orchid - Knowledgebase Question

Lucasville, Oh
Question by katrnwld
November 13, 2009
i have an orchid not sure what kind it has a long stem with some blooms on it. the blooms are purple in color.some of the blooms are dying off, i'm new to orchids so please give me some care advice on this kind of orchid.


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Answer from NGA
November 13, 2009

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Your new orchid is a Phalaenopsis, or Moth Orchid. It develops long flower sprays. If you cut a faded spray back to a node, a secondary spray may form. If you cut the stem down to the crown of the plant, no new flowers will form on that stem. I just leave part of an old stem on my plants so another set of flowers can develop from a dormant bud. As for flowering, Phalaenopsis can produce a flowering stalk at most any time - initiation has to do with temperature changes and maturity of the plant. Although spikes can appear at any time of the year, most of mine come into spike during the winter months and flower around November, December and January. It takes about three months for the spike to grow and develop into flowers. Most growers cut back the flower stalk (called inflorescence) after blooming has completely finished to allow the plant to rest. The belief is that the next flower spike will be stronger. Phalaenopsis Orchids are wonderful houseplants! Here are a few general care rules: Orchids need ample humidity, so put the pot on a pebble-filled tray and keep water in it. Also keep the soil moist. When watering, use tepid, not cold water. Mist the leaves occasionally. Orchids need 10-15 hours of bright light each day, but keep them out of direct sunlight. They prefer daytime temperatures of about 70F in summer and 60F in winter, with a 10 degree drop at night. Keep them out of cold drafts, feed them during the summer months with a low nitrogen fertilizer, and let them become pot-bound (they flower more freely when their toes are pinched). I hope this information helps!

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