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Rhynchostylis Orchids: Tips On Growing Foxtail Orchid Plants

Rhynchostylis Orchids: Tips On Growing Foxtail Orchid Plants


By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Foxtail orchid plants (Rhynchostylis) are named for the long inflorescence that resembles a fluffy, tapering fox tail. The plant is distinctive not only for its beauty and unusual range of colors, but for its spicy aroma that is released in the evening when temperatures are warm. Read on to learn more about growing and caring for Rhynchostylis orchids.

How to Grow Rhynchostylis Foxtail Orchid

Growing foxtail orchid isn’t difficult, and is largely a matter of replicating the plant’s natural environment. Rhynchostylis orchids are epiphytic plants that grow on tree trunks in warm, tropical climates. Foxtail orchid plants don’t do well in direct sunlight, but they thrive in filtered or dappled light. However, they can tolerate brighter indoor light during the fall and winter.

The plants do well in clay pots with side drainage, or in wooden baskets filled with plenty of chunky bark or lava rocks that won’t break down easily. Keep in mind that the plant doesn’t like to be disturbed, so use media that will last four or five years to prevent frequent repotting. Preferably, don’t repot the orchid until the plant begins to grow over the sides of the container.

Foxtail Orchid Care

Humidity is critical and the plant should be misted or watered daily, especially Rhynchostylis orchids that are grown indoors where the humidity is low. However, be careful not to let the potting media remain soggy; overly wet soil can cause root rot, which is usually fatal. Water the plant thoroughly with lukewarm water, then allow the pot to drain for at least 15 minutes before returning the plant to its drainage saucer.

Feed Rhynchostylis foxtail orchids every other watering, using a balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio, such as 20-20-20. During the winter, the plant benefits from a light feeding every three weeks, using the same fertilizer mixed to half strength. Alternatively, feed the plant weekly, using a fertilizer mixed to one-quarter strength. Don’t over feed and be sure to fertilize your orchid after watering, as fertilizer applied to dry potting media can burn the plant.

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Foxtail Orchid Care - Learn How To Grow Rhynchostylis Foxtail Orchid Plants - garden

Pot Size: 2" Potted
Blooming Size: Yes
Light: Low (mostly shade)
Temperature: Cool to Intermediate
Watering: Moist
Origin: India, Himalayas, Bhutan, Myanamar, China

Pot Size: 2" Pot
Blooming Size: No, established seedling
Light: Partial Shade
Temperature: Warm
Watering: Dry between watering
Origin:

P ot Size: 4"
Blooming Size: Yes
Light: Moderate (60% Shade)
Temperature: Intermediate
Watering: Moist / Slightly Dry between Watering
Origin: Hybrid

P ot Size: 4"
Blooming Size: Yes
Light: Bright (60% Shade)
Temperature: Intermediate
Watering: Moist / Slightly Dry between Watering
Origin: Hybrid

Pot: 2"
Blooming Size: No, est. seedling

Pot Size: 2"
Blooming Size: No, est. seedlings
Light: Partial Shade
Temperature: Hot
Watering: Regular water during growing season, less during Winter
Origin: Florida, Bahamas
FRAGRANT

Pot Size: 4" Potted
Blooming Size: Yes
Light: Partial Shade
Temperature: Warm to Hot
Watering: Regular water during growing season, less during Winter
Origin: Found in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, French Guiana, Surinam, Guyana, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia and Peru
FRAGRANT

Pot Size: 4"
Blooming Size: Yes
Light: Partial Shade
Temperature: Hot
Watering: Regular, dry between


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What are Air Roots?

Air roots are normal in Phalaenopsis and other epiphyte orchids. Epiphyte means they grow on other plants, which is typically a tree in a tropical rainforest. Unlike terrestrial orchids that root in the earth, epiphyte orchids grow above the ground, using their roots to attach themselves to tree branches.

In their native tropic environment, Phalaenopsis orchids can be found clinging to tree branches high above the jungle floor. Plants that grow this way are trying to reach the light filtering through the leafy canopy. The indirect sunlight is more plentiful above ground.

Unlike other plants that attach themselves to trees, Phalaenopsis orchids are not parasitic. Epiphyte orchids use their roots to absorb nutrients from the air. They also absorb moisture and get the carbon dioxide they need to thrive directly from the air. This unique root system uses the humidity around it to get the water and nutrients it needs to survive.


How to Transplant Orchids

Last Updated: February 13, 2021 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Harmony Corelitz. Harmony Corelitz is a Plant Specialist and the Operations Manager at Plants and Friends, a plant shop and nursery based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Harmony grew up helping her parents run their family business in plant maintenance and interior plantscaping. She holds a BA in Literature and Spanish from the University of San Francisco. Harmony specializes in indoor plant care and interior plant design. She started her pop-up plant and vintage home goods shop called Younger Child and has helped Plants and Friends grow and expand to two locations.

There are 23 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Orchids are plants that produce beautiful and unique flowers. When you're growing orchids, it’s important to repot them now and then. However, repotting is stressful for plants, so it’s also important that you only do this when it is absolutely necessary and that you're very careful throughout the process. But a successful repotting will extend the life of your orchids, so you should do it regularly as the plants grow.


Watch the video: EASIEST WAY TO PLANT KOPOU FUL or FOXTAIL ORCHIDRhynchostylis Retusa. By Reetimoni Hazarika