In 1870, Phalaenopsis tetraspis was first recognized. Native to the Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands, and northwest Sumatra, this warm-loving orchid. The Four Shield Phalaenopsis is another name for Phal. tetraspis.
Despite not being as showy as some other orchid species, this one is well-liked by orchid collectors. Instead of being large and vibrant, the flowers are delicate and pretty. The Phal. tetraspis orchid is a great choice if the first category fits what you’re looking for.
Tetraspis is an orchid in the Phalaenopsis genus, but it isn’t exactly like other Phalaenopsis orchids. If you are accustomed to caring for other phalaenopsis, the care required for Phal. tetraspis may seem unusual.
Don’t worry, even though this orchid has a few more preferences than the typical phalaenopsis. As long as you are aware of its requirements, take care of Phal. tetraspis is not too challenging. Learn more about Phalaenopsis tetraspis and how to care for it by reading on.
Taxonomy of Phalaenopsis Tetraspis
How to care Phalaenopsis Tetraspis
Although Phalaenopsis orchids are typically thought of as the easiest orchids to care for, Phal. tetraspis is one of the genus’ more finicky species.
Although Phal. tetraspis needs more warmth and humidity than other phalaenopsis species, it is still entirely possible for it to flourish in your home. Simply put, you should take indoor environmental factors a little more seriously than you would with other phalaenopsis.
Phal. tetraspis is a well-liked selection for orchid owners looking to expand their collections, but beginners rarely choose it as their first orchid.
Phal. tetraspis requires diffuse lighting. Use a sheer curtain to filter the light if the only light coming through the windows is direct sunlight. 18000–22,000 lux are the required light levels for Phalaenopsis tetraspis.
This orchid requires at least 12 hours of light per day in order to bloom in the spring and summer. Depending on the amount of natural light present in your home, you might need to add artificial light as well.
Phalaenopsis tetraspis orchids grow well in warm climates. They prefer ambient temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 80 to 90 degrees at noon.
Avoid letting the temperature drop below 65 degrees to lessen the risk of damage to these orchids, which cannot withstand prolonged exposure to cooler temperatures. Avoid placing Phal. tetraspis near drafty windows and doors, particularly in the winter.
You most likely won’t be able to replicate the conditions of this orchid’s native habitat. Instead, try to maintain a humidity level around the orchid of at least 50%.
You can increase the humidity in your home in a number of ways. For example, you could place your orchid on top of a humidity tray that is filled with water or group several plants together to create a more humid microclimate. If none of these alternatives work, you may need to use a humidifier to maintain Phal. tetraspis health indoors.
Numerous variables affect Phal. tetraspis’ watering schedule. Checking the growing medium is the best way to maintain this orchid’s proper watering. The growing medium for Phal. tetraspis should be watered when it is almost dry. To determine whether or not it’s time to water, use your finger to feel the growing medium.
To check if your watering schedule is correct, you can also examine the roots. Your orchid’s roots should typically be either light green or white. If you water roots that are bright green, you run the risk of overwatering your orchid because they have already received moisture.
The roots will start to turn crispy and brown if you don’t water them for a long enough period of time. Orchids with crispy, brown roots need to be watered right away, and you should start watering them more frequently going forward.
Depending on the environment, you should water your Phal. tetraspis plant about once a week if you are growing it in a pot. Make sure the container has drainage holes so that extra water can drain out.
Some cultivators favor mounting Phal. tetraspis overgrowing it in a container. This method necessitates daily or every other day watering, but if your orchid is mounted, you are less likely to overwater or underwater it.
No matter if your orchid is mounted or grown in a container, water it first thing in the morning. This prevents crown rot by allowing water that splashes on the leaves or crown to evaporate.
The survival of your orchid depends on your choice of growing medium. Because regular potting soil is too dense, retains too much water, and has the potential to suffocate the roots, orchids cannot thrive in it.
You need a growing medium that is light and quickly drains to successfully grow Phalaenopsis tetraspis in a container. Look for a high-quality potting mixture with tree bark that is specifically made for orchids.
When you repot your Phal. tetraspis every year or so, be sure to use new soil. The potting soil’s bark decomposes over time, making the old potting soil too dense for your orchid.
When growing Phal. tetraspis on a mount, sphagnum moss must be wrapped around the roots in place of a potting mix. Water will be retained by the moss, allowing the roots to absorb moisture as required. The moss will eventually disappear once the orchid has established itself on the mount. This is typical because the orchid won’t require the moss once it gets used to life outside of a container.
Your orchid needs fertilizer to grow well indoors. Indoor orchids don’t have as much access to nutrients as outdoor orchids do, so you’ll need to supplement with fertilizer.
For your orchid, pick a fertilizer with balanced NPK ratios—an equal distribution of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The balanced fertilizers 10-10-10 and 15-15-15 are two examples.
Pick a gentle, diluted fertilizer that lets you regulate how much fertilizer you apply for simple fertilizing. It’s better to begin with a smaller fertilizer application because overfertilizing can damage the roots of your orchid. If more is required, you can always increase the amount.
The Phal. tetraspis is anticipated to bloom in the spring or summer. Depending on the environment, blooming can last for one to six months.
The flowers have a variety of patterns and are a mix of red and white. Even on the same plant, the patterns can vary from flower to flower at random. Phalaenopsis tetraspis has revolving blooms, which means that as one bloom starts to fade, another one replaces it. Each flower typically lasts 5 to 10 days before fading.
The fragrance of the Phal. tetraspis flower is pleasant and fruity, and it is frequently compared to the aroma of mango.
Since Phalaenopsis tetraspis is an epiphyte, it grows attached to other plants in the wild rather than on the ground. In their natural habitat, epiphytic orchids typically cling to trees.
Although mounting Phal. tetraspis is not necessary, some owners find that it takes care of this species simpler. The process may seem difficult if you have never grown an orchid in a mount, but it is not too difficult.