Fall Phalaenopsis Facts

Moth orchids, or Phalaenopsis, love warm temperatures. But one trick used by orchid experts is to give Phals a few weeks of cool nights in the fall. This can trigger the Phals to start growing a flower spike within a month. Normally their nighttime minimum temperatures should be about 65 F (18 C.) By giving them a nightly drop to 60 F (16 C) for a period of 2 – 4 weeks, you can mimic natural changes in their native homes in Southeast Asia. Don’t let Phals drop below 60 F (16 C,) since that can harm them.

If you have an orchid someplace where you can’t control the temperature directly, there are a few tricks to try. If your Phal is on your office desk, place it on the floor before you punch out at the end of the day. Remember that heat rises, so the floor will be cooler than the desk. If your Phal is near a window, push it a bit closer in the evening, where it can feel some of the coolness from outdoors (this trick may not work if your windows are well insulated.) In either case, remember in the morning to move the Phal back on top of your office desk, or away from the cool window, so that it can enjoy daytime warmth. Once a flower spike starts to grow, stop giving your Phal the nightly cool treatment.

Phalaenopsis flowersPhalaenopsis flowerPhalaenopsis flower

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2 Comments on “Fall Phalaenopsis Facts”

  1. nancy Says:

    that’s really interesting info! i always wonder why some years my moth orchid blooms but some years it doesn’t. now i have something different to try that i didn’t know about before. one of mine hasn’t bloomed in quite awhile, so i’ll give it the cool treatment and get back to you with the results in a few weeks.

  2. Hanley Says:

    That is great advice how to make my orchid bloom.