Having colorful flowers indoors is a great way to help improve our mental well being. And most cut flowers will last 10 days to 2 weeks or so. But what if I told you, that you could have an indoor plant that will flower for 8 – 12 weeks, and would cost you about the same as a dozen roses? You can – its the Phalenopsis or Moth Orchid.
Phalaenopsis orchids have beautiful fleshy leaves (grows 1-3 leaves each year), flower in a multitude of exotic colors and flower sizes on arching sprays that may resemble a flight of pale moths in moonlight, can stay in bloom for two to three months (usually during the winter and early spring), and are fairly easy to grow:
-Moderately bright windowsill or similar spot to grow in (not direct sun)
-Water when close to dry, usually about every 10 days or so (even moisture)
-Enjoy temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees
-Feed with an orchid fertilzer about once every 2 weeks at ½ the regular strength, more between May and September.
-Can be repotted (if needed) after blooming is finished – use top grade orchid potting mix
- Triggered by the cooler temperatures of fall (55 degrees) to produce
flower stems for late winter / spring blooms.
Once flowering is finished and the stem starts to brown: for more mature plants, cut the flowering stem off about 2-3 nodes up from the bottom of the stem to see if a second flower stem will appear - for younger plants, remove the entire stem. If the stem stays green, leave it be as some selections may flower again on the ends of the stem. Phalaenopsis orchids are generally triggered by the cooler temperatures of fall (55 degrees for 2 weeks) to produce flower stems for late winter / spring blooms.