Orchids are beautiful flowers. They look exotic, and tropical, but are relatively easy to keep. All they require is a weekly watering and the right amount of light. Getting phalaenopsis orchids to bloom, however? That has been difficult. I have tried different amounts of light and water for the past two years, to no avail. So imagine my excitement when two beautiful red and yellow flowers appeared on my second oldest orchid plant.
I have read a variety of guides which suggest temperature, water, and light as the triggers for orchid blooms. For me, the key was light.
It really is all about the right level of light. Most guides will say that you need indirect light, but not all indirect light is equal.
When I started keeping orchids, all I had was a north facing window. There was nothing but indirect light. This kept the plants fairly healthy, but not happy. None of my orchids would bloom. The indirect light was just too indirect.
Then I moved, and put the orchids in a south facing window. This was too much light. The edges of the leaves started burning, and the plants were stressed.
So I put my three phalaenopsis in a west facing window. They get a little bit of direct light in the late afternoon, but the window is shaded by several trees. This was just the right amount of light, seemingly. Both of my older orchid plants have grown flower stalks!
Orchids need just the right kind of light to bloom. It needs to be indirect enough to not burn the leaves, but intense enough to trigger flower stalks.
I still have a lot to learn about keeping orchids. But now that I have found the right setting for my phalaenopsis, I hope that I will get to enjoy months of blooms.