Phalaenopsis ‘Brother Supersonic’ is a hybrid orchid that produces two arching flower stalks a year. Phalaenopsis species are commonly known as moth orchids, a reference to their flat petals, which resemble a moth’s wings. The original species is from tropical Asia and is an epiphyte, a non-parasitic plant that climbs another for physical support. Your ‘Brother Supersonic’ will adapt to household conditions if you provide it the same care other Phalaenopsis orchids require.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Grow Supersonic orchids in potting mix formulated for epiphytes. The mixture contains airy materials, such as bark chips and peat moss, which allow the roots access to plenty of air. The wide space among particles also lets water flow quickly out of the pot, preventing rot. These orchids die when planted in potting soil.
Irrigate Phalaenopsis orchids when the soil dries on the surface. Pour water evenly over the potting mix until excess begins to run out of the pot’s drainage holes.
Place moth orchids in low light, either natural or artificial. Since they like humidity, a bathroom where a fluorescent light stays on during the day is an adequate option. East and north-facing windows are also appropriate locations.
Control the temperature where you keep your Supersonic moth orchid. Maintain the area between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the day. At night, lower the temperature to 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn it down to 50 degrees for two months of fall evenings to induce bud production.
Feed Phalaenopsis species a water-soluble orchid fertilizer once a month. Application rates vary with the brand. Read the label of the product you select and use it as instructed.
Place the Phalaenopsis ‘Brother Supersonic’ in a humid environment. Set the planter in a shallow dish with pebbles and water to supplement humidity. Verify that the water level is below the pot’s drainage holes to prevent the roots from staying wet. In year-round arid climates, such as the Southwest desert, or when the furnace is in use, turn a humidifier on in the room.
Replant these orchids every two to three years into bigger pots to keep up with their growth. Throw away the old potting mix, rinse the roots in water and place them in a fresh growing-medium blend.