There are 6 easy tips to know for growing your Phalaenopsis (aka Ice Cube Orchid) and it does NOT involve ice cubes. I currently have 3 Phalaenopsis and I want to share with you my tips for keep them healthy. They are very easy to grow and can give you many years of beautiful leaves and blooms. Here are my tips:
- Do NOT water with ice cubes but with room temperature water for a small pot about 1/4 cup and up to a 1/2 cup for a large pot
- Plant in the Clay medium which never deteriorates or attracts unwanted pests to the roots of your Orchids. If you need a great inexpensive hydroponic orchid pot, click here
- Fertilize with a weak mix of the recommended Orchid fertilizer every week
- Keep Phalaenopsis out of direct light but in a bright room with lots of filtered sunlight if possible (this increases your chances of blooms)
- Keep Phalaenopsis away from drafts and a room with temps between 60-70 and higher humidity if possible (outside they can thrive in higher temps and humidity)
- Always cut off dead or dying leaves; and after flowers have fallen off, cut off the stems (always make sure the scissors or pruners are sharp and clean)
I also want to share with you a wonderful couple and Orchid growers who I met a couple months ago at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens here in Richmond VA. Thomas has been growing Orchids for over 13 years and we chatted for over an hour about Orchids and his semi-hydroponic system that he has used for several years now. I was so impressed by his Orchid collection he brought to sell at the plant sale, that I bought the clay medium and orchid fertilizer to try at home on my 3 Phalaenopsis. (Note: Thomas and his wife do not grow Phalaenopsis but he has friends who grow Orchids and the consensus is that watering any Orchid with ice cubes is a bad idea)
For 6 weeks now, I have noticed stronger leaves and healthier looking Phalaenopsis. The smallest one I just purchased over the summer for $4 at my grocery store and it still has 1 bloom hanging on. Orchids have a long bloom time which makes them a great plant to have inside. My Orchids go out every summer under the gazebo in the shade and seem to love the humidity. I have to add that this new clay medium I have been using takes the worry out of overwatering my orchids.
Right now I am using clay pots but I may switch to their decorative hydroponic pots because the clay pots are not working as well as I had hoped. Clay pots dry out fast and I find that I have to water twice a week instead of once a week.
A little history about my growing experience with the Ice Orchid. I received my first Phalaenopsis or Ice Cube Orchid Valentine’s Day 2009 (or was it 2010 darn memory is not as good as it once was). Every year it bloomed for Valentine’s Day too until I almost killed it in 2014. I bought 2 more Phalaenopsis this year from the clearance racks and I hope now that by using this semi-hydroponic method I will continue to have healthy orchids and (blooms by Valentine’s Day).
It is a learning experience for me to grow these beautiful Orchids and one day I would love to grow the beautiful Orchids that I saw at the Orchid House. Check out the links I provided if you are interested in trying an easier and (so far) foolproof method for growing Phalaenopsis. (PS I am also trying this method with my Pitcher Plant too)
I hope I have taken the fear out of buying an Orchid. It is always a learning experience working with nature and all things green and beautiful and I write here about my experiences. Thank you for stopping by and keep watching for new garden, plant, and DIY projects.
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!
2015 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @the Garden Frog Boutique
I am not a paid spokesperson nor do I get paid for sharing the above links with you. I share the links because I find this to be a reputable and great site for Orchid supplies.
A side note: you will find the tags are finally changing to reflect that watering these tropical plants with ice cubes is NOT recommended. I never thought watering with ice cubes was a sound idea since Orchids are a tropical plant and there is no ice in the tropics.