Helping a Phalaenopsis Orchid with Heavy Bloom

by Lori W.
(Shawnee, KS)

I recently purchased a beautiful Phalaenopsis orchid that had five open flowers and fifty buds. I just moved it as close to the east window as I can get it. (I grow in my home.)


The orchid is watered and fertilized regularly and appropriately for the medium, and the humidity level is about 60% or higher. I am growing this orchid and others at temperatures in the 60s, so I can get the most blooms per spike and keep the flowers as long as possible.

This orchid seems to be having trouble opening some of its flowers. It seems like the plant does not have enough energy for its heavy flower load. Is there anything else I can do to help this beautiful orchid support its flowers?

Is sugar water an option?

Botanical Journeys Plant Guides

You might think that sugar would give plants energy as it is a quick energy source for humans and you would be right.

Plants generally respond well to small amounts of sugar.

But in orchids, sugar tends to stimulate root growth.

In my opinion, this is not desirable when the plant is in bloom. All the orchid's energy should be devoted to blooming at this time.

Try feeding your moth orchid a weak solution (1/4 of the amount suggested on the fertilizer's label) every time you water it. This will keep it from running low on food reserves while it is blooming its little head off.

Moth Orchid Care

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Jul 27, 2011
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Temperature too cool?
by: Anonymous

Daytime temperatures in the 60's are quite cool for Phalaenopsis. They are warm-growing orchids, so daytime temperatures should be 70-85F. The temperature should cool off significantly at night, by about 10-15 degrees. Cooler temperatures can sometimes stimulate a plant to start blooming, but that's mostly for other types of orchids such as Cymbidiums. And in any case, you're well past that stage if there are already flowers open.

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