Welcome to OrchidsForum.com. We are a friendly online community for Orchid Growers all over the world. If you haven't joined yet we invite you to register and join our community. Hope to see you on our forums!

I'm new and don't know what i'm doing (its a Phalaenopsis)

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by OrchIdid, May 18, 2022.

  1. OrchIdid

    OrchIdid New Member

    Likes Received:
    I bought a Phalaenopsis orchid from a nursery a week ago on a bit whim had what I think are nice roots, leaves and plenty of bulbs. Sadly, I don't have prior flower/gardening experience and I have many things I'm trying to figure out while not killing my orchid. (The flower spike is gone I accidently broke it while trying to position the bamboo shoot/support beam while repotting.) My current set up:
    Water: Distilled
    Potting medium: Phalaenopsis Monterey Dark Imperial Orchid Mix
    Fertilizer: FEED ME! MSU Fertilizer
    Light: I have an east facing window (I heard ideal for orchids) with blinds and I open the blinds partially so its not in direct sunlight, the indoor light is generally off in my room but comes on for small bursts on some days
    Pot: 4" clear plastic slotted pot
    Saucer: Plastic, I always keep dry of water (Not sure if i'm suppose to keep the water there and let the plant/potting medium wick it up over time?)
    Environment: Inside my house in nebraska outside weather changes quite a bit but house is kept between 70-75
    Goal for me: Grow up a healthy orchid with big leaves, lots of roots, beautiful flowers (leaves and roots>flowers but flowers are cool)

    1)Is there any variable in my current setup i'm missing that's important to account for? (I know the ph of my water is not gonna be acidic but hopefully that's not the end of the world)
    2)Would a humidity tray increase the well-being of my orchid?
    3)If I got a humidity tray do I ditch the saucer?
    4)Would a grow light help the well being of my orchid?
    5)If a grow light would help what do I look for in a grow light for a phalaenopsis orchid?
    6)If get a grow light, do I keep the blinds of my window closed or...? (I don't have a room I can dedicate solely to this flower)
    7)If I get a grow light what is the on/off schedule I should use with it?
    8)Anything wrong/not ideal with using a mix of monterey bark and sphagnum moss for potting medium? (I feel like my current mix doesn't have enough sphagnum moss as I'm watering like every 3 days)
    9)Am I doing something wrong with having to water after 3 days? I am trying to "feel" the moisture in the pot and look at all the roots to see if their silvery-green (meaning their dry)
    10)Do products such as Wash Me! Natural Leaf Cleaner help the health of an orchid? Ie help the leaves photo synthesis? I've seen videos of missorchidgirl and her leaves are so shiny and picture perfect I like the idea of cleaning the leaves but don't know if it actually hleps the plant
    11)If leaf cleaners do help how often should I clean the leaves?
    12)What are the pros/cons of time release fertilizer? (I have fantasies of using my current fertilizer in a semi hydronponic system and using time release fertilizer in my plastic pot)