Information on the growing and culture of the Phalaenopsis.
The 2 most common questions are...
Cutting the spike
When the blooms are finished, you can cut the spike down to the level of the leaves and the plant will bloom with larger flowers and a strong stem within a year. You can also cut off the stem leaving two nodes (those little brown lines on the stem below where the flowers were) on the stem. One of these nodes will then initiate and generally produce flowers within eight to 12 weeks.
Potting is best done in the spring, immediately after flowering. Phalaenopsis plants must be potted in a porous mix. Potting is usually done every one to three years. Mature plants can grow in the same container until the potting medium starts to decompose, usually in two years. Root rot occurs if plants are left in a soggy medium. Seedlings usually grow fast enough to need repotting yearly, and should be repotted in a fine-grade medium. Mature plants are potted in a medium-grade mix. To repot, remove all the old medium from the roots, trim soft, rotted roots, and spread the remaining roots over a handful of medium in the bottom of a new pot. Fill the rest of the pot with medium, working it among the roots, so that the junction of the roots and the stem is at the top of the medium.
This type of orchid is the most popular grown today. In fact, according to the American Orchid Society, moth orchids account for 75 percent of all orchids sold!
Moth orchids (phalaenopsis) offer everything that most orchid growers admire and are the fastest and easiest to grow. They bloom for a long period of time — from many weeks to months. The flowers are classy and borne on elegant arched sprays. And moth orchids come in a broad range of colors. Their foliage is beautiful glossy green or marbled, they have very modest light requirements, and they grow well in temperatures commonly found in the home.
Moth orchids are definitely the orchids to start with, and after you experience the great satisfaction that they provide, you may decide to stay with them. The standard pink, white, and striped ones commonly sold in the box stores and at flower shops are the essence of style, but in addition to these beauties, there are many new and exciting colors, color patterns, and growth habits that even increase their desirability. Although most phalaenopsis are not fragrant, some are.
On this site you will discover a small part of the great Orchid familly : the Phalaenopsis. There are about 60 species in this genus with flowers of various shapes and colors. The goal of this site is to share a passion and to gather together as much information as possible about these plants.
The IPA was formed in 1990 to promote the appreciation, cultivation and conservation of Phalaenopsis orchids. The IPA's mission is to:
Publish the Phalaenopsis Journal, a quarterly magazine featuring color photography including articles on new lines of breeding, cultural techniques and other subjects of interest to Phalaenopsis growers.
Stage an annual symposium at various locations around the world filled with workshops and lectures from the foremost Phalaenopsis growers and hybridizers.
Bring together growers worldwide to share and to promote our passion for Phalaenopsis orchids.
Host PHALS Digest, an online e-mail discussion forum for our members to communicate about Phalaenopsis and orchid growing.
Maintain a Business Directory of IPA Members.
Sponsor Phalaenopsis related projects such as the revision of the genus, Phalaenopsis: A Monograph by Dr. Eric A. Christenson.
Provide conservancy funds to assist in the support the Phalaenopsis species collection at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
This website is just a small part of the IPA, and in the upcoming months and years we expect to expand it to meet the ever increasing needs of our members.
To find out more about the IPA, feel free to contact any of the members of the Board, or one of the Regional Directors, through their links under IPA Officers and Directors via the contact link.