It’s a beauty! The very best advice I’ve gotten regarding orchids is ‘love your plants, don’t love your plants to death". Once I learned that long, painful, expensive lesson my orchids started thriving. Phalaenopsis are surprisingly hardy!
Try not to overwater and overfeed. Good drainage is a must, don’t let it get soggy feet. Plump whitish green roots mean a happy plant. They love bright indirect light but not direct midday sun. Wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth (or paper towel) every week or two so that any accumulating dust doesn’t inhibit photosynthesis. A good friend once told me that an orchid lives in trimesters…a third of the year blooming, a third of the year developing leaves and a third of the year developing roots. It seems to hold true.
Once your phal stops blooming and the buds fall off, don’t be too quick to cut off the stem. The plant expends a lot of energy in building that stem and will likely reuse the same stem to bloom again. If it turns brown or dry absolutely cut it off, but don’t rush to trim it off.
And I think you’re absolutely right…gardening is a state of being. It’s who we are, not what we do. Good luck!
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.