Friday, November 21, 2008
This type of orchids found in tropical parts of India, China, Malaysia, South-east Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea and Australia. With their long arching racemes of showy, widely-opening flowers they are amongst the most beautiful of all orchids and very popular with orchids collectors.
They are easy orchids to grow if given their basic requirements, however they also die quickly if they are unhappy with their surroundings. They are a shade lovers and will grow and flower well under conditions of low light. They love warm to hot conditions, with high humidity, gentle air movement. Phalaenopsis orchids have no capacity for water storage and hence must never be allowed to dry out. They are heavy feeders and respond well to liquid fertilizers.
The orchid in the picture was given to me last year in an attempt to rescue it - it was in very poor condition, all dried up with one small leaf all yellow and scorched and the original owner marked it out for the rubbish tip. The name label was lost so I don't know its variety.
I've repotted it into fresh compost and kept misting it with water until new leaves and roots started to grow and then flower spikes started showing up. Like all Phalaenopsis, its "an escape artist", trying hard to push its roots from its pot and may be at the later stage I will pot it up on bark or fern slab. At the moment, though, its growing very well and many more flowers are developing.
I've got what some friends call "intensive orchids care unit" - sometimes orchid plants come to me in a rather sorry conditions and I nurse them back to their formal glory. I enjoy the challenge discovering their beauty and have a few of them growing splendidly all over my garden.