Orchid Growing Tips - Phalaenopsis type Dendrobiums
image Light
You can have the plants inside when they are in bloom, but once the flowers are gone we suggest putting them back outside to put on good growth for the next flowering season. Place your orchid on your Florida lanai or in a bright windowsill, such as west/south exposure for northern climates. The leaves should be medium-colored green. If the light is too bright, then the leaves may burn or be very yellowish. Outside, the leaves are allowed to be a little warm to the touch, but if the leaves feel hot, they are burning. Filtered morning or afternoon sun is great - never full sun. Try hanging them in a tree.
image Water
Never use salt-softened water. Tap water or rain water is best. Water every few days in warm weather if they get very dry, but wait longer during the cooler winter months. Wait until the media dries out each time before watering again; the plants must not remain soggy. When you do water, make sure the bark-medium and plant roots are thoroughly soaked with water. Remember - let the orchid roots dry out before watering again. Don’t let a plant sit in water for more than half an hour; drain excess water off. Bone dry for weeks isn’t too good either, but it is better than water root rot!
image Fertilizer
Fertilizer helps your plants. It is good to fertilizer every 2-3 weeks (quarter to half teaspoon per gallon of water.) The more filtered sun the plant gets the more fertilizer it can use. Any balanced household plant food will work fine. You can use 10-10-10, 15-30-15 or 20-20-20 similar fertilizer. No fertilizer is used from November through mid February. Too much nitrogen fertilizer after late Summer keeps some Dens from blooming. Just use it!
image Temperature
Ideal is 55 to 60F at night and 85 to 90F during the day. However, the plants can take a short temperature exposure range between 40F protected, and 100F if shaded. Below 50F may cause them to stop growing until the temperatures warm up again. Below 40F can kill, so bring them in if they were outside. If you are comfy, your orchid probably is, too.
image Blooming
Don’t repot your Dendrobium unless absolutely necessary. Pot bound is better. Most Dendrobiums can bloom anytime from spring to late fall, usually 2 or 3 spikes or more, if they are happy and growing well. Some hybrids bloom more often than others. They can bloom on each new growth, once the growth matures. Once bloomed, it is kept for food storage by the plant and might bloom again later in the year.