Christmas Phalaenopsis Planter
Here are some detailed tips on how to keep your Christmas Phalaenopsis Planter healthy and happy long after Christmas, for many years.
Keep your Orchid in its container in a place where it has plenty of light but not direct sunlight. This is particularly important in the hot summer months. If the plant has too much sunlight the leaves will turn yellow. And without enough light the leaves can turn very dark green and the new buds will drop. The ideal temperature is 20-22 °C, with a minimum of 16 and maximum of 32, and never put the plant close to a radiator.
Orchid plants need little watering but enjoy regular humidifying to recall the tropical climate they prefer. Hence, water the plant only once a week with water at room temperature. If you have access to natural rain water, this is better than regular tap water which contains too much lime. Ideally early in the morning, slowly pour a little water over the soil/bark towards the edges of the pot avoiding the heart of the plant.
Between March and October, feed the plant with Phalaenopsis “food” twice a month. At this time, if you see aerial roots growing outside the pot, you know the plant is happy.
After flowering you need to prune the branches to encourage new growth and new flowers. Cut each branch just above the second ‘eye’ (the thicker area on the branch) and move the pot to a cooler but light place, to rest for 2 months (ideally at 16°C). During this time you water the plant less than usual. After 2 months, return the pot to its usual place and resume watering once a week, as before. The plant will re-flower after 6 months. This pruning can be repeated only twice; after that cut the branch back as low as possible to create new branches.