Phalaenopsis Orchid

(Question)

First, for the record, I have never before had any luck with house plants and so in the past preferred fresh cut flowers. Then those lovely phalaenopsis orchids became widely available, so for the last few years I have been buying them and (I’m ashamed to admit) tossing them when they finished blooming because they looked so dreadful.). I’d never had one bloom for more than two months. But last year I relocated to a condo in down town Toronto, and my south window with a lacey tree outside and soft white silhouette shades seems to create some kind of orchid paradise. I have half a dozen now, all of which bloomed for at least five months and one for eight!!! And one lovely purple one seems to be some kind of miracle plant, and despite my benign neglect is flourishing beyond anything I can find about these plants. I bought it (at Costco) in spring 2015. It bloomed for almost six months, and while the stalk died, the leaves stayed nice and healthy so I kept it. In April 2016 over a period of about two weeks it suddenly set off a stalk that grew almost two feet (horizontally) and two dozen buds that bloomed beautifully. Now, in mid October, those flowers are dropping, but it has already set another twenty buds, the first of which is about to open, even though not all the old flowers have fallen. I thought they were supposed to go dormant? I do nothing for this plant but give it a little water once a week and admire it excessively. I’ve never fertilized it or repotted it, and it has some pretty spectacular air roots. Is there anything I should be doing to ensure it stays happy or should I just continue to give it a little water now and then and otherwise just admire it?

(Answer)

Thank You for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

Orchids are amazing plants and I am so glad you have had this success with your plant. You have obviously found a perfect location for it with beneficial light  and humidity levels and are doing all the right things. Many people are afraid of growing orchids but they are a strong resilient plant that can tolerate many conditions.

I have attached out Toronto Master Gardeners guide on growing orchids. It outlines care for orchids and what you need to do to have continued success.

Good Luck

Growing Orchids: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide