The Q&A Archives: Care of Phalaenopsis Orchid

Question: We have a phalaenopsis orchid given as a gift in May of this year. Its leaves are healthy but the flower stalk is turning brown and the flowers on it are dying. Is it going into dormancy? If so, what should be done regarding care, watering, fertilizing, etc.? If it is going into dormancy should it be placed away from light? Any additional advice will be appreciated.

Answer: It sounds like your phalaenopsis is ready for its "down time". You can leave it under light, but it will perform best if you can provide 4 weeks of temperatures around 55F. It's important to keep the bark medium in the pot moist during this period, but you need not fertilize the orchid. After their month of coolness, return your phalaenopsis to regular room temperature. You'll find that your orchid will bloom once or twice per year when kept moist, under flourescent light and at room temperature. Enjoy!

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