Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Watering Day: Moth Orchids and Air Plants

Watering day.

I thought I'd share how I take care of my Phalaenopsis Orchids...aka Moth Orchids. Once you get into a routine, it's pretty easy, IMO.

I sink-soak about every 6-8 weeks. It gives the orchid bark a chance to soak up some water, and gives the plant a drink through the roots. I run the water through the top of the pot and let the runoff fill the kitchen sink about half way up the pots. Then let them soak for about half an hour.

While the plants are in the water, I use a soft cloth and wet it in the sink water and use it to gently wash the dust off the leaves. Currently, there aren't any flowers, but if there were, I would pay extra attention to NOT get them wet.

After about 30 minutes, I pull the stopper and let the pots drain away and dry out for a while.

At this stage, I spray on some Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Spray or Orchid Myst from Advance Nutrition directly onto the leaves and roots and leave in.


Once I'm satisfied the pots are dry enough to move, I replace them into their container pots where they live on a table near a northeast facing window in a bright room (orchids don't really like lots of light, but prefer a bright room vs a sunny room, if that makes sense).

Then, every 10-14 days, depending on the time of the year and the heat index, I'll use a handheld mister (clean spray bottle with tepid water) and give them a good misting, leaves and roots.

Because I've soaked the bark, I probably won't have to mist for at least 3-4 weeks. The damp bark will create condensation inside the pot which the roots will drink from, and humidity from inside the pot rises up to give the leaves a boost.

I've added a close up of my big boy to show the annual leave growth and mature roots. Also the purple coming out in the leaves (you can also see this in photo 1). Totally natural in orchids with purple/fuchsia-dominant flowers. I had double spikes last year and hope to see those again this year.

  • Side note, my plants are still in their nursery pots which are a standard 5 inch pots, though I also have a mini orchid in a 2 inch pot.
  • Also, yes, orchids are ready for repotting which I'll be doing soon. If anyone's interested, I can photo that process. Let me know.

Bonus photos:

Along with the orchids, I'm soaking my Tillandsia. I do this about once a month, or when I'm soaking my orchids. Similarly, I mist them about every week or so until they get soaked again.

Interestingly enough, I find my Tillandsia get nearly the same treatment as my orchids, so I won't repeat my notes from above for these guys.

I bought the Tillandsia argentea (wispy one) about five years ago. It's quadrupled in size and it blooms every year with tiny purplish flowers.

Two Tillandsia Ionantha, one red and one green. The green has a baby already.

And the one from my wish list, Tillandsia Xerographica. With so many curls, I have a hard time displaying it.

Finally, as I was watering the rest of my crew, I noticed my ZZ is throwing a TT (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia - temper tantrum) and threw out one of it's stems. Admittedly, it was a little squishy (the rest of the plant is fine), so I cut it back just below a newly forming node and have put it in water to see if I can get it to root. Wish me luck.

I hope my orchid notes help some of you struggling to keep your beauties vibrant. Let me now if you have any questions. It's as easy as sending me a private message with the emailer on the side bar. I reply to all messages.

Have questions about your houseplants, or your roses, let me know.