Phalaenopsis, commonly known as the moth
orchid, and its close cousin the Doritis, a
related genus, can be grown in the home as well
as the greenhouse. Doritaenopsis is a hybrid of
the two genera, Phalaenopsis and Doritis. These
two genera and their hybrids are excellent for
growing in the home where you can enjoy the
flowers almost all year around.
TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY: Phalaenopsis are
warm growing with humidity in the range of 50% to
60% . They do best when the temperature is about
65º F. and tolerate 90º F. and higher if the
humidity is adequate. Maintaining the proper
humidity in the home can be accomplished easily
with a tray about 1" or 2" deep filled
with gravel and about 1/2 full of water.
Remember, the plant must be able to drain freely
and not stand in the water.
WATERING: Watering the Phalaenopsis is more
critical than those plants with pseudobulbs.
Therefore greater care is taken in watering
"Phals". Water only in the morning so
the crown of the plant can dry out thereby
avoiding crown rot. Do not allow the plant to
completely dry out. It should be moist or damp at
all times. Water about once every three or four
days during the summer months when it is dry. At
other times about once a week.
FERTILIZING: During the growing season use a
high nitrogen fertilizer (30-10-10) at half the
manufacturers recommendation every time you water
then at mid year change to a high phosphoric acid
fertilizer (say 10-30-20 or 10-20-10).
LIGHT: Phalaenopsis require less light than
many other orchids. In a greenhouse about 70% to
85% shade or 1000 to 1500 foot candles. If you
are growing your "Phals" in the house
the east window is a good spot, or the south and
west side if adequately shaded. Sometimes a
curtain is adequate protection from the sun
burning the leaves.
POTTING MEDIUM: If you have a seedling or very
small plant fine bark (1/8 to 1/4") is an
excellent medium. For larger plants use course
bark (1/2 to 3/4") or other media that