Phalaenopsis orchids care, watering and repotting
Phalaenopsis orchids, or Moth Orchids, are one of the most common orchids grown at homes in the UK because of their all year blooming and easy growing. A mature Phalaenopsis orchid will bloom pretty much all year, sporting various shades from white, spotted harlequins, fuchsia, pink or yellow. Unlike other orchids, it can be repotted anytime during the year, although most florists recommend waiting until it stopped blooming. You will see Phalaenopsis orchids mostly on windowsills and that's for a good reason – they love light. Each year the orchid will produce one or two fresh leaves. If you want to increase the blooming of the orchid, move it to a colder room for few nights at the start of autumn. It will reward you with a bloom spike which can start early winter and continue until end of spring. June and July is probably best time to repot as most Phalaenopsis orchids lose their blooms. If you got your first orchid, you will probably struggle with only one thing – watering. Depending on where you live, watering requirements may vary. Phalaenopsis orchids like moist conditions, and must be kept in a pot with good drainage. Make sure your orchid gets enough light especially in winter to encourage flowering. Move it to a shadier spot in summer to prevent the leaves from being burned. Wipe off dust from the leaves because dust can block the light from reaching the foliage. Temperature wise, it is recommended to keep Phalaenopsis orchids in night temperatures between 16-19°C (61-66°F) and day temperatures between 19-30°C (66-86°F).
It is most important to water Phalaenopsis orchids during growing season and to reduce the water intake in winter, when the orchid blooms. Try not to splash the leaves while watering the orchid and always keep them dry and dust free. Make sure the roots do not dry out completely and when you water the plant, make sure it doesn't just sit in a lot of water, good drainage is vital. You can feed the Phalaenopsis orchid regularly during growing season, almost every time you water. As general guide for watering Phalaenopsis orchid, twice a week will do – check that the soil has dried out from the last watering before adding more water. Some people recommend watering the orchid by letting it sit in a tub for 24 hrs and then avoiding watering for the next few weeks. It might work for your orchid, but it is certainly not recommended. Same applies for ice cube method, watering the orchid by letting an ice cube melt on top of it – this can do more harm than good.
Phalaenopsis orchids are not as sensitive for repotting as other orchid varieties, and they can be repotted any time of the year – but recommended is in summer when it stops blooming. When repotting orchid, buy a clear pot which will let you see if the compost is still moist below the surface. The roots of the orchids love light, so using a clear pot makes even more sense. When to repot the orchid? When it becomes too big for the current pot, or it has been in the same compost for two years. This is a pretty obvious advice, but some people still fail to follow it – always use designated orchid compost, not a generic one for flowers. Remove Phalaenopsis orchid from the pot, brush your fingers through the roots to remove the old compost and check that the roots are in good condition. Snip off any roots that are dead or show signs of disease – these will look brown, mushy or hollow. You can shorten the healthy roots by cutting them so that they are about 12 cm long. Hold your Phalaenopsis orchid in the middle of the new pot and fill with new compost. Push down with your fingers lightly around the roots and check that it's sitting safely in the new home. The compost cannot be lose between the roots as that may cause the plant to dangle and damage the new growing roots.
Phalaenopsis Orchids and Pollination
Orchids boast a number of complex mechanisms, which allows them to cross-pollinate. The infamous Charles Darwin initially explored these mechanisms, with further details of this process described in the Fertilisation of Orchids, which was produced in 1862. Orchids are celebrated for their focused pollination systems, which actually makes the pollination process a pretty scarce one. Because of this, orchid flowers tend to stay receptive for extremely lengthy periods of time. This renders un-pollinated flowers long-living in cultivation. The majority of orchids supply pollen in one single mass, meaning a successful pollination process can allow for thousands of ovules to be fertilised.
The shape and colours of the labellum usually visually attract pollinators. However, a number of Bulbophyllum species tend to attract male fruit flies. They do this using a floral chemical, which acts as a floral reward. These rewards include ketone, methyl eugenol, raspberry or zingerone and all help to speed up the process of pollination. Certain orchid flowers also produce appealing perfumes, whilst others are able to create nectar using the spur of the labellum or the sepals. This is common in the Asparagales orchid specie for example.
The orchids able to produce pollinia boast the following pollination sequence: The pollinator enters into the flower and makes contact with one of the viscidium's. This will attach itself to the pollinator's body, usually on the abdomen or head. When leaving the flower, the pollinium is pulled out of the anther. The caudicle then curves and caused the pollinium to be pushed forwards and downwards. The pollination process continues when the pollinator enters another flower of a similar species. Certain species of orchid rely completely on self-pollination. This is particularly the case in cooler climates and colder regions as this is where pollinators are a little on the rare side. This process is initiated when the caudicles dry up. The pollinia then fall directly onto the stigma. The slipper orchid however is able to self-fertilise and reproduce. This takes place when the anther transforms from a solid to a liquid state and therefore comes into direct contact with the stigma's surface. This can all happen without the help of any pollinating agent. The Cypripedioideae uses a somewhat different method and uses its bonnet-shaped labellum to trap visiting pollinators. The only escape route points to the anthers, which when disturbed, deposit pollen on the insect. A few species, including that of Phalaenopsis, Vanda and Dendrobium are able to produce offshoots formed from one of their nodes, which sit along the stem. This takes place because of a build-up of growth hormones. These shoots are called keiki.
Phalaenopsis Orchids delivered to door in UK
What are your favourite Phalaenopsis orchid colours? At SerenataFlowers.com you can get them in all three most popular shade – white, pink and yellow. We can arrange a delivery by post or courier anywhere in the UK, and all you have to do is just a few clicks on our website. The delivery is free from Monday to Sunday, so you really have no excuse for not spoiling yourself with a new elegant addition to your home. Do you want to brighten up the room instantly but feel like buying fresh cut flowers is a waste of money? Opt for a lasting Phalaenopsis orchid which will delight you with stunning blooms all winter and spring. Whether used as flowers & bouquets, orchids are delightful gifts from mother nature and one of the most popular gifts to congratulate on a new home or wish your mum happy Mother's Day. At SerenataFlowers.com we can send Phalaenopsis orchids straight to your door, without any delivery charges, no matter if you live in London or the other corner of the country. Order online in three simple steps and brighten up the day of your loved one with a stunning gift arriving next day at their doorsteps.