New Gardener with a Phalaenopsis Orchid

(Question)

I have this Phalaenopsis Orchid for about a month, and have fertilized it for the first time yesterday after reading up on care (because of the very minimal problems I have). I was previously watering with a few ice cubes once a week, but have been recently informed that it should be soaked instead for about 15-20 minutes, and then let to dry out for the remainder of the week. Also that I should be fertilizing it bi-weekly (which starting yesterday I will start doing).

I live in Colorado, and it is a dry climate, and I have also been informed that i should be misting it daily for humidity reasons. I did start doing that yesterday as well. It is in a bark medium, and the root system seems to be doing very well, as they are all a nice light green color, and not overly intertwined at all. There is a very few that are slightly whitish gray color, but 90% are not. i only have one root near the top that is starting to turn a reddish tint, but the rest are not like this at all. i have been leaving it on my kitchen table which doesn’t get a whole lot of light, but have moved it closer to a shaded window yesterday because of the few problems that I have been having might have to do with amount of sunlight as well.

My question has to do with the leaves near the bottom are beginning to slightly droop (they are still rather stiff feeling, and are a nice olive green color, but the very edges of the tip of the leaves are turning slightly brown). Will my fertilizer, new watering regimen, misting, and new sunlight help the plant better? Or should I be doing more?

This is my first real house plant, and I would really like to keep it alive, and get it to rebloom later if I can.

(Answer)

You have chosen a very lovely plant as your first real house plant.  The climate in Colorado is much different from Toronto’s, both in terms of temperature and indoor humidity, so I hesitate to advise you on specifics.  The Toronto Master Gardeners publish a guide to growing orchids, which is available here.  But I thought it might be more useful to provide links to some resources in your area that I hope will be helpful.

Here is the American Orchid Society’s guide to growing these beautiful orchids: https://www.aos.org/orchids/culture-sheets/novice-phalaenopsis.aspx .

And here are a couple of local resources, including the Colorado Master Gardeners’ own service – I suggest that you contact them directly: https://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Ask/aska.htm

Very best of luck with your Phalaenopsis Orchid.