0 months

Tissue Culture

  • Commercially grown Phalaenopsis begin their lives in a sterilised laboratory as  microscopic pieces of plant tissue.
  • These tissue clusters are cultured in petri dishes containing a nutrient-rich agar jelly.
  • Plant hormones in the agar allow the cell clusters to multiply, but prevent them from growing any leaves or roots.
  • Once the cell clusters have been split the desired number of times, they are put into  static flasks.
  • The clumps of cells then begin to develop roots and leaves.
  • The resulting plantlets will be genetically identical to the mother plant from which  the node was taken.
12 months

Young plants (28°C)

  • When the young plants reach a leaf span of about 5cm, they are ready to be taken out of the flasks and transplanted into new growing media.
  • The plantlets are transplanted into mini-plugs and then put into a greenhouse.
  • The temperature and humidity are kept high to stimulate leaf and root development.
14 months

POTTED HOT PHASE (28°C)

  • When the young plants reach the correct size, they are transplanted into pots.
  • The pots are made out of clear plastic to allow light to reach the root system.
  • The pots are filled with bark to ensure the root system drains well and is aerated.
  • At first, the pots are placed very close together to maximise space efficiency.
  • When the leaves reach a certain diameter, a robot picks up the potted plants and re-spaces them at a lower density. This is to ensure the plants have enough light and  space to continue to grow at a maximum rate.
19 months

POTTED COOL PHASE (19°C)

  • The plants are now moved into a different part of the greenhouse – the cool zone.
  • The drop in temperature triggers a stress response in the plants, causing them to  switch from their vegetative growth phase to a generative growth phase: flower initiation.
  • This sudden change in environment ‘tricks the plants into thinking’ that their life  might be coming to an end, essentially forcing them to complete their natural  lifecycle by reproducing.
  • In the cool zone, tiny flower spikes will begin to emerge from the leaf axils of  the plants.
24 months

SPIKE DEVELOPMENT & FLOWERING (22°C)

  • After several weeks in the cool zone, the plants are moved into a slightly warmer  area to encourage growth of the new flower spikes and flower buds.
  • When the spike reaches a certain height, the flower buds begin to develop.
  • A few days before the flower buds open, the spikes are attached to a stake in order  to keep them upright.
  • After the flowers open the plants are packaged and sold.
25 months

Orchid Care Tips

Hover or click on one of the four icons below to find out more about how to best take care of your Phalaenopsis Orchids …