Culture Sheet
You have just purchased a quality Phalaenopsis. Hilltop specializes in Orchid breeding and culture.  Many of our plants are grown from seed; so many unique crosses can be found at our Greenhouse that cannot be found elsewhere. Hilltop been operation since 1991      Dick has been growing orchids since 1954, and since that time, he has never lost his passion for these exotic plants.  Dick is an American Orchid Society (AOS), accredited judge.  He studied for   6 yrs to acquire this accreditation.In an effort to ensure that you are successful with your new orchid, this brochure will guide you with growing and care of your plant.Please feel free to contact us for any questions you might have.  Our website also has many FAQ, which you might find helpful.

Flowering:Phalaenopsis are ideal houseplants. Well grown plants can flower often and for extended periods of time.  Most plants will remain in bloom for 3 to 6 months.  You can encourage your plants to bloom longer by cutting the stem back to the second or third bracket (the V-shaped notch) from the first flower that appeared on the stem.  The stem should not be cut back until all the flowers have fallen away. 

For healthy growth, home temperatures and conditions are usually sufficient.  Plants like to be grown under moderately warm conditions.  Daytime temperatures should not exceed 85 degrees (orchid plants stop growing above 85).  Nighttime temperatures should not go below 65 degrees except when trying to re-bloom your plant.  (See “Reblooming”) Light:About 1200 to 1800 foot candles of light is sufficient light.  This is about what you get from an east or west window.  If a south window is used, it would be best to have a protective shear curtain during times when there is direct sun through the window.    Plants will not tolerate direct sun shining on their leaves.  

Air Movement:Air movement around your orchid plant is very important.   Air movement will help prevent fungus diseases from getting a foothold, and help reduce insects, scale, mealy bug and spider mite infestations.  A ceiling fan, oscillating fan or a small muffin fan are sufficient. 

Your orchid plant will not tolerate extremely cold temperatures, but cool fall nights down to 59 to 60 degrees will encourage flower spiking.  If you are having difficulty getting your plant to re-bloom, placing it in a cooler place during the night-time hours will most likely solve the problem.  Most plants bloom in response to a threat of some kind.  If you change one of their essential growing conditions, i.e. temperature, they will respond with a bloom spike so a seed pod formation is possible. 

Watering: Orchid plants do not like to be constantly wet!  On the other hand, they do not like to be completely dried out either.  Water your plants when the soil feels dry on top, is light brown and the pot feels light when lifted.  Place your plant in a sink or bathtub and water thoroughly from the top.  Water until the pot feels heavy.   Watering in this manner will assure that the plant is thoroughly watered and the soil has been cleaned of waste that the plant gives off and fertilizer salts left behind.   If you feel your home air is very dry (below 50% humidity) it is OK to mist, but it must be done in the mornings.  The leaves of your plant need time to dry during the daytime hours.  If water is allowed to stand in the center of the leaves overnight, this is an invitation to fungus and other diseases.  Use the corner of a paper towel to wick away any moisture.    

Fertilizer must be provided on a regular basis, since potting soil has very little nutrient value.  From Nov. through March, use nutrition every other watering in a mixture of ½ teaspoon per 1 gallon of water.  From April through Oct, increase the above formula to 3-4 consecutive fertilizer waterings, then a clear watering.  During these months, our plants are in the strongest growth period and need more nutrition.  We recommend our own fertilizer that was developed by Michigan State U. The formulation is 13-3-15-8Ca-2Mg. plus 6 trace elements that are needed for proper plant nutrition.  This formulation will not change the pH of the soil over time, and you will not need any other supplements or bloom boosters for good growth or blooming. 

We find at Hilltop that the best results are achieved when plants are re-potted yearly during the spring.  Your plant is potted in a very open mix that contains a combination of peat moss, coconut chips and fiber, pearlite, rice hulls and a small amount of seedling bark.  We prefer a plastic pot over clay.  If you desire a decorative look, place the plastic pot inside the decorative pot.  The plastic is preferred because it is much easier to remove the plant from plastic without harming the roots.  Roots tend to stick badly to the sides of clay pots and the pot usually must be broken to extract the plant.  If the plant cannot be placed back into the pot it was in, move up as little as possible in pot size.  If there is excess room at the bottom of your pot, add some Styrofoam peanuts for good drainage.  Place the plant in the middle of the pot.   Fill with potting soil up to the bottom of the plant.  Tap the sides a few times to settle the potting soil around the roots.  Press the mix into the pot with your fingers.  Leave the firm but not hard packed.  Water your plant with a gentle spray until mixture is wet clear through, water is freely running from the bottom of the pot and the pot feels heavy when lifted.  Your plant is now securely set in the pot.  That’s all there is to it!!   

Please always feel free to contact us anytime by phone or e-mail for any questions. 

Hilltop Orchids 
Dick and Sandy Wells1151 E. County Rd. 800 S.Cloverdale, IN 46120
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