Caring for your Phalaenopsis Orchid
Light and temperature
Orchids need a good light source. A conservatory or kitchen is usually the best place to keep your orchid, maximising its exposure to sunlight without subjecting it to direct light.
18-30ºC is best for orchids, but for brief periods they can withstand temperatures ranging from 16-37ºC. This makes them ideal indoor plants.
Sudden temperature changes and cold will cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop off. If this happens, remove the yellow foliage and keep the plant in moderate and constant temperature conditions.
Place the root system in a bucket of water or the sink and then lift the orchid back out, allowing the water to completely drain. Sitting the plant in water without allowing it to drain will rot the roots and eventually kill the plant.
Take care not to wet the leaves. If they do become wet, dry them gently with tissue or cotton wool.
In summer, water every 2 weeks. In winter, water once a month and mist every so often to make sure it stays hydrated.
A feed once a month is recommended; overfeeding orchids can damage them. Look for fertilizers that contain nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.
Make sure to water your orchid thoroughly before feeding.
Pruning and re-potting
Whilst the orchid is flowering, don't attempt to repot it. Flowers usually last from one to three months, starting from around March.
Once blooming has finished, cut the spike, using sterile secateurs, 12mm above where it projects from the foliage.
Orchids prefer to be root-bound, with their roots protruding from the top of the vessel, so use a small pot.
Use bark material to pot your plant and re-pot it every 18 to 24 months to encourage your plant to flower again.