Growing a Phalaenopsis orchid that will grow and bloom successfully requires careful attention to the three basic elements of orchid care: water, light (see our two previous posts), and temperature. Phalaenopsis orchids grow best when there is a 10- to 15-degree difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures.
But temperature also plays a critical roll in orchid blooming. In the wild, it is the drop in fall temperatures that triggers Phalaenopsis orchids to bloom. When Phalaenopsis orchids are grown in the home, you can encourage blooming by mimicking that temperature change at the proper point in your orchid’s growth cycle.
Ideal temperatures for orchids
One of the things that make Phalaenopsis orchids such popular house plants is that they grow in temperatures that are well within the range of human comfort. Phals thrive when daytime temperatures range between 65 and 80 degrees F. and nighttime temperatures drop slightly to between 60 and 70 degrees F. The orchid’s temperature requirements dovetail nicely with the day/night thermostat settings most people use to save energy. If you do not display your orchid in a temperature-controlled room, you may need to move it to a cooler location at night.
Protect your orchid from drafts
When locating your orchid, you should also be cautious of drafts. Phalaenopsis orchids do not respond well to abrupt temperature changes. Place your plant where it will not be subject to sudden air flow from heating or air conditioning ducts, open windows or doors that are opened and closed frequently.
Day/night temperature differential is key to blooming
When your Phalaenopsis orchid starts sending up a new shoot, place your orchid where nighttime temperatures will be slightly lower than normal, ideally 55 to 65 degrees F. Exposing your Phalaenopsis orchid to cooler temperatures for about a month will encourage it to flower.
And with winter approaching, learn how to care for your orchid in a colder climate by watching our Orchid Care Video.