Phalaenopsis wilsonii Orchid Care & Culture

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Species Name: Phalaenopsis wilsonii

Care Group: See Phalaenopsis Orchid Care

Habitat of Phalaenopsis wilsonii & Inferred Cultural Tips

Elevation: 1,500-2,200m
Distribution: China, Tibet
Other Phalaenopsis species from this area: honghenensis, 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 wilsonii

Spike Initiation: Spring, after cool winter
Bloom Time: Spring
Fragrant: reportedly not – mine smelled like grape pop

Phalaenopsis wilsonii 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.

Light: I grew my phal wilsonii at a South window with with a sheer cloth knocking back about 60% of the sun’s intensity. It was fairly a bright location; however my windows are well insulated so the leaf temperatures remain cool even during the hottest days.

Temperature: 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 was regularly using pH-adjusted water (to 5.8pH) and flushed the pots every few weeks with tap water (which was alkaline, 7.5pH 250ppm). Though I received this plant with only 2 leaves, it was initially vigorously and grew well. I watered 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.

Update (Jan 2022): I later lost this plant to either a fungal infection of Cercospora or as a result of something related to acidification (which possibly resulted in fungal infection). You can see below that the roots began to have white buildup and burn—this had not previously happened with my old brand of pH Down. I think if you’re growing this plant yourself, I would recommend avoiding continuous acidity and be wary of compounding buildup of minerals, acids, or basics as a result of routine waterings. I did manage to use this mother plant to make a few new hybrids that are growing in and out of flask—you can see the crosses here. I will update this post once those plants flower and link to outcome.


Phalaenopsis wilsonii Photos

Phalaenopsis wilsonii flower, Mar 22, 2019
Phalaenopsis wilsonii flower, Mar 22, 2019
Phalaenopsis wilsonii heel 

End of February 2019 – A spike!

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

Photo of Phal. wilsonii ‘Millie’ from –ki— on Flicker

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