Phalaenopsis honghenensis Orchid Care & Culture

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Species Name: Phalaenopsis honghenensis

Care Group: See Phalaenopsis Orchid Care

Habitat of Phalaenopsis honghenensis & Inferred Cultural Tips

Elevation: 2,000m
Distribution: China, Thailand
Other Phalaenopsis species from this area: wilsonii, tsii, marriottiana, yingjiangensis, & malipoensis
Temperature: Cool Grower (Highland) (Days: 21-27C, Nights: 10-16C)
Seasonal Variation: Yes – Dry, Cool, & Bright Winters

Flowering Habit of Phalaenopsis honghenensis

Spike Initiation: Spring, after cool winter
Bloom Time: Spring
Fragrant: *unknown*

Phalaenopsis honghenensis Care

This is a cool-growing phal that requires cool evening temps and a differential between the day and night temps of at least 8C. Day temps should not exceed 28C, and avoid the heat of direct sun. The dark green leaves will likely make them easier to scorch, so acclimate new plants to bright growing areas, slowly.

I grow my phal honghenensis at a South window with with a sheer cloth knocking back about 60% of the sun’s intensity. It grows in a bright location; however my windows are well insulated so the leaf temperatures remain cool even during the hottest days. In the summer I run my air conditioner continuously to keep the house temp under 25C. In the winter the temps go down to around 16C in the nights. On especially cool winter nights (-25C OUTSIDE), our indoor temperatures near the window may go down to 12-14C.

Watering: I use pH-adjusted water (5.8pH) and flush the pots every week with 7.5pH 250ppm alkaline tap water. Though I received this plant with only 2 leaves, it has grown vigorously and done well. Water with the objective of “wet / dry cycles” on a 5-7 day cycle. The roots should be just approaching dryness as you water again; in winter let the roots dry slightly more, but keep the watering routine regular to avoid leaf drop.

Phal honghenensis compared to wilsonii

The general look of all species within the Aphyllae subgenus are very similar, and so Phalaenopsis wilsonii & honghenensis have been the point of confusion for many years. From Eric Christenson’s book, “Phalaenopsis: A Monogram” he points out many distinctions of honghenensis over wilsonii; those as well as other distinctions include:

Honghenensis Distinctions:

Flower Color: Pale pink to pale green
Flower Count: Few
Spike: Unbranching
Lip: Tapered
Heel (back of lip): Short, “Nipple-like”
Fragrance: Grape

Wilsonii Distinctions:

Flower Color: White to pale Pink
Flower Count: Many
Spike: Occasionally Branching
Lip: Flared (looks like a “reverse heart”
Heel (back of lip): None
Fragrance: None (possibly “Creamy Strawberry” though not reported in Christenson’s book)

Photo Comparison of honghenensis to wilsonii


Phalaenopsis honghenensis Photos

Phalaenopsis honghenensis flower, Mar 22, 2019
Phalaenopsis honghenensis flower, Mar 22, 2019
Phalaenopsis honghenensis tiny flower
Phalaenopsis honghenensis heel on lip
Phalaenopsis honghenensis heel on lip

End of February 2019 – A spike!

June 2018 – The day I got acquired this phal honghenensis; you can see it has something going on with the lower leaf

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