Gardening guru Ciscoe Morris shows us a few tricks for caring for orchids.

How to care for your moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) to keep it thriving and blooming practically year round.

It s hard to believe that the delicate looking moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) with its elegant, arching wands of colorful moth shaped flowers, is one of the easiest of all orchids to grow as a houseplant.

It ll even rebloom as long as you give it what it needs. These tropical forest plants prefer a bright location, but will burn up in direct sunshine. Raise humidity by placing them on a moist pebble tray, and misting daily before noon. Over watering kills more Phalaenopsis than anything else. Water only when the planting medium feels dry, and the pot feels light when lifted. Water until water runs through into the saucer, but toss out the excess and never allow the plant to sit in water. When it comes to feeding, remember the phrase weakly-weekly. Feed weekly with 1/4 of the recommended dose of orchid food once every two weeks in winter, and feed with the same dilution weekly in summer. When the last flower fades, cut to a node where the first flower had occurred on the flower stem. If all goes well, a new flower stalk should grow from that location. It won t happen, however unless you use a trick.

Although Phalaenopsis prefer day time temperatures around 70 degrees, in order to set blooms, they must experience nightly temperatures that are about 15 degrees lower, in the mid 50s. Don t let night temperatures drop too low, however. If they sink into the 40s, it could kill your plant.

Ciscoe Save Meon New Day Northwest is brought to you by Bark and Garden Center in Olympia

Read or Share this story: