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Care of your Bohemian Orchid

To be able to enjoy your Bohemian Orchid as long as possible, you will find here a few tips on care.

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Light place - no direct sunlight
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Plant food once a month
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Cut off branch for re-blooming
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Immerse once every 5-7 days
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Optimal temperature: 16-24˚C

 

Feeding

The slow-growing Phalaenopsis requires little or no plant food in living room conditions. If you see fit, you can give it a little all-purpose plant food once a month.

Re-potting

The re-potting of Phalaenopsis (and orchids in general) is not advised unless absolutely necessary due to the pot having become too small. The new pot must have holes at the bottom to allow the drainage of excess water. This will prevent root rot. The orchid likes an airy mix, so do not press the soil down too firmly. Most garden centres sell special orchid compost.

Watering

It is easy to give orchids too much water by accident. The roots should NEVER be allowed to stand in excess water. If the orchid is in a decorative pot without holes, you should make sure no water is left standing in the pot. The roots will die off if they are too wet. Watering should be done as follows: remove the orchid in its growing pot from the decorative pot – the plant should therefore remain in the growing pot. Dip this pot into a tray of water at room temperature. Leave the plant standing in the water for five to ten minutes. Ensure that there is not too much water in the tray: a maximum of three-quarters of the growing pot may be covered by the water. Depending on the situation in your home (temperature and atmospheric humidity) and the weather outside (sunny or cloudy), you should dip the plant either more or less frequently than once a week. The weight of the plant is a good indicator: the lighter, the drier. You will learn to judge this better as time goes by.

Repeated flowering

After flowering, cut the stem above the second eye from the bottom. The eye is a thicker part of the flower stem and is easily recognised. After a while, a new branch will develop from that eye. New branches can also emerge from under each leaf, and this branch will in turn also produce flowers. After flowering, cut off this branch too, above the second eye. This will allow the plant to flower several times. If repeated flowering is unsuccessful, you could try placing your Phalaenopsis in a slightly cooler (but light) room for a few months (15 to 16 degrees Celsius). This promotes bud formation. This works as follows: the Phalaenopsis is not used to temperatures lower than 17 to 18 degrees because it originates in the tropics. It responds as if it is dying, and produces a branch to act as the next generation. For this to happen, the plant must of course be in a light spot. During this cold treatment, you should also give the plant less water. Once the branch appears, you should move the plant.