Phalaenopsis: September Houseplant of the Month
The story of Phalaenopsis
Phalaenopsis is an elegant orchid with flowers that are a bit reminiscent of moths – hence the commonly used name, moth orchid. The plant as a whole is more like a green ballerina. An opulent flower branch grows from an elegant tall stem and starts to bow gracefully as more flowers appear. The flowers can be both large and small, and often have fabulous patterns. Some orchids have a light fragrance, but most are unscented. What they all have in common is an exotic look, flower for a long time, and are easy to maintain.
In warmer regions, usually in the tropical rainforest, Phalaenopsis often grows as an epiphyte on trees, branches and twigs with its roots in the air. Epiphytes are plants that grow on something without extracting nutrients from it. In terms of care, this means that they need little water and are cultivated on special soil which can often be seen through the clear pot. The aerial roots grow towards the light – a transparent pot keeps them somewhat confined.
- Phalaenopsis likes a light position – from mid-October the plant can even tolerate direct sunlight.
- The ideal room temperature is between 18-22°C.
- Phalaenopsis needs little water. Immerse once a week and then allow to drain.
- Add plant food or special orchid food to that immersion once every three weeks to help all the buds open.