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With blooms so pretty, it makes my heart go giddy…
The flowers of Phalaenopsis orchid is soooo mesmerizing that it would make you wish it would last forever.
Sadly, unlike diamonds, plants just can’t live forever.
Although we can’t promise you eternity, there are tips and tricks we can teach you to make your orchids live much longer.
So, let’s not waste more time and get this article rolling…
How long do Phalaenopsis orchids live?
First things first, we have to establish how long do orchids really live?
The Phalaenopsis orchid, also known as Moth orchids, are often expected to live for several years. But, with proper care and attention, it can potentially last for decades.
As for its blooming time, though, it can blossom once up to three times a year if you’re very lucky. These flowers can stay gorgeous for about 2 to 3 months.
How to extend the lifespan of orchids?
Here are some tips you can follow to keep your moth orchids happy and alive for a long time.
Tip #1: Find the right spot
Moth orchids love bright yet filtered sunlight. It cannot tolerate sitting under direct sun for too long as this can burn them. Thus, it would be ideal to place it in the north or eastern-facing window.
If this spot is not feasible, you can put them someplace away from the window but still with a good amount of light. If you happen to have poor lighting indoors, you can also opt to use grow lamps instead. This artificial lighting can supplement light to any spot where the sun cannot reach. Just make sure to find the right capacity and intensity to deliver the needs of your orchid. LED and fluorescent lamps work best for this task.
Our top picks for grow lamps:
- Ankace Tri-head Adjustable Gooseneck LED Grow Lights
- King Plus Double Chip Full-Spectrum LED Grow Light
- Hydrofarm Agrobrite Fluorescent T5 Grow Light
Tip #2: Water to a tee
This is probably the hardest skill to master, especially for beginners. You see, orchids need to be hydrated with just the right amount of water. Not too much but not too little either.
Watering often depends on the type of growing medium used. Some organic materials tend to lose or hold moisture better than others. Moreover, environmental conditions also affect watering activities. As you may know, liquids are likely to evaporate faster in hotter climates. Thus, you may need to increase watering during warmer seasons to prevent the orchid from drying up.
In general, orchids hate to be deprived of water. So, it is best to water them liberally. Allow the water to flow throughout the potting mix. That is one good reason why you need to have a well-draining mixture. Moreover, you also have to give it some time to dry out between watering schedules. Thus, lessening the chances of overwatering the orchids.
If you are not pretty confident with your watering skills yet. You may benefit from using a moisture meter instead. This simple device will give you a more accurate measurement of the moisture levels. Thus, you will know when it is about time to water your orchids.
Our top picks for moisture meters:
- A.M. Leonard Soil Moisture Meter Probe
- Luster Leaf Digital Moisture Meter
- Tekcoplus Durable Soil pH & Moisutre Meter
Tip #3: Special grow mix for a special plant
Unlike the typical ornamental plants, orchids do not grow best in the dirt. The heaviness of traditional potting soil would tend to smother them. So instead, they would thrive best in a special type of growing media. One that can both promote ample drainage and airflow to its roots system.
Orchid potting mixes can include a wide variety of organic materials. Often it contains one or more of the following: sphagnum moss and peat, perlite, fir bark, charcoal, and coconut husk chips among many others.
Our top picks for orchid potting mixes:
- Miracle-Gro Orchid Potting Mix Coarse Blend
- Espoma Organic Orchid Mix Potting Soil
- Sun Bulb Better-Gro Phalaenopsis Orchid Potting Mix
Tip #4: Good balance of moisture & air
Orchids love moisture but hate having a “wet feet”.
In particular, phalaenopsis orchid thrives well in an environment with a relative humidity between 55% to 75%.
There are two ways to provide humidity without getting their roots soaked. First is simple misting with water. And another technique is to hang your orchids on top of a tray of water. So, as the water from the tray evaporates, it delivers the orchids the moisture it needs.
Aeration is also crucial to orchids’ health. Too much humidity without proper airflow can increase its likelihood of developing diseases. Thus, allow your orchids to get some fresh air as much as possible.
Our top picks for fine mist garden sprayer:
Tip #5: Keep it warm & cozy
Moth orchids prefer to be in a room with a temperature of 60°F to 65°F at nighttime and 75°F to 85°F during the daytime. It is essential to maintain consistent levels of temperature within the space. Orchids tend to be sensitive to sudden environmental changes. Thus, random spikes can shock them and cause their leaves to fall off.
It would help a lot to install thermometers to monitor the temperature, especially indoors. This device is inexpensive and often includes hygrometer functionality too. So, you can keep track of both readings in just one tool.
Our top picks for indoor thermometers:
- Govee Accurate Indoor Thermometer & Hygrometer
- ThermoPro Digital Thermometer & Hygrometer
- AcuRite Digital Hygrometer & Indoor Thermometer
Tip #6: Feed to succeed
Just like humans, orchids need some sort of vitamins too to boost their nutrition. Feed it with a complete and orchid-specific fertilizer once in a while. This will provide your plant with the right amounts of macro and micronutrients to grow in its best state.
It is ideal to dilute the solution at half-strength. You can administer this on a weekly basis, or as often as recommended by the manufacturer. When feeding, it is important to give your plant a good flush when watering. Doing so will prevent the untoward accumulation of salts.
Our top picks for orchid fertilizers:
- Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Orchid Food
- Schultz Fast-Acting Water Soluble Plant Food
- Sun Bulb Better-Gro Orchid Plus
Ooh, we bet your pretty orchids will flourish once you apply all the new tips you’ve learned to their care. In this article, we’ve mentioned just a few of the many things you can do to help your moth orchids live longer. Simply follow this basic care guide, as it will provide you with the best foundation for your plant. And, as I always say: Grow it right from day one so you can give it a long run!