Phalaenopsis Orchids are very popular house plants. They can be easily found in supermarkets and florists; they have large blooms and they come in many colors.
Orchids are exotic beauties and they don’t need too much attention, are easy to take care of to bloom consistently and for a long period of time.
But even if they are so well known and we can find them in almost every household, many of us don’t know much about orchids.
So, here are 10 fun and interesting facts about phalaenopsis orchids:
1. Easy to Care
As I mentioned above, orchids are not difficult to take care of. If they are happy in their environment, they can bloom multiple times during the year.
Phalaenopsis orchids need repotting every one to two years, depending on how big it is and how healthy their roots are. If the plant likes its environment, then grows faster, and it might need repotting once a year. Or if the roots are not healthy but they are rotten or dry, you must repot the orchid as soon as you can, so the plant will not die.
Watering is another thing that is important for Phalaenopsis Orchids, because it depends on the factors which their environment offers, such as humidity, temperature, and light.
Depending on these factors, typically once a week is enough to water these plants, or you can check the bark if it is dry, then you have to water it. Also, you can check the orchid’s roots: if they are bright green it means they are well and healthy, but if they are silvery-grey, that means they need watering.
The next thing that is essential for orchids is the light. They like the bright shade, indirect light, so they will burn on the direct sunlight. You can put it next to the window, so they can get enough light, but make sure that the sunlight is not too hot.
Orchids also like humidity and they need fertilizers. There are many fertilizers on the market, but you want to make sure that you use orchid-specific fertilizers once a week or every two weeks, depending on the type of the product.
Also, there are many tips on how to increase the humidity for the plant, as they like it higher than the other plants.
2. Don’t Need Soil
Yes, you read it right. Phalaenopsis Orchids and their other orchid friends don’t need soil as the other typical house plants do. This might be surprising, but orchids are epiphytes (air plants), so they grow and live on other plants’ surfaces, such as trees but they can even live on rocks as well.
Typical soil would suffocate orchids and they would die because the soil does not provide the needed airflow for the roots to survive.
So, what we should use when potting the orchids? Fortunately, we have several choices to use for these special plants:
- Fir bark
- Sphagnum moss
- Peat moss
- Lava rocks
- Clay pebbles
- Tree fern
- Coconut fiber
These components can be used on their own or can be mixed and combined for the orchid in a way that the medium will provide enough moisture and airflow for the plant’s roots, also it has to provide stability so the orchid can cling to it.
3. Orchids Grow on Trees
This is another interesting fact about Phalaenopsis Orchids and other orchids as well. They naturally grow on trees and shrubs in moist and high in temperature forests. The orchid clings to the tree and gets all the needed moisture and nutrients from the bark of the tree.
If you live in subtropics and tropics it is possible for you to cultivate your orchids on your tree. You just have to find the right tree, locate the fixation place for your orchid plant, get some moss and cotton ties, then place your orchid on the mount and tie it.
Sounds so easy, right? It is not rocket science, but there are several factors which you should take into consideration if you want to grow an orchid on a tree.
4. Aerial Roots
Another interesting fact about the Phalaenopsis Orchids is that they have aerial roots. These are the roots that grow above the growing medium. If you see these kinds of roots on your orchid plant, don’t get panicked, it is normal to have them, and don’t need to repot them.
So, what are they exactly? As I mentioned earlier, Phalaenopsis Orchids are epiphyte orchids, so they grow on other plants and trees. In their natural habitat, they have to cling and reach the light.
This is where the aerial roots come in the help of the plant. They help the orchid to cling to the host plant, but also absorb moisture and carbon dioxide directly from the air, so the orchid can survive.
5. Long Lasting Flowers
The flowering time for the orchids can last for many weeks (from 1 week to even 21 weeks), depending on the type of plant. The Phalaenopsis Orchids’ flowers can last from 8 weeks up to 16 weeks. These types of orchids can also bloom once or twice a year. So, if the plant is happy, you can get flowers for almost the whole year.
However, if you would like that your orchids’ flowers last as long as possible, you have to ensure that the environment is beneficial for the plant.
There are several factors you have to focus on, such as humidity, sunlight, watering, and temperature. Once the flowers died, you should prune the orchid, then let it rebloom with time.
6. Long Lifespan
Another incredible fact about orchids is that they can live many years (up to 100 years). Many people think that after the orchid loses its flowers it should be discarded.
But if you take care of it and you guarantee the appropriate environment and nutrients, your orchid can live for decades and bloom every year at least once.
7. Flower Colors and Patterns:
Phalaenopsis Orchids are loved by many people especially for their variety of colors. The most common color in Phalaenopsis Orchids is white, but there are yellow, salmon, purple, pink, red colors as well.
However, the varieties are endless, because you can find them in every shade and color, with different patterns, like dots and stripes.
Phalaenopsis Orchids are diverse in terms of colors, you can even find black one as well, but these are very rare.
The only color you will not find naturally in Phalaenopsis Orchids is blue. These are dyed to make the flowers blue, but this is only temporary. Once the blue flowers die, the next bloom will be in its natural color.
8. Lots of Orchid Varieties
Orchids come in many types and colors. The fun fact is that there are around 28.000 currently accepted species. Phalaenopsis Orchids are the most popular orchid types, but even these have many species.
The most popular is the Doritaenopsis, but the Aphrodite, Amabilis, Sanderiana, Appendiculata, Bellina, Buyssoniana, Deliciosa, Equestris, Pulcherrima, and Veitchiana are quite popular as well.
9. Hard to Propagate
Another fact is that Phalaenopsis Orchids are quite hard to propagate. It is not as easy as a succulent plant to propagate, but it is not impossible. There are three ways of doing it. You can either choose from plant division, keiki, or back bulbs.
Large Phalaenopsis Orchids can be split into more sections from which new plants should grow. Back bulbs are pseudobulbs that still store water but it has no roots or flowers, and keiki is an offshoot developed on the nodes of the plant.
10. Not a Toxic Plant
Many people who have children or pets might be worried about the toxicity of Phalaenopsis Orchids. The truth is that these plants are non-toxic to cats and dogs and have been specifically mentioned as baby-safe house plants.
However, you should be careful with other orchid species, because not all of them have been researched and there are some which have been confirmed as toxic to human.
Phalaenopsis Orchids can be found in many households and in many varieties. It is an easy-going plant, which if it is looked after correctly, can bloom several times a year for long times of periods.
Also, they are safe for pets and children, so they can be placed in many places in the house.