Home of the Finest Phalaenopsis and Phragmipediums

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Grow Phalaenopsis Indoors?   
A: Yes. Phals are perhaps the best orchid for growing indoors.   Their light needs are very similar to African Violets....a sunny East or South window. They like bright, but not direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight will often burn the tender leaves of a Phalaenopsis. As for temperature, normal room temperatures (65~78 degrees) are near ideal. Phals like moist air....heating and air conditioning systems tend to dry the air somewhat. You can raise the humidity around your plants by filling a shallow tray or plate with rocks. Then place the pots on the rocks.  Finally fill the tray with water until it is just BELOW the bottom of the pot.  Allowing a Phal sit in water is a sure way to kill it.  Misting may also be helpful.  Of course a greenhouse is the best place to grow an orchid, but...$$$$$$.

Q: How Often Should I Water Them?   
A: Well that depends on the growing media your Phals are potted in. Phalaenopsis have been successfully grown in many kinds of potting media and each media has it's own watering requirements.  We prefer a bark mixture for our mature Phals.  Under normal growing conditions Phals planted in bark or coconut husk chips need to be watered every 4 to 7 days.  If conditions are unusually dry or hot watering may have to be increased.  Our best advice is not to over water your plants. Phals are better equipped to tolerate under watering than over watering.  The most common disease problems associated with Phals are from over watering.  Phalaenopsis like to stay evenly moist, but not wet.  Keep water out of the center of the plant to prevent rotting.

Q: Do You Feed/Fertilize Them Regularly?     
A: The general rule of thumb is weekly/weakly.  Feed Phalaenopsis planted in bark type mixtures a half strength solution of 30-10-10 fertilizer.  Most other potting media require a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer.

Q: Where can I find books about Phalaenopsis orchids?        
A: Try the American Orchid Society's Online Bookstore.  There is of course, your local library.

Q:  Are orchids hard to grow?   
A:  No. They are no more difficult to grow than many popular flowering plants. Like any plant, an orchid needs water, fertilizer, light and air. If you grow other ornamental plants either in the garden or indoors, you can grow orchids.

Q: Aren't orchids tropical plants?   
A: Some are. But every country in the world and every state in the United States, including Alaska, has orchids.

Q: What do the letters (AM/AOS, HCC/AOS, etc.) after the plants name mean?   
A:  These letters indicate an award granted to the plant and by whom.  The letters before the slash are the abbreviation for the award.  The letters after the slash are the organization that granted the award.   HCC: Highly Commended Certificate, the flower scored from 75 to 79 points on a 100-point scale.  AM: Award of Merit, the flower scored from 80 to 89 points on a 100-point scale. FCC: First Class Certificate, the flower scored  90 points or more on a 100-point scale.  AQ:   Award of Quality, award given for superior quality of an entire cross not just an single cultivar.  AOS: American Orchid Society.  RHS: The Royal Horticultural Society.

Q: Are Phalaenopsis Addictive.   
A: Extremely!  If you find your self constantly thinking about, dreaming about or craving more and more Phals.,....it is best to seek professional counseling.  I have heard that some people have actually been cured.