The easiest orchids to grow indoors are Phalaenopsis Orchid, commonly known as the Moth Orchid.
These luxurious flowering plants have thick-leaves with elegant and exotic arching sprays of flowers. As their blooms last on average for 45 days and being so abundant, this adds to the plants popularity, with many people treating Phalaenopsis like cut flowers. When the flowers start to drop off, the plant is usually discarded and replaced, which is a shame as they can be kept to re-bloom twice a year under ideal conditions.
Caring for a dormant, resting Phalaenopsis orchid can be like caring for a daffodil: You’re watching a bare stalk and leaves for a few months in hopes the plant will reward you with another round of bright and beautiful blooms.
The good news is that with just a little tender loving care, Phalaenopsis are among the easiest orchids to grow. The single biggest reason they crash, is due to incorrect watering: usually overwatering, sometimes under watering, or a combination of the two.
When your plant is done blooming, cut off the stalk leaving two nodes (those little brown lines on the stem below where the flowers were). Note that orchids don’t like to be moved very much, so ideally, find a spot the plant will like on the first try.
In general, phalaenopsis prefer:
- Filtered, bright light but not direct sunlight, as the leaves burn easily if they are overexposed to the sun.
- Humidity, you can also maintain the right humidity conditions by applying a light mist with a spray bottle.
- Plants should be kept moist, but avoid overwatering, so drainage is an absolute must!
- Warmth, with a minimum of cold drafts.
Once you’ve got your plant in place, begin routine care. Phalaenopsis are typically grown in a chunky mixture of pine bark, charcoal, and sphagnum moss. This mixture is designed to drain very rapidly and allow the orchid’s roots to get plenty of air. Because of this, you’ll probably need to water your orchids two times a week, depending on the humidity and temperature.
When you water your orchid, it’s a good idea to totally soak the roots but don’t let water sit between the leaves. After you’ve watered it, empty out the tray and let the plant completely dry between watering. Contrary to common belief, orchids do not like continuously wet environments, especially if you’re aiming for it to bloom.
Orchids enjoy temperatures most humans do, but be mindful that in their native tropical environment they experience a drop in night-time temperature. This drop triggers re-blooming so in the warmer months you might benefit from placing your orchid in a location that experiences those warmer temperatures during the day, and cooler ones at night.
Once the steam has emerged, the hard part is done! It’s highly recommended feeding your plant during its growth period. Fertilizing your plant is just as important as watering. Ideally, this should be done once per month. Continue to provide good care for the plant and it should reward you with another season of blooms. Sometimes getting a re-bloom can be tricky, so don’t get discouraged. Keep with it.