This is an addition too and should be read in conjunction with
'Phalaenopsis Culture in the UK'
(Please 'Double click the pictures'! Contained within the text)
Firstly your plant has proberly travelled a fair few miles before it reached the Supermarket, Garden centre or other point of sale. It has been taken out of it's warm growing environment and transported across Europe, then across the English channel, or flown in from some far away exotic country. Then you take it home back into warm temperatures again, so your plant is not going to be at it's best! The plant starts to suffer from stress after a few days, this is shown by the plant dropping buds or premature wilting of flowers. (This can also be caused by ethylene gas e.g. Traffic fumes from the journey, also some fruits!) So you might be rewarded with a very mediocre display of flowers lasting only a week or so with you thinking is that it! was it worth the money i paid for it! Only you can answer that, but you do have a choice on what to do with it now! It never had a fair chance to show you what it can do, So you can read on and give it a chance, or throw it in the bin and buy a another one.
If you have decided to grow the plant on, it is not all that difficult at all, take a look at these pictures and read on !
If the flower spike is still green and looks healthy it's flowering duration should have been between 2-3 months if it is still spring -summer time your plant will very quickly spring back into a second flowering period with the apex of the spike extending a few inches and producing 3-5 flowers, this could also happen on any branches away from the spike. At the same time the nodes below the first flush of flowers could start into growth and produce more flowers. All these bonus flowers will proberly be smaller than normal!
Whilst this is going on the plant could also be growing another new spike from the base! strong plants will carry 2 spikes with ease but when your plant has finished its second flush of flowers on it's first spike Cut that spike off! at the base, unless it is a Primary cross, (Two species crossed together). If it is now getting into late Autumn check out the compost, if you haven't already, it will proberly need a repot to carry it through until spring. Any sign of stress to the plant at this point cut the spikes off, or you may lose the plant. Please follow the repoting guides.
Where to grow them in the house!,
Well, there is generally good warmth in double glazed, central heated houses. People tend to heat to their 'Comfort Zone' then turn the heat down at night, this fall in temperature will suit the plants well. The plants will proberly never grow as well as they would in the greenhouse so they will not need the high levels of care that is needed in the more stressful confines of the greenhouse. The overruling factor for growing well in the house is 'Light', anywhere where there is Good light, except the North aspect for 1 reason only if the windows where opened for ventilation it would proberly be too chilli, especially at night! That leaves;
East, yes, with the early morning sun, the plants could have had 6 hours good light even before you wake up! Even better if it happens to be the bathroom or kitchen!
West, this is a reverse of the east situation! but if either of the East or West aspects lean more to the South the situation could become a bit too uncomfortable 'Dry and Hot' in the summer. If you use net curtains this will cut out some of the heat, regular observations and the 'Palm' test () will keep them safe.
South, Should be very good light right into the middle of the room, good for pushing the plants on a bit, always do the 'Palm' test on very warm days in a South situation it changes very quickly, this is all you have to go by,!
Conservatories, These tend to have too extreme variations in temperature so i would say no unless you where prepared to make some changes to bring temperatures into controllable limits e.g.; no quick rise and falls in conditions. A South situation i would say, Don't try, it would be to hot and dry!.
No room for a Greenhouse, then take a look at this! (Click on the link 'Orchidarium', on the Links page) This can be made quite cheaply and will enable you to grow your plants properly anywhere you can fit it. Double click the picture to zoom it and have a good look at its construction, quite easy for a good handyman!!
A collection of around a dozen plants, would provide you with a very creative hobby contained within the house. Ideal for the elderly, disabled and for those who can't afford to grow in a greenhouse. There are Forums to join on the internet, local shows to visit in your area. Buy yourself a Digital camera and start snapping away with pictures of the flowers, all topics for conversation with many avenues to explore!
Most Orchids produce their main flush of blooms in the winter months. This provides you with a hobby that helps to past the time between Autumn and Spring when there is very little to do outside and very few flowers about. But beware Orchid growing is a very slippery slope!
Lastly! Never attempt to grow them on the top of the TV, or Microwave oven! Extremely dangerous!
This will be continually updated!
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