Group : Phalaenopsis
Covers these genera : Doriella (Drlla.) , Doriellaopsis (Dllps.) , Doritaenopsis (Dtps.) , Doritis (Dor.) , Kingidium (Ki.) , Kingiella (King.) , Phalaenopsis (Phal.)

General information for this group :
Most members of this group require nearly identical conditions. They are easy to grow and bloom when provided with the right environment. These plants are now readily available at many sales outlets like grocery stores, department stores, nurseries, etc.. They prefer lower light conditions and regular house temperatures (intermediate) to continue to grow and thrive. The main group that will be focused on are the mainstream types of Phalaenopsis and its hybrids. The miniature Phalaenopsis fall under the care category for Miniatures. For subgroups that have additional information, it will appear under individual headings near the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can click on the genus name above to take you directly to that subgroup.

Subgroup : Phalaenopsis and its hybrids

Covers these genera : Doriellaopsis (Dllps.) , Doritaenopsis (Dtps.) , Doritis (Dor.) , Phalaenopsis (Phal.)

Mainstream Phals fall into 3 major groups, depending on their backgrounds :

  • Moth types - large flowers - rounded petals much larger than sepals
  • Star types - large flowers - pointed petals nearly same size as sepals
  • Multiflorals - small flowers - often with branched spikes
  • Light and Fertilizers :
    Low to medium light. Extremes in leaf appearance, such as too yellow and hard, or too dark green and soft, indicate incorrect light conditions or use of the wrong fertilizer. The leaves should be medium green and medium hard. For windowsill culture this translates to an east or west, or filtered south exposure. Do not increase light levels drastically as this can lead to leaf-scorch or burning. All environmental changes should be gradual. For fertilizers you ideally want a 3:1:3 or 4:1:4 ratio, so 15-5-15 is a good, all-purpose formulation, but 20-20-20 is not.

    Watering and Media
    Do not allow to dry out completely, but also do not keep sopping wet ! We prefer to use a coarse bark mix to encourage an abundant root mass. Usually a thorough weekly watering is adequate, but you may need to increase the frequency if your growing conditions are exceptionally dry.

    Intermediate temperatures are best. A slight rest in the fall will help to encourage blooming. This can be achieved by reducing the night temperature to 13 or 14 ° C for about 4 weeks in the fall. Water should also be reduced, and fertilizer eliminated during this time.

    Special Notes for Moth types :
    Flower spikes should appear during December to January. When these spikes finish blooming, a secondary spike can be induced by cutting off the old spike 1 cm. above the last unflowered node. (see diagram below)

    This is not recommended for young or weak plants, which should have their old spikes removed completely 3 cm. from their bases. This allows these plants to devote their energy to achieving stronger growth for improved blooming next season.

    Special Notes for Star types :
    New flower spikes should appear in late winter, and old spike may reactivate at the same time. Flowering is activated by increased light levels. When flowering is complete, do NOT remove old spikes unless they turn yellow and die off. Old spikes will often continue to bloom for several years, taking the occasional brief rest period.

    Subgroup : Miniatures

    Covers these genera : Doriella (Drlla.) , Kingidium (Ki.) , Kingiella (King.)

    This information also pertains to miniature Phalaenopsis species, like parishii, lobbii, lowii, etc.

    Same as for Phalaenopsis, except :

  • They usually perform much better on a cork or treefern mount, as this encourages ample root development.
  • Many of these plants will become deciduous if encouraged to rest. Leaf development resumes with the next growth cycle, so do not assume they have died if the leaves drop off but the root system appears plump.
  • Benefit from having roots (not leaves) misted daily in drier environments.
  • Those without elongated bloom spikes are excellent terrarium candidates.

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