Free Guide to Growing a Wild orchid/phalaenopsis
Whenever I would go into a flower shop, I would always stare at the beautiful plants – white, pink or violet, on a tall stem, with two or three fresh green, pulpous leaves at the bottom of the stalk. When you look at them, you get a feeling like they stare back at you, magnificent, tall and proud. Whenever I went into a flower shop I would look for them and admire them. Never took one home though.
Finally, a couple of days ago, I got one from my husband. While I can barely stop from staring at its breathtaking beauty, I do realize it needs my care. So I decided to find out some things about how I should grow my dear plant. Here is what I discovered:
Botanically known as phalaenopsis, the wild orchid blooms once a year (from winter to spring), but it releases more flowers, which change themselves and the plant maintains its beauty for three to four months; there are also some species, which, if adequately taken care of, can hold flowers throughout the year
Since it grows tall, it is unable to sustain its own weight, so you will need to place a wooden prop in the soil, and fix the plant’s stem to the prop for support
The wild orchid, or its store commercialized species, is easy to upkeep in the regular house, at normal temperatures. In its natural habitat, it enjoys temperatures as high as 35 degrees Celsius, but it will survive just as well in 20 degrees. Remember however that the minimum in which it will be able to survive is of 15 degrees Celsius.
You should water the plant once a week during winter and twice a week during warmer seasons, when the air is dryer (the phalaenopsis enjoys humidity); you should water it in the morning so the risk of root rot throughout the night is reduced. The plant’s leaves are great indicators of how well you water it – they should be light green; if they are dark green, then you are under-watering the plant; if the leaves are yellow-green, then you are over watering it, so you should stop for a couple of weeks.
The wild orchid also needs light, so the best place for it would be near a window, where it can enjoy the light, but also be protected by the curtain from the full strength of the sun’s rays
In terms of pots in which to keep the flower, it is advisable that you keep it in a transparent plastic pot, as the roots also need light. Additionally, know that the roots are long and will mould to the sides of the pot, but do not cut the roots which come out of the pot.
You should replant the phalaenopsis in fresh soil every two or three years
Fertilization should only occur during summer, when the plant seldom blossoms and it is advisable that you use diluted liquid fertilizers
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