Phalaenopsis schilleriana orchid is quite common but famous for its pretty lilac blooms. It belongs to the genus Phalaenopsis and the Orchidaceae family.
It was first described by H.G. Reichenbach in 1860 and named after Consul Schiller, the german orchid enthusiast who had flowered it two years earlier.
Our gardening experts have created this guide to help you know how to care for this stunning orchid.
What Is Phalaenopsis Schilleriana?
Phalaenopsis schilleriana is a fragrant, epiphytic orchid species native to the tropical forests of the Philippines. It is found on the island of Luzon and the eastern coasts of some nearby islands. It grows at the height of 1500 feet in the branches of trees.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana’s common names are the Moth Orchid and Schiller’s Phalaenopsis. It is interesting to note that Phalaenopsis schilleriana is the mother of many complex and hybrid orchid varieties. One of the hybrid varieties is Jiaho’s Pink Girl, which is a mini-orchid.
Size and Growth
Phalaenopsis schilleriana is a large-sized, epiphytic orchid with shorts and stout stems. It can grow to 12 inches.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana has stunning, mottled leaves with patterns that make it stand out even when it is not flowering. The stems are enveloped by obtuse, elliptic, and fleshy leaves.
They are dark green with gray to white edges on the upper side with purple spots on the undersides. The leaf size varies between 6 and 18 inches.
The leaf pattern of Phalaenopsis schilleriana looks gorgeous as it is one of the few Phalaenopsis in cultivation that has mottled leaves.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana that bloom in spring with 10 or more fragrant flowers in a pendulous manner on an arching branch that can grow as long as 3 feet. The diameter of the flowers is 3 to 3.5 inches.
Some flowers are smaller than 3 inches. The blooms smell like powdery roses.The inner sides of the flowers have a delicate texture with white to pink or purple petals and white edges.
The flowers range in colors from white to pale pink to lilac, depending on the variegations. The lip is shaped like an anchor, and the sides have reddish dots.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana does not bloom in summer, like other orchid species. It blooms in spring and is prompted by the lower temperatures to produce flower spikes. It can create a multitude of flowers, long and branchy flower spikes.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana grows long roots in dry climates. It is well adapted to dry climates, and the roots continue to grow in arid climates year after year and can sprout about a foot long.
The roots are sensitive and like to be compacted and compressed inside the pot, which is why it prefers to be root bound, but be careful not to suffocate them.
Phalaenopsis Schilleriana Care
Phalaenopsis schilleriana care depends on factors in your region, such as humidity levels and temperature. Read on to find out the right conditions that are required for the plant to grow.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana light requirements are not too high. It prefers shaded but no direct sunlight for proper growth. It can manage the morning sun, but sunlight during the day can burn its leaves, causing the plant to die eventually.
Keep your plant in a spot where it receives bright, shaded light throughout the day without exposing it to direct sun. South or east-facing window or balcony works fine. West-facing windows can get too hot for the plant.
To reach the full potential of the fragrance of the blooms, keep your plant in bright light. Just remember that the brighter the light, the more fragrant the flowers.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana likes to be bone dry before the next watering session. When you water your plant, ensure that all its roots are drenched completely. Soak your pot for about 20 minutes so that water reaches all the roots. But do not let it sit in water for too long, as the roots may rot.
Water requirements of Phalaenopsis schilleriana range from three to five times a week and depend on whether you are growing it indoor or outdoor. If it is indoor, there is less evaporation, so reduce watering a bit.
If it is kept outdoors, you need to water them more frequently. Provide your plant with rainwater when possible because it is nitrogen-rich and great for the plant’s overall development.
The choice of soil mix for Phalaenopsis schilleriana will depend on the growing conditions of your desired area. If you are growing it in a dry region, use a peat-based mud mix or fir bark to retain moisture. Use sphagnum moss in clay pots to retain moisture and perlite or charcoal to keep the air moving around the roots.
Some people use plastic pots in drier regions. In humid areas, use a coarse medium consisting of medium fir bark or coconut husk with perlite for drainage and air movement.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana grows well in hanging baskets also because its leaves fall naturally. Planting it in hanging baskets helps in avoiding crown rot, and the naturally arched inflorescence looks graceful.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana needs a loose and airy soil mix. It does not like to be wet for longer periods. In dry climates, you can use sphagnum moss to retain moisture. But in tropical, humid weather, avoid using moss as it can lead to root rot.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana is a warm to hot growing orchid species. It enjoys the warm tropical climate. However, it can tolerate slight seasonal variations in temperature.
It prefers an average daytime temperature of 85 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit and an average nighttime temperature of 70 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Large fluctuations in the day and night temperature help to initiate flower spikes.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana can tolerate temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit but do not expose it to temperatures less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. When the climate gets cooler, and there is a clear difference between day and night temperature, you can sometimes find a different bump on one side of the stem, which could either be a flower spike or a root.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana needs an average humidity of 80 percent. Humidity with air movement is necessary to avoid root rot. To maintain a good humidity level, use the pebble tray method or a humidifier around the plant.
You can also keep all other plants together with Phalaenopsis schilleriana since it helps in adding to the humidity level.
Like most other orchids, Phalaenopsis schilleriana also needs fertilization during the growing period, from early spring to late summer. Cut back on the fertilizer during autumn and do not fertilize at all during winter.
It is not a heavy feeder but needs a well-balanced fertilizer during the active growing period.
Repotting Phalaenopsis Schilleriana
Phalaenopsis schilleriana needs repotting when new root growth begins to show and repot in early spring for best growth.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana also needs repotting when there is heavy soft brown scale infestation. Consider replacing the entire soil mix so that pests and insects do not destroy your newly repotted plant. Spray the plant roots before potting them in the new soil mix.
Phalaenopsis Schilleriana Problems
Phalaenopsis schilleriana does not suffer from many problems, but sometimes it can get affected by spider mites and soft brown scales. Read to find out how to treat them.
– Spider Mites
Most Phalaenopsis Schilleriana does not suffer from pests and diseases, but sometimes, spider mites can cause problems for your plant. To get rid of the spider mites, rub your plant leaves with alcohol and a toothbrush.
– Soft Brown Scale
Soft Brown Scale or Coccus hesperidum is one of the most common pests in orchids. It usually occurs in greenhouse plants. In case of light infestation, treat with Neem oil or alcohol. But, if there is a heavy infestation, the scale may develop on roots.
Treat it with soap or chemical insecticide. It is toxic but also required for severe infestation.
Phalaenopsis schilleriana is an elegant orchid that has a striking presentation, especially in the hanging baskets. If you are a fan of light, flowery fragrances, this plant is for you. It looks great even when not blooming and is an easy-to-care-for plant if you follow our care guide thoroughly.
Let us summarize all the points we have learned about this plant so far.
- Phalaenopsis schilleriana is an epiphytic orchid native to the Philippines.
- It is used for hybridization to produce other similar orchid varieties.
- It can reach a height of 12 inches and has fragrant lilac flowers that bloom the most during spring.
- It has sensitive roots which like to remain compact inside the pot.
- It needs a medium to bright, indirect light to thrive.
- Water your plant when its soil mix gets dry. It likes to dry out in between the waterings.
- It prefers an average humidity level of 75 to 80 percent.
- It needs a loose, moisture-retaining, and well-draining soil mix for root development.
- Instead of pots, you can also mount them on a fern slab with sphagnum moss.
- It prefers an average daytime temperature of 85 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit and an average nighttime temperature of 70 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut out the flowers when they have finished blooming; this will enable new growth.
- Fertilize your plant weekly using a liquid orchid fertilizer during the active growing period, reduce it during winter.
- Repot the plant during early spring when new growth appears and when the soil mix decomposes.
- It may suffer from spider mites and soft brown scales, which can be treated by rubbing alcohol, using Neem oil, and chemical insecticides.
We hope that our expert guide has helped you learn how to care for Phalaenopsis schilleriana. Now that you know all about this stunning orchid, it is time for you to head over to the nearest garden center and get one for yourself!
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