Phal Orchid – A Beginners Orchid!

Phal, short for Phalaenopsis, or moth orchid, is a very popular choice for beginners to grow.  Not only are phal orchids relatively easy to grow compared to other orchids, they are also readily available at flower shops and garden centers.  One of the appeals of the phal orchid is that it is a smaller plant so it doesn’t require a lot of room, and if properly cared for can be in almost constant bloom.

Phal orchids are no more difficult to grown than an African Violet and it has similar growing requirements.  Avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day, favoring morning or evening sun over mid day sun.  Phal orchids like temperatures similar to what most people will keep their homes 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  They would prefer a drop in temperature at night of about 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.  Watering should be done about every 7 days, adjusting to more frequent when it’s hot and less often in cooler weather.

The one thing a Phal orchid likes that most people will not have in their home is a humidity of 50 to 70 percent.  Placing the orchid pot on a tray full of stones and water is a good way to raise the humidity just around the orchid.  Cluster your orchids together and you can achieve a small micro-climate with a higher humidity for them.

Phalaenopsis orchids are an epiphytic, which means they natural grow up on branch of trees or other structures, above the ground.  They are also sometimes referred to as aerial.  You will want to simulate this habitat with it in the pot by growing it in a bark based growing medium.  Sphagnum moss can also be used but more prone to rapid decay than bark so be on the look out for this.

The flowers of the phal orchid are all similarly shaped but will vary in size from one species to another.  Some orchid flowers may be as small as an inch and other blossoms as large as 5 inches.  Phal orchids can be found in almost any color with the exception of blue, ranging in fragrance from almost none to strongly scented.  The phal’s capability to re-bloom is another of its attractive traits that cause many people to enjoy it as a house plant.  When one stem is done blooming it may send out another shoot to re-bloom, or with some proper pruning you can encourage a re-bloom.

Phalaenopsis orchids come from the south east region of Asia.  There are about 60 recognized species and these can be hybridized with other phals or other types of orchids to give a wide range of other varieties.  These other hybrids will have some different growing requirements than the phal orchid but can be achieved by being vigilant in observation for what your orchid is telling you.

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