Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A few Phalaenopsis hybrids

I tend to take Phalaenopsis for granted. There are so many available, all of the time, after a while they tend to blur together. I guess they're just too common. Plus, of ones I have bought so far, I haven't been able to rebloom them. But it's been less than 9 months, and some of the earlier ones are growing new leaves - slowly, like most orchid growth.

That's too bad - they are very nice flowers, very long lasting, and if bought in bloom, don't need a lot of care to be kept in bloom for at least a couple of months.

These are fairly 'standard' looking Phalaenopsis hybrids. I'm not that enthusiastic about the pale-colored ones, but bought them for variety. They've been in bloom for about 2 months. I brought them home when I started my leave of absence, 2 weeks ago.

In most cases, the grocery-store Phalaenopsis appear to be reently potted up from tiny containers, and the up-grade consists of very tightly wrapped sphagnum moss. I find this difficult to water effectively - they either seem to dry and the water just runs through, or they are very soggy and become rancid. My solution is to repot, carefully remove all moss and all original medium that I can without damaging roots and flowers, then repot in bark-based orchid mix. This doesn't seem to hurt the plants, they act as if nothing happened, but the watering is much less challenging.

Another case of evolving taste. Six months ago I didn't like these plum-spotted "Harlequin" Phalaenopsis. now here we are, one in the house. I bought it to cheer the office, but again, brought it home. It's growing on me, I like it now.

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