Phalaenopsis is a monopodial orchid that grows from a single stem. It does not have the large water-storing pseudobulbs found on sympodial orchids, although its leaves can store some water. These are the thick-leaved plants with elegant, arching sprays of blooms.
Phalaenopsis typically bloom in the late winter or early spring. Their long-lasting flowers are held on arching branches and open successively. A single multi-branching flower spike can have more than 20 flowers. Individual phalaenopsis flowers can last for weeks. To induce a flower spike, the plant needs a few cooler nights, around 55 F. The plants will not bloom well without this temperature contrast.
Phalaenopsis need high humidity and high temperatures, bright light (but generally do not thrive in full sunlight.) and turbulent air flow. Water the orchids enough to keep them moist but not soggy. Soggy plants tend to rot. You can prevent this by using a chunky bark medium or other gritty soil that doesn't hold onto moisture. These orchid plants need 80 percent humidity, In order to raise the level of humidity, spray moth orchids with cool water by using a spraying bottle or by a humidifier or spritzing the air. They flourish under overhead irrigation and bright sunlight.
The best way to grow Moth Orchids is in open baskets with no substrate. To start with, weave the roots through the basket slots and wire the stem base in place with plant wire
Use a balanced (such as 20-20-20) fertilizer applied full strength once a week during warm weather or use a one-quarter-strength solution at every watering. During cool or cloudy weather, apply fertilizer once every two to four weeks. Use a high-phosphorus fertilizer (such as 10-30-20) every third application to promote flowering. Remember; never fertilize an orchid that is completely dry, because this can cause major damage to the roots. You should always water your orchid very thoroughly once a month so that the excess fertilizer build-up can be removed.
Makes excellent hanging plants from tress or baskets.