Orchid problems: tips for growing my Phanalenopsis

Orchid problems: tips for growing my Phanalenopsis

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I would like to describe the situation of my Phalaenopsis: unfortunately last summer it was left without adequate care for a long time, and the two buds that had formed turned yellow and withered, I photographed them (will they come off by themselves or do I have to remove them?). As you can see in one of the photos, a new shoot has sprung up, it should be a flower stem.

To get enough light to the plant, I keep it in the morning on the windowsill in the living room, where the window faces east; in the afternoon, on the other hand, I keep it on the windowsill in my room behind a light curtain, where the window faces west. I shouldn't change the position, but in this way I try to maintain the same conditions throughout the day. I spray the leaves 1-2 times a day with demineralized water and I bathe once a week by gently running the water from the tap on the soil and letting it drain well.

The vase rests on some fragments of expanded clay in order to maintain a certain degree of humidity (I do a bit of everything to recover the period of lack of care, hoping not to make mistakes). I administered stick fertilizer to insert into the soil, with the NPK 8-10-13 formula.

P.s .: today I inadvertently broke one of the roots that protrude from the soil, do you recommend putting some wax?

Thank you both for your patience and for the possible answer!


Thanks in advance and have a nice day.


Hi Gianluca,

first I want to tell you that the dedication and care you have for this beautiful plant is admirable. Congratulations. But reading what you write, I believe that some things you should review them, and I'll explain why.

First I suggest you read the article dedicated to Phalaenopsis cultivation so you will get a better idea of ​​my observations.

First of all, it is not good that you move your orchid every day . Think about one thing: in nature plants take light just as mother nature makes it arrive. It is true that the Phalaenopsis they are found clinging to the highest parts of the trees because in this way they have a greater quantity of light but, once born, they remain there for life. East exposure is fine. By the way, from what I can see from the photos, it is also a nice large and airy window so it will have enough light for the whole day. Also consider that the Phalaenopsis it is orchids that have a lower need for light, so do not move it. Always leave it there. Check out this article Light needs of orchids, so you get an idea of ​​their light needs.

You can cut the two dry shoots if they bother you. Always consider one thing for the Phalaenopsis: you must not cut everything that is green. Cut only the dry parts. Why do I say this, because you never know where new roots or new flower stems can sprout.

Now let's see irrigation but first a small premise: the Phalaenopsis they are epiphytic plants that is to say they are plants with aerial roots with which they anchor themselves to trees or other supports. The roots are free in the air and from the air they capture the particles of moisture and nourishment they need to live. Furthermore, as you know they are also green, which means that they carry out chlorophyll photosynthesis (like leaves) and it is for this reason that the vessels that contain them are transparent, just to let the light reach them and should never be covered.

You have placed the pot on pebbles where there is always a trickle of water which evaporating creates a humid microclimate around the plant, and this is a very good thing. In this way the roots benefit a lot. Leaf sprays are fine. But don't overdo it, especially in the winter period. Also remember that sprays should be done early in the morning. In fact, in the evening the leaves must be dry. Otherwise dangerous rot could develop.

To know when to water you need to look at the plant. She will tell you if she needs it or not. In fact, if you see nice turgid and green roots, then it doesn't need water. Don't make them on schedule. Just when you see that the roots take on a light silver-green tint, water. Look at the photos below, I took them for you as I had to water them.

Dry roots

Wet roots

In practice I tell you this because there are no fixed rules on how many times to water since a lot depends on the substrate you use. For example, I only use pieces of bark that retain little moisture, however, despite this in this period, I water about once a week. Approximately every 15 days in winter.

To water it, putting it under the tap is not good. First how is the water of the pipeline of your city? Mine for example is very limestone so it's not good. I use what we drink in bottles, which I recommend, or you can use demineralized water (the one used for irons that you find at the supermarket). To water it, proceed by immersion: find a large container in which to completely immerse the pot with the orchid and cover it with water. Leave it to soak for 5-10 minutes, then drain the water well and put it back in its place.

Below I bring you the photo of how I water them. A container a little bigger than the orchid vase (which is its container where I normally keep it), I leave them in immersion and to keep them underneath, since they tend to come to the surface, I put the meat tenderizer (each one adopts his strategies)!

From the photos you send me of yours Phalaenopsis,, I seem to see that some roots have some suffering. It seems to me that some are dry and rotten. My advice is to check them out. Wet them thoroughly first, after which take the orchid out of the pot very gently and check the roots. This is an opportunity to also check the state of the soil: if it is very friable it means that it needs to be changed. Follow the advice you find in the chapter on repotting orchids Type of soil and repotting of orchids. You can use ready-made potting soil for orchids. On the market you will find many brands, however, if what you buy does not have a good amount of bark, I suggest you add it (you always find it in the nursery) because it makes the soil more airy. If you decide to use it, remember to boil it before putting it in the jar. As you remove the plant from the pot, observe the roots and remove any rotten or dry ones with a clean and disinfected scissors, possibly over a flame.

As for fertilizations, I recommend that you first read what is indicated in the chapter dedicated to the fertilization of orchidsI do not recommend the use of sticks, unsuitable for these plants. The substrate of the Phalaenopsis it is mostly inert, so the fertilizer does not spread into the soil. In this way you only cause a large concentration of fertilizer in a single point, causing damage to the nearby roots and consequently to the whole plant. To administer the fertilizer to the Phalaenopsis dissolve it in the watering, before soaking the plant.

As for the type of fertilizer to use, read what is indicated in the chapter that I indicated to you on the cultivation of Phalaenopsis. The fertilizer you use (NPK 8-10-13) is not very suitable. The logic is: fertilizer with a greater quantity of nitrogen to make it grow and that is a 30N: 10P: 10K or however, if you do not find exactly this ratio, a fertilizer with a greater quantity of nitrogen than the other elements. To encourage flowering, a 10N: 30P: 20P is used, while in the other periods a balanced one of the type 20N: 20P: 20K is used.

Also I would advise you to use a foliar fertilizer, that is to say a fertilizer that can also be administered via the leaves with the nebulizations. It is a great help when the roots are in pain. But be careful, it is always a fertilizer, use the indicated doses and in spring, once every 15 days, it is more than enough. You can also use it for radical administration by dissolving it in watering water.

Remember that fertilizations as well as nebulizations must be done early in the morning so that the leaves are dry in the evening.

One last thing: the photo is not clear and I cannot understand if it is a flower stem. But, beyond that, it seems to me a bit bad with that bottleneck, on the verge of survival ...

I hope I was helpful.

Good day.

Dr. M. G. Davoli


I thank you infinitely, both for your kindness and for the service offered. Congratulations, I will gladly read the next updates and I have already recommended your site to some friends.

Phalaenopsis orchid yellowed: Answer: phaelaenopsis orchid

Dear Rossella,

in general, the development of phalaenopsis orchids occurs by producing new turgid leaves, which gradually replace the underlying ones, in fact all the evergreen plants periodically lose their leaves, but not before having produced new ones, which they will go to practice chlorophyll photosynthesis in place of dead ones. Since you grow your plant in the best way, I believe this is the reason so I also believe that your plant already has nice new leaves, turgid and a nice green.

The yellowing of the leaves is not always a symptom of discomfort, of course if this yellowing deprives the plant totally of green organs then there is something to worry about.

However, you can easily understand when the yellowing is due to the age of the leaves or to a disease.

In the case of a leaf that is now old and dying, you will notice a slow yellowing of the whole leaf page, which becomes more and more yellow throughout its area, just like the leaves of a deciduous tree try to observe the ginkgo biloba in autumn, within a week the whole plant turns gold, but no one cares about it, it is the normal biological cycle of the plant.

When, on the other hand, the yellowing is due to a disease, it does not occur homogeneously on the leaves, which often become spotted before turning yellow completely, or in addition to changing color instead of drying they become soft and limp. In these cases it is often a matter of rot, due to excess watering, or to stagnant water in the saucer.

The presence of insects, on the other hand, often manifests itself with small yellow spots, especially in the case of mites, sometimes even only in a small portion of the leaf, often insects hide on the underside of the foliage, or at the attachment of the leaves to the plant. , It is therefore difficult to notice them, if you do not look in the right fist.

Another reason why plants turn yellow is chlorosis, a metabolic disease, due to the fact that the soil in which they are placed does not contain bioavailable iron for the plant, or contains excessive amounts of limestone, which acts as an antagonist to iron. type of disturbance generally afflicts acidophilic plants (azaleas, camellias, pieris) but it is not uncommon that it also attacks houseplants grown in pots, especially when the soil of the container has not been replaced for years.

The yellowing due to chlorosis is however quite well recognizable: the plant, in its entirety, we would say begins to fade leaves with a color that is usually dark green, begin to become light green, and slowly become yellow, sometimes even almost white.

Another reason why the leaves turn yellow is the lack of watering, which however is accompanied by the drying up of the soil, the roots, the entire plant.

Phalaenopsis orchids

Phalaenopsis, in particular their hybrids, are the most commonly found orchids on the market. Their cultivation is very simple as they adapt very well to the apartment life.

Phalaenopsis Amabilis

Phalaenopsis include about thirty species of epiphytic orchids, with colorful and very elegant flowers. Among these, we remember the Phalaenopsis amabilis, an orchid native to the areas.

The Orchid


hi, i have a little problem with my phalaenopsis orchid. I bought it in October from unicef ​​it was very beautiful it made 2/3 flowers and then it dried the stem. I listened to the advice of a fio.

Orchid problems related to poor care

Orchids are flowers used to a hot / humid climate and that they can only live in protected and air-conditioned environments they require constant lighting (about 12 hours a day) but should never be exposed to direct sunlight. Frequent changes in temperature or temperatures that are too far from the optimal ones can irreparably harm the flower. An environment that is too humid can cause spots to appear on the flowers, while low humidity can make the leaves yellow or shriveled. It is best to place the orchids on a shelf at the top, to keep the constant temperature around 15/18 degrees and vaporize them often.

Watering must be frequent but the earth must never be soupIt is therefore better to immerse them in a basin with water at room temperature and wait for the plant to suck the right amount of nutrition by itself. The specific fertilizer should only be added every 15/20 days, because an excess can dry out the plants. Not all orchids can be grown indoors, and it would be good to ask an expert about the specific characteristics of the plant we have chosen.

Here are the most common mistakes which can cause damage to your orchids:

  1. Excessive lighting, too high temperatures or low humidity cause:
  2. Yellowing of the leaves, reddish leaves, discoloration of the flowers
  3. Insufficient lighting (can be remedied with artificial lighting) can cause:
  4. Failure to form sprouts or weak shoots, leaves that curl up
  5. Excessive humidity, excessive watering, water not at room temperature or too rich in chlorine can cause:
  6. Yellowing of the leaves and exit of the roots from the pot

Low humidity can cause:

  • Leaves slightly turgid, not very shiny, yellowed or wrinkled

Too low a temperature can cause:

  • Brown spots on the flowers, reddish color of the younger leaves, darkening of the base of the flowers

Excessive exposure to direct or too strong light can cause:

  • Burnt, burned or injured leaves, which become more vulnerable to attack by pathogens

The most popular genres

CYMBIDIUM-They are probably the most spectacular orchids in regards to the abundance of flower branches that each specimen, even small ones, can produce and the huge number of varieties made up by flower growers. They are also the easiest to grow and those that guarantee the longest lifespan of the flowers, both in plant and cut. The flowers, with a classic waxy consistency, vary in size, from 5-6 centimeters up to 12-13 centimeters.

PHALAENOPSIS- Also note comand “butterfly orchid”, the varieties of this genus are the ones currently most present in the apartments, also due to the small size of the specimens. They are extremely decorative due to the shape of the flowers and their harmonious arrangement along a supple stem.

CATTLEYA- Always considered the queen of orchids thanks to its flowers, showy, elegant and with a delicate scent. Always present in the collections of enthusiasts, they are however among those less easy to cultivate and to induce flowering.

PAPHIOPEDILUM- Also called "Venus slipper" for the shape of the flower, which recalls that of a slipper, this orchid is well suited to staying in an apartment, both for the small size of the plant and for the ease of cultivation. Its flowers have an exceptional duration, both in plant and cut.

DENDROBIUM- Small in size, but not very easy to grow, is capable of producing abundant flowers, with a delicate and light shape and bright colors, gathered along supple flower stalks.

Phalaenopsis orchid tips

Green wizard

Aspiring Garden Girl


Senior gardener


Moderator Sect. Orchids and Water Gardens

in general, water only when the roots inside the pot turn from green to gray / silver
keep in bright position but not direct sun
when it fades if the stem does not dry you can still cut it, 2/3 cm from the base
a photo would be useful, however the cultivation pot is the classic transparent one, even if it seems narrow, okay, do not put it in too tight pot covers, because it limits the air recirculation, which is instead necessary.

then take a peek at the faq, they are very useful

Green wizard

Aspiring Garden Girl

Green wizard

Aspiring Garden Girl


Moderator Sect. Orchids and Water Gardens

was he out these days in the Novara area?

not good, it is a plant that as minimum temperatures must be around 18 °, so you kill it!

keep it at home, until you get to still have the lowest night temperatures around 20 degrees. so until June next year !!

Green wizard

Aspiring Garden Girl

here are the photos of my run-down orchid

They gave it to me because they didn't know how to behave, I'm sending you some photos, it has spotted flowers and a not very beautiful leaf. Try to take a look.

In case tell me how I have to behave, the leaf passes a little I would cut it, and also the two small ones below have a slightly yellow color, it took too much water in my opinion, the roots seem beautiful to me give me an opinion if you expert thanks in advance this forum and a **** ta. Hello



Guru Giardinauta

Hi, I would say that maybe one of two things or both:

1) you do not have to wet it in the evening but only in the morning avoiding very humid days of torrential rain
2) on the ground at night (the heaters are turned off) the temperature drops and, as we know, the humidity and the cold air thickens at the bottom due to the specific weight.

The spot might look like a fungus attack but the plant seems to be fine for the rest.

You do not have to keep it on the ground but on a table / piece of furniture, keep it in good light, ensure if possible at least 16, 18 degrees (more better), do not wet it in the evening etc.

Reading that they gave it to you, I would add that the spots of the flowers are botrytized by humidity! I think it was also sprayed with the spray on the flowers (here's the problem).

* Is the leaf also black on the lower page ?.

Finally, you can also remove the tag in the jar which is better

Video: Orchid Care for Beginners - Phalaenopsis problems. How to spot, treat u0026 prevent!


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