Phalaenopsis Li Sun High (mariae fma flava x tetraspis fma alba)

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Phalaenopsis Li Sun High (mariae fma flava x tetraspis fma alba)

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Hybrid Name: Phalaenopsis Li Sun High

Primary hybrid – parent species: Phal mariae fma flava x tetraspis fma alba

Care Group: Warm-growing, seasonally-cool spiking – see Phalaenopsis Orchid Care


Phalaenopsis Li Sun High Care

This primary hybrid of mariae and tetraspis grows well for me in a moisture retentive mix. It spikes prolifically and blooms freely, taking great qualities from both of the parent species. The flower form is far from award worthy, with both downward-pointing and cupped flowers being counter to the typically desired “flat and round” goal many phal breeders pursue. Regardless of award-quality, the charm of the overall plant (it’s floriferousness, fragrance, and ease of care), has made it a favourite in my collection – that said, the plant quickly declined when conditions were too acidic. If you’re struggling with this hybrid, make sure to refresh your potting media regularly to avoid sour root conditions.

Here are my notes on culture for Li Sun High from my own experience:

Flowering Tips & Notes

Spiking: From observation it requires slightly cool temps to initiate spikes (down to 20c) – likely a result of the tetraspis influence. Phal mariae typically flowers in summer whereas tetraspis and many of its hybrids bloom in winter to early spring. If you’re growing in the Northern Hemisphere, you might find your plant spikes a few months earlier than the classic cool-temp spikers (by at least 3-4 weeks) because the seasonal variation experienced by tetraspis is less pronounced than other seasonal “cool-bloomers.”

Flower Fragrance: The flowers are cupped and face down on my plant which is a trait inherited from mariae; however, other examples of this hybrid may have better form as tetraspis tends to have better flower presentation compared to mariae. The blooms are fragrant and smell very unique – it reminds me of cilantro and also of diet Coke (if you’re drinking a glass and inhale through your noes…it’s a similar synthetic sweet smell). Spikes emerge late summer / early fall and flowers open in winter (early-to-late December).


It’s recommended to grow Phal mariae and tetraspis at low light (500 – 1,500fc); I grow this phal with my others, at a South-facing window (quite bright; I’d guess close to 2,500fc?) behind a sheer cloth. It did suffer initially from chlorosis of the leaves – but a dose of epsom salts and the regrowth of new roots has resolved nutrient issues on the newer leaves.

Water & pH

I keep the plant evenly moist (but not sopping wet); if the medium is dry at the top (hard to the touch) and approaching dryness in the lower half, I water. A once a week watering with a heavy drench of tap water has been sufficient. Like my other phalaenopsis, I flush the pot every week or two by soaking the entire pot and draining all the water. This is helpful if your water is slightly alkaline like mine (which for context has a pH of 7.5 and TDS of 250ppm).


I grow all of my orchids quite cool (intermediate temps of 16C at night to 25C during the day) – not by design, just a function of living in Canada. In the summer, I keep the A/C on to try and target around 22-25C; it goes up to 28C on exceptionally sunny days. In winter, my temps go down to about 16C in the evenings while I cycle temps for the rest of my winter-blooming phals and this plant has handled the temperature variation with ease.

Potting Media

I grow this in a mix of bark, perlite and sphagnum. It has a higher ratio of sphagnum than my other novelty phals and the roots do not grow well outside the pot. When the moss is crispy and the roots are silvering, I water liberally.


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Phalaenopsis Li Sun High (mariae fma flava x tetraspis fma alba)