Phalaenopsis on Tree

Phalaenopsis- Why you are killing it with Kindness

The magnificence of the Phalaenopsis is apprectiated far and wide. The simple flat wing-like blooms are modern, sleek and stylish and suit most decors making them the perfect gift for someone or for your own home. But so many customers come in store disappointed that the flowers had not lasted, or that the foliage became soft and mushy…..

The sad truth of it is they have been killed; killed with kindness. Too much water. Too often.

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Image via Flickr

The Phalaenopsis is often known as a ‘Moth Orchid’ based on its flowers appearance, and is the most common variety of orchid due to its ease of production under artificial conditions and the availability of blooming plants year-round. Phals are a fantastic indoor plant, and flower for such a large percentage of the year, with plants blooming throughout Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. Moth orchids form a cluster of lush, fleshy broad leaves from the rootstock. Arching flower stems, naturally form more horizontally, than vertically emerge and reach above this foliage and carry up to 20 or so flowers. The blooms come in such a wide variety of colours, from the popular pure whites, to rose and mauves, to unusual spotted harlequin varieties also.

Phalaenopsis_philippinensis_NationalOrchidGarden-Singapore
Image: Wikipedia

Phalaenopsis are classified as epiphyts, meaning they are ‘air plants’ and in their natural environment they thrive in trunks and leaves of other plants below the canopies of moist lowland tropical rainforests of Asia, New Guinea and northern Australia, protected against direct sunlight. In order to replicate their natural environment, they require warm, humid conditions with filtered light. And whilst the humidity and constant moisture result in quite a damp environment, their rich growing medium is well drained.

The basic requirements to keep your Phalaenopsis happy:

  • A moderately bright windowsill or similar spot to grow in.
  • Watering when it begins to dry out, usually every 7 to 10 days making sure that the plant is well drained. DO NOT LET THE PLANT  SIT IN WATER.
  • Fertilizing with a orchids specific fertiliser
  • Repotting when the bloom is finished
Whilst Phalaenopsis can be repotted anytime, which is different to any other orchid variety, it is still best to do so when not in bloom. Phalaenopsis, particularly younger plants thrive on being repot, but remember a good quality fresh orchid mix is essential for encouraging new growth. Generally, a generic potting mix from a hardware store is not the best choice.
Phalaenopsis will have at least a few nodes going up the spike prior to the blooms. Each of these nodes bears the potential to branch either during or after the initial bloom.
Phalaenopsis-amabilis
Image: Plant Rescue

 

To cut or not to cut?

Once a Phalaenopsis has finished bearing flowers you can expect that the stem will begin ti run brown and dry out. It may not turn brown the whole way down, and thats ok. Many of our customers come in having been told conflicting methods, confused as to what to do.

One method involves cutting the spike just below a node where the plant first flowers, allowing the plant to rebloom again as a branch off the existing spike. This method results in the flower display apearing sooner, but as the plant has had no true rest period, the blooms will be smaller.

The other method involves cutting the spike entirely when all the blooms have dropped, Blooms take a large amount of energy from the plant, so this allows the plant to gather up its energy for a sensational bloom and display in the future.

 

 

Basal Keiki on Phalaenopsis Orchid
Phalaenopsis stem ready to be cut

 

This shows a node on a Phalaenopsis spike. Each node has the potential to branch off with a new growth during flowering

 

Phalaenopsis new spikes are green- these should NOT be cut

This orchid is from a species than bloom sequentially from the same flower spike. So far, the plant has sent off three separate spikes at different times and they will each bear one or two blooms at a time. If you are unsure whether to cut a spike, or not, and are unable to find out the parentage of the plant, you should simply observe.  The best rule of thumb is If the spike remains green, leave it alone’.

Identify Orchid - Spike
Fresh emerging spike :-) Yay! Flowers on their way

Looking for a way to add colour to your bedroom or bathroom? Florist with Flowers have a bunch of healthy and happy Phalaenopsis plants in store currently, looking for their forever homes. If you have room in your home (and hearts) for them, you can order online, or call us direct!

Healthy Phalaenopsis plants currently in store looking for their forever homes

Til next time,

Fwf x

 

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New Beginnings- Bringing health, wealth and properity to your life in 2015 with Fresh Flowers

So last week as we rung in the New Year we looked at the positive influence a living plant can have on your living space. This week we turn our attention to fresh cut flowers. Maybe last year wasn’t all that you had hoped it would be. Well, some believe that Feng Shui is the way to encourage what life is lacking and fresh flowers can play a vital role.

Fresh flowers are of course the best way to bring a strong healing energy to your home, but with our ever changing environment and wayward seasons, sourcing certain fresh flowers just isn’t possible all year round. By choosing floral images, fabrics or even high quality silks you can still work within Feng Shui also. It comes as no surprise that the flowers used most widely through Chinese art: Peonies, Lotus, Chrysanthemums, Cherry Blossoms, and Orchids, are also flowers that feature most prominently throughout Feng Shui as the Philosophy originates in China. The Philosophy was originally used to orientate buildings in an auspiscious manner by building or creating in an area with good Qi (ch’i), but is also used a way of harmonising everyone within their environment. When thinking about this in your immediate environment (your home), it is important to think about what it is you want (or need) to encourage to flourish there. Is it health? Love/Romance? Job opportunities or career growth? Spiritual growth?

Here are a brief list of some flowers are their Feng Shui applications:

Cherry Blossom;

Cherry Blossoms all over my backyard!!
Image: Auntie Dogma’s Garden Spot

All of the blossoming fruit trees (Cherry, peach, apple, etc) have been known to have the energy of new beginnings, flourishing before the fruit season and with just a hint of what is yet to come. They bring with it a sense of freshness and innocence, and thus the cherry blossom is often used as a symbol of love and marriage.

Peonies:

Mint julep cups make elegant vases (and a nice foil for holding pens and scissors on your desk, too) via Julie Blanner's blog Coordinately Yours
Image: Julie Blanner

Peonies are one of the most sought after flowers for weddings in the Western word and with their awesome appearance and delicious scent, the peony has long been used in feng shui as a cure for love & romance. This especially applies to pink peonies over any other shade. Peonies are available for such a short season in Australia’s late Spring/Early summer, so this is one case where a picture, or silk arrangement may be required.

Lotus:

Lotus Beautiful gorgeous pretty flowers. Everything about this sacred plant is beautiful, leaves, pods, flowers, stems.
Image: Flowers. Garden. Love via Tumbler

The lotus flower symbolises the ultimate perfection as its purity is untouched by its muddy origins. Every part of the lotus is used within Chinese medicine from its roots to petals and for this reason, the lotus is the symbol for a healthy and harmonious home.

Narcissus:

Narcissus perennials,  common names include daffodil & jonquil white yellow
Image: via Flickr

In Chinese culture the narcissus flower is believed to encourage one’s career to flourish. It is often used as a feng shui career cure, believed to help one get properly recognised for his/her hard work- Phew! Interestingly the white Narcissus is used more frequently than the yellow in Feng Shui applications.

Orchids:

Ruby Leopard Slipper Orchid. I hope this is real and not photoshopped.
Image: Sussle- Knowledge worth Sharing

The orchid is a classic feng shui symbol of fertility. With its natural symmetry, it has also become a symbol for our quest for perfection in any areas of one’s life.

Feeling inspired by all that Mother Nature has provided? Florist with Flowers sources a vast array of seasonal blooms from local, interstate and overseas suppliers giving you a great choice of quality blooms throughout the year. In store now we have fresh: orchids, roses, chryssies, hydrangea, dahlias, bouvardia, lilies and much, much more! Come check out our fresh flower display and our gorgeous indoor plants and start the change you want to see in your life NOW!

Til next time,

Fwf x

 

 

 

 

 

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