Thursday, September 13, 2007

Phalaenopsis Update



The Phalaenopsis with the new left leaf, and another smaller one growing between the top two leaves.

I repotted the Moth Orchid in a translucent Soup container from Asda, cut down in size, and with lots of holes cut into the bottom.

The orchid mix was a mixture of cut up peat pots and Moss from a hanging basket kit.

Its only watered occasionally and then it is completely soaked with tepid water. The plant food is at half strength. The tepid water runs off the Orchid through the bark/moss mix and out through the bottom of the pot.

Think Tropical rainstorm running through the tree's. The Orchid is Epiphtic, which means it grows on tree's with its roots in detritus that has lodged between the branches. Both the leaves and roots have chlorophyll in them, hence the clear pot so the light can reach the roots.

They are green and growing around the edge of the clear pot. This plant is sat on the kitchen windowsill. It has a large growth which you can see on the right hand side. I dont know if it is an aerial root or a flower spike. I could not find clear pictures of what a growing flower spike looks like..

I bought this plant at half price, and am trying to get it to reflower. It looks suprsingly healthy in this photo. Its a living, breathing project that keeps me interested in plants and trying to mimic its natural surroundings to encourage flowering.

4 comments:

Bob said...

Snappy, Your featuring one of my favourite orchids. I grow orchids commercially for 12 years, and Phaly's were my largest group grown. The tepid water is a great tip, or at least room temp water that has sat out for 24 hours. This especially helps if your water has a lot of clorine in it. Most Phals set spike in fall and your plant looks large enough to do so. One little bet of caution is the soil mix. Most of time Phaly's are grown in a bark mix with no peat, because the moss can hold to much water. So you may want to keep an eye on it. I hope you don't mind the tips, I would really love to see the orchid grow and bloom for you.
Finally watch out, Orchids are addictive, I started with 2 and ended up with 10,000 plants.

All the best to you, BOB

p.s. I enjoy your blog so much I'm
going to put you on my blog links. I hope you don't mind.

snappy said...

Thanks for the comment Bob.I am an amateur Orchid grower with three types at the minute.The Phalaenopsis, the jewel orchid, and the Bletilla Striata.I need to look for bark mix then to repot the Phalaenopsis.It has thrived however since being repotted with two new leaves.I read six leaves is average.I am wandering if the white stem growing from the basal leaf is an aerial root?I wander what new flower spikes look like to begin with?
Im happy to be added to your blog roll.thanks Again :)

Gardenista said...

I've got 3 phalaenopsis right now and one even has a new flower spike (after 2+ years). I'll have to post a pic on my blog so you can see. That spike on yours is definitely an aerial root. Large plants and many of them. It's good to put your orchids (and other houseplants) together in a cluster so they can made a little area of increased humidity.

Bob said...

Snappy, Yes it aerial root. The spikes often come from the same area or in between the leaves and start out looking like a root but dark in colour. Once they get to about an inch or two long they will start curving upward. Usually you'll see this in end of October to November.
As far as leaf count I've had many spike with only 3 leaves. So hopefully you'll see something this fall. One thing you don't wan't to see is when the spike come from the center of the plant at the top. This means that your plant is blooming for it's last time.

The soil mix you have (the peat moss one) would be great for your jewel orchid.

Take care and have a great day. BOB