperature can trigger blooming so this
is another reason to put it outside. A lot of times our interior temperatures are
consistent 70 degrees day and night but having as little as a 5 to 10 degree shift
between day and night temperature can trigger these plants to bloom.
They generally bloom once a year and Phalaenopsis is the only orchid that does this
There are small, what we call nodes on the flowers but this whole assembly here is the flower spike
and behind where once all these followers are done blooming there's a
little triangular piece of tissue on the spike that we call a node
So after this is all done if I were to clip it here another spike should emerge
from this tiny area. So I encourage you all to try out a Phalaenopsis orchid
If you haven't already, as you can see here there's a lot of variety in terms of
color, shape, size. It's very easy to get sucked in and find that you can't just
keep just one. The possibilities are endless I like these little miniature ones, you can
collect a lot more that way. Some of them will get up to pretty large sizes and
6-inch pots or more but at any rate, just find something you like
and enjoy growing it.
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Tips & Tricks for Phalaenopsis Orchids

93 Folder Collection
laiying published on September 1, 2018
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