Documents: Special Interest: Orchids:

Houseplant Q & A - Phalaenopsis Orchid
by Jerry Filipski
by Jerry Filipski


Gerald (Jerry) Filipski is the gardening columnist for the Edmonton Journal, a position he has enjoyed as a freelance writer for the past 12 years. Jerry also writes for Canadian Gardening, the new Alberta Gardener as well as for the lifestyle magazine of P&O ferries. Jerry also does numerous public speaking engagements including some major gardening conferences and workshops as well as question and answer sessions for Wal-Mart and Rona.

May 27, 2001

Q. I have a Phalaenopsis orchid and it has been losing leaves constantly this winter and would like to know the reason why.

A.- Phalaenopsis do well in the same light condition
as the African Violet. Place plants near a west, or
east or shaded south-facing window.

  • Temperature should be 21 °C during the day and 16 °C at night.

  • Water plants regularly. When checking for moisture, insert a finger 2 cm into the media, if it feels moist wait several day before watering.

  • Since Phalaenopsis don't have water storage organs they should not be allowed to dry out completely before waterings. The Phalaenopsis has no resting period so the soil needs to be moist at all times. Do not allow water to sit in the centre of the plant as this will cause rotting.

  • Avoid leaving the plant in standing water. Incorrect watering is most often the cause of leaf loss.

  • In the spring and summer, fertilize with a balanced fertilizer (20-20-20). In autumn a bloom-promoting fertilizer (with low nitrogen levels) should be used.

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