The Phalaenopsis comprise around thirty species of epiphytic orchids, with colorful and very elegant flowers. Among these, we recall the Phalaenopsis amabilis, an orchid native to the tropical areas of south-eastern Asia that grows spontaneously, particularly in India and Malaysia. The leaves appear long and very beautiful, of great ornamental effect. The floral scape is about 50 cm high, with white, very showy flowers, with the labellum in side lobes stained with red and yellow. The flowering is rather long and persistent. This orchid is not particularly easy to grow as it has particular cultivation needs. In fact, it is advisable to recreate a habitat similar to that of its origin and for this reason, the ideal solution is to opt for a domestic greenhouse where our orchid can grow at its best.
To cultivate orchids and any houseplant, an element to be reckoned with is the display. The p. amabilis loves bright positions but does not tolerate direct sunlight, especially if the plant receives them from behind a glass. Ventilate the room during the summer. The minimum temperatures must be around 17-18 ° C all year round and the environmental humidity must be high. The leaves must absolutely not come into contact with water even if sprayed.
The substrate must always be kept moist. Watering must be frequent and constant except from autumn to spring, when the adult plants are allowed a rest period. The water is important that it is low in limestone and with a pH of around 6.5. Every two weeks from spring to late summer a specific fertilizer is given to the plant. It is useful to place the plant close to other plants grown at home to maintain a rather high degree of humidity.
Phalaenopsis amabilis, in order to be cultivated optimally, needs a specific soil for orchids. The soil is in fact the main source of plant sustenance and for this reason, based on the cultural needs of the various species, it must be chosen with care. Therefore prefer a soil made up of heather earth, live sphagnum and shredded bark. It is important to keep the soil always moist, avoiding water stagnation that could cause root rot and compromise the good growth of our orchid. The aerial roots are long and tend to stick to the outer wall of the containers from which they must be carefully detached. These orchids need a rest period during the winter season. The best pots to grow these plants are those to hang because the plant develops its branches downwards.
The multiplication is carried out simultaneously with the socket, using pieces of rhizome taken from the mother plant, rooted in the shade and watering frequently. No reproduction by seed.
Phalaenopsis Amabilis: Pests and diseases
As for diseases and pests that could damage the plant, we remember the cochineals that attack the leaves weakening them, the red spider that causes yellow spots on the leaves and from which follows the yellowing and death of the plant.