Growing guide for Phalaenopsis plants
For Phalaenopsis potted in pots, watering is only necessary when the medium is on the dry side. When the medium is dry, the whole pot and medium are relatively lighter and the colour of the sphagnum moss is pale.
Usually for plants potted in pots of 2.5" diameter, it takes around 7 to 10 days for the sphagnum moss medium to dry after the previous watering. While for those in 3.5" pots, it can take 10 to 15 days for the medium to dry before the next watering. However, this depends on the weather, lighting and root system of the plants, hence the best way to determine if watering is necessary is by looking at the colour of the medium at the side of the transparent pots (one of the advantages of using transparent pots) and by feeling the weight of the whole pot and medium.
Overwatering of the medium can lead to root rot issues. One way to prevent this from happening is by only watering the whole pot of moss partially, by watering the top layer only and letting the water sink through slowly. By doing this, sufficient water is given to the plants and it helps the sphagnum moss in the pot to dry in a shorter period of time.
For Phalaenopsis plants growing on wood or fern bark, it is good to mist the roots once to twice a day, depending on the humidity of the growing environment. During rainy days, misting can be reduced to once a day. If the plants are partially exposed to rain, there is no need to mist or water them. Do note that misting water in the evening may lead to crown or stem rot issues.
2. Light requirements
As Phalaenopsis plants grow on tree trunks and limbs in their natural habitat, with branches and leaves sheltering them away from direct sunlight, their leaves can get easily damaged when exposed to strong and intense direct sunlight. Hence, it is best to avoid any direct sunlight or use 70% sun mesh to reduce the light intensity. A bright and airy environment with high humidity (50% to 80%) is ideal for Phalaenopsis plants.
The ideal temperature ranges from 25 to 28 degrees, but Phalaenopsis plants can also survive at temperatures of around 30 degrees.
Phalaenopsis plants are very sensitive to extreme humidity. A humidity level of 50% to 80% is preferred. Spraying or misting water on the leaves can help to increase the humidity level when it is low.
Phalaenopsis plants grow better with the use of organic-based fertiliser, such as plant compost extract and seaweed extract. Chemical-based fertiliser such as Epsom salt (MgSO4) can be given occasionally through foliage sprays as a supply of chemicals that organic fertiliser lacks.
It is better to use fertiliser of weaker concentrations on a more regular basis. By reducing the concentration of fertiliser used, it also reduces the chance of chemical burns on the root systems. Thus, it is safer to use chemical fertilisers as foliage sprays, in the early morning for better absorption. Excess chemicals can then be washed away by spraying water on the leaves a few hours later. Organic-based fertiliser, on the other hand, can be used in low concentrations (10-20% of usual strength), to be watered into the pots for better absorption.