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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens

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Phalaenopsis Orchid  aka Moth Orchid

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Several surveys have shown that Phalaenopsis orchids have become America's favorite orchid. No other orchid is as well-suited to home growing or is as rewarding. Plants with long-lasting sprays of lovely moth-like blooms in a broad array of colors are inexpensive and widely available. Simply provide modest light and consistent moisture and they will delight you with their ease of culture.

Phalaenopsis orchids are epiphytic plants of sub-tropical and tropical origin. These plants have extremely long lasting flowers. Individual flowers can last up to 4 months. The colors range from white to pink, purple, yellow and combinations of all. You may find solid colors, stripes, spots or both. In recent years this plant has become in high demand due to its ease of care and long lasting flowers.

LIGHT: This is a shade loving plant. It is an excellent companion plant to African Violets and many home gardeners have them growing side by side under grow lights. An eastern window is excellent. It will appreciate an hour or so of morning sun.

WATER: Since these plants grow on the bark of trees in their native habitat, it is essential that they be watered carefully. Water only when the bark media has become almost dry, but not bone dry. Plants in clay pots will need to be watered more often as these dry out faster.

TEMPERATURE: Phals are warm-loving plants. When not in bloom, they do well in day/night temperatures between 75° - 90°F. If the plant is big enough and healthy enough to bloom, a 2-week chill at 55-60°F at night will help to initiate a spike.

POTTING MIX: Several types of potting media are used but what works best for the average home grower is a bark mixture consisting of fir bark, peat, perlite and charcoal. Repotting is done in the spring when the growth season begins. Use the smallest size pot that will accommodate the roots. Trim off any dead or mushy roots before repotting.

This is a specialty plant that is becoming available more often and especially around certain holidays. We carry them in 4" and 6" pot sizes.