Many people think orchids are difficult, and they can be if you don’t know how to treat them. Here are the basics:
Light: Orchids prefer bright, indirect light - with that in mind, placement near a south or west facing window is ideal. Set the plant back 1 - 3 ft from the window to ensure leaves aren’t burned by direct sunlight. Note: orchid blooms are exceptionally sensitive to temperature. If exposed to periods of cold below 50 - 60 degrees unbloomed buds will “blast” – turn yellow & shrivel, and eventually fall off the plant. There is no reversing this process once it’s happened. If possible, advise customers not to ship orchids to cold regions during winter months.
Water: Our general guidance is water with 3 oz of water or two ice cubes every week. In most cases, this will work. Customers may occasionally want to check the dryness of the potting medium (sphagnum moss in most cases) and give the orchid a more thorough watering if it’s very dry. Note: ALWAYS water below the leaves. If water flows into and sits and the center of the leaves, it will lead to crown rot and kill the orchid. If water does get between the leaves, soak it up with cotton buds or tissue. You can also blow gently into the meeting of the leaves to remove this water.
Bloom time: Phalaenopsis orchids will typically bloom for 4 - 8 weeks with proper care, though some will bloom longer.
What happens when the bloom is done? If the blooms have all withered and fallen but the stem is still green, check the stem for nodes. These will look like little green bumps about 1 - 2 inches apart on the stem. Cut off the stem about 1” above the node closest to the flowers. If the orchid is happy, it may push out another bloom from that node.
If the stem is dry and brown, cut it off completely near the base of the leaves. At this point, all you can do is wait and keep the plant happy. It may bloom again this season, or may take several months to bloom again. You could also fertilize the orchid (we do not sell fertilizer), during the growing season (May - Early September).