Phaius Orchids: 9 Tips for Perfect Care

Introduction to Phaius Orchid Care

Phaius Orchids, also known as Nun’s Orchids, took me for a spin when I first saw them in an orchid exposition in Washington D.C. I had no idea that the plant I was looking at was an orchid (they had lots of filler plants like ferns and other leafy plants).

Phaius Orchid Care Guide: Phaius orchids are terrestrial orchids that thrive outside in zones 9-12, low to moderate light levels (1000-2000 foot candles), in temperatures from 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures of 55°F to 65°F (13°C to 18°C) at night, 50-70% humidity, with every three months a slow release fertilizer of 10-10-10, water everyday to every other day, and apply a three month winter rest.

What blew me away were their size! Just wow… Here’s an orchid that was looking me a little below the eyes and its pot was close to the ground. Some Phaius hybrids reach up to 4 feet tall (120cm)! Yet as I focused on the ground, oh my gosh, these orchids were planted in soil!!

Immediately, Phaius orchids got promoted on my list of orchids that I had to try later. It’s an understatement to say Phaius orchids are a fascinating and unique addition to any orchid collection and the first orchid that people remember when it comes to terrestrial orchids. They made it to the “top of mind” classification!

So in this Phaius orchid care guide, I will take you through the care and cultivation of Phaius orchids with plenty of instructions that are beginner-friendly, so you can also add them to your collection!

Phaius Orchids
Phaius Orchid: They’re so tall they didn’t fit in my camera space.
Image Credit: Orchideria@2024

Fun Facts About the Phaius Orchid

There is a catch though: not all 42 species of Phaius orchids are terrestrial. Some species are, in fact, epythitic. *sigh* Since the best known and most widely sold species is Phaius tankervillae, and that is terrestrial, for the sake of this article, let’s consider Phaius orchids as terrestrial.

Phaius orchids were first described in the late 1700’s by the botanist João de Loureiro, a Portuguese Jesuit missionary to Goa (a part of India that speaks Portuguese), Bengal, Vietnam and Macau. His work and careful observation of plants gave him the title of “Greatest Botanist of the 18th century” and his personal collection included over 1,000 unique herbs and other plants. (Source) The orchid first appeared in English literature in 1778 by John Fothergill.

Phaius Orchids are known for being relatively low-maintenance and forgiving, making them a great choice for beginners. They aren’t as easy as Bletilla or Spathoglottis in my opinion. Yet, much easier than any epiphytic orchid (again, just my humble opinion). In addition, Phaius Orchids are often more affordable compared to other orchid varieties, making them accessible to a wider range of people.

The terminology “phaoius” φαιός (phaiós) comes from the Greek and means dusky or dark. This is a reference to the color of the flowers’ lips, that are a murky-red, brownish-red, or purplish-pink color, and the petals being mostly brown or beige-white. I could describe the color as a speckled mahogany, currant, strawberry jam, or sangria for the lip color. If I had to place them into a landscape design, I’d certainly add them to the rustic category as a background plant.

Phaius Orchid Infographic with care guide and instructions for Phaius orchid culture
Phaius Orchid

Where are Phaius Orchids Located and Grown Naturally?

Phaius Orchids can be found naturally along zones 9-12, and in various countries around the world, “from Gabon to Zaire, Madagascar, Reunion, Sri Lanka, norther India (Kashmir to Assam) to southern China (Xizang to Fujin), Taiwan, southern Japan, Myanmar to Vietnam, Indonesia, New Guinea and eastern Australia to the southwestern Pacific Archipelago”. (Source) . They were first discovered by botanist Karl Ludwig Blume in the early 19th century. Since then, they have gained popularity among orchid enthusiasts for their striking beauty and unique characteristics.

With over 50 recognized species and numerous hybrids, Phaius Orchids offer a wide range of colors and patterns. From vibrant pinks and purples to delicate whites and yellows, there is a Phaius Orchid to suit every taste. Some hybrids even feature intricate patterns and markings, adding to their allure.

Despite their size and impressive appearance, Phaius Orchids are surprisingly easy to grow. They thrive in bright, indirect light and prefer temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C to 29°C). Adequate humidity is also important for their well-being, as they originate from tropical regions.

Endangered Species: Phaius australis

Phaius orchids, specifically the Phaius australis species, are currently facing the threat of extinction. This is primarily due to a combination of factors including fire, drought, and most significantly, the actions of collectors. Dr. Laura Simmons, who conducted her PhD research on the Phaius australis, has highlighted the endangered status of these orchids and the risks they face.

One of the main reasons for the decline in Phaius orchid populations is habitat fragmentation and cultural destruction. These orchids naturally grow in areas that are also desirable for human habitation and development. As a result, their habitats are being encroached upon and destroyed. This loss of habitat greatly impacts the ability of Phaius orchids to survive and reproduce.

Furthermore, the Phaius australis is Australia’s tallest terrestrial orchid, making it particularly vulnerable to collectors like you and me. Sellers see this opportunity to make some money and take orchids from nature, often involving the excavation of entire masses of Phaius orchids, further exacerbating their decline. You can read more in this document published by the Australian government.

To help protect and preserve Phaius orchids, it is crucial to only purchase from reputable vendors who do not collect orchids from the wild. By supporting ethical practices and sustainable cultivation, we can contribute to the conservation of these endangered species. It is essential that we take steps to protect and preserve these orchids by supporting responsible vendors and promoting sustainable cultivation practices.

How to Care for Phaius Orchids

To properly care for Phaius orchids, it is important to follow a few key steps. First, after the flowers have faded and wilted, it is essential to trim off the old flowers. This not only improves the appearance of the plant but also encourages new growth and blooming. You can use the old spikes to propagate new growths, as I mentioned above.

In terms of bulb maintenance, it is recommended to dig up the bulbs every two to three years. This allows for inspection and division if necessary. When digging up the bulbs, I prefer to do it during the dormant period, which is typically in late winter or early spring. Carefully remove the bulbs from the pot and gently shake off any excess soil. Inspect the bulbs for any signs of damage or disease, and discard any that are unhealthy.

As far as light, temperature, watering, repotting, and fertilizer requirements, I’ll go over those more in depth in a separate section.

Types of Phaius Flowers

A picture is worth a thousand words, but I’ll will try to describe these flowers. The inflorescence of the Phaius orchid is a sight to behold, with its vibrant colors and intricate patterns. From deep purples and rich burgundies to soft pinks and creamy whites, these flowers come in a range of hues.

These plants have clustered stems, some even without pseudobulbs. When they have pseudobulbs, (most species do) they are cane-like, almost cilindrical, and large, pleated, thinly textured leaves.

Not only are the colors of the Phaius orchid flowers visually striking, but they also emit a delightful scent. The fragrance can vary depending on the species and cultivar, ranging from sweet and floral to spicy and citrusy. I have heard one Phaius as being described as a juicy lemon smell. This aromatic quality adds an extra layer of sensory pleasure to the already beautiful display of flowers.

In terms of size, the flowers of the Phaius orchid can be quite impressive, usually measuring 3 inches (6-8 cm) wide and about 10-20 flowers appear on each stem. Phaius tankervilleae show flowers up to5 inches (12.5cm) across.

The flowers of the Phaius orchid are arranged in a rustic, thick raceme, which is a long, not-so-slender stem that bears multiple flowers. This allows for a stunning display of blooms, with multiple flowers opening up at different stages, creating a visually dynamic and captivating scene.

Since they open succesively, they seem like they are in bloom for an extended period of time.

Phaius Orchid
Phaius Orchid Image Credit: flickr

Lighting for Phaius Orchids

Lighting is a crucial factor in the care of Phaius Orchids. As an outdoor, terrestrial orchid, they prefer bright, indirect light, but not all day long. They thrive in areas with moderate light levels, but direct sunlight can be too intense and may cause sunburn or damage to the leaves during the hot summer months. It’s a tricky combination, but if you have a place on your lot that gets shade in the afternoon, then that’s the place to plant your Phaius Orchid.

To provide the ideal lighting conditions, it is important to consider the foot candle requirements specifically for the Phaius genus.

Foot candles are a unit of measurement used to determine the intensity of light shed by one candle reaching a surface one foot away from the candle. According to the American Orchid Society, the suggested maximum light intensities for some common orchid genera are 1,500 foot-candles for Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilum, 2,500 foot-candles for Miltoniopsis and Zygopetalum, 3,000 foot-candles for Cattleya, and 5,000 foot-candles for Brassia, Cymbidium, Degarmoara, Dendrobium and Oncidium. This of course, doesn’t only depend on the specific genera, but for each species it will vary.

For Phaius Orchids, a foot candle range of 1000 to 2000 is recommended, which is considered a low-light orchid. This can be achieved by placing the orchid in a location that receives filtered sunlight or by providing shade during the hottest part of the day.

Phaius orchids are very dependent to the season variances of light, which means that they will prefer less foot-candles during winter. If they are planted outside, this will naturally happen, so no need changes and adaptations will need to be made. But if you grow them indoors, you will need to program your artificial lights to a lower setting for the three winter months. They still need light, just not as much. If you continue to give them the same amount of light, your Phaius orchid will not know when to send out new shoots.

If you live in an area outside the recommended zones for growing Phaius Orchids outdoors (zones 9-12) you can still enjoy these beautiful plants by placing them indoors. Since they are pretty tall and will spread outward pretty quickly, they are great for indoor gardens, or central pieces in the corner of the room. I wouldn’t plan on keeping these on a coffee table. When choosing a location indoors, it is important to find a spot that receives bright, indirect light. Light is the main factor in keeping these orchids happy and growing well. This can be near a window with sheer curtains, using artificial light in any room, or in a room with ample natural light.

Your Phaius Orchid will show signs that it isn’t receiving enough light (or too much light), so you can make adjustments as needed. Signs of sun damage include yellowing or browning of the thin leaves, while signs of not enough sun include weak growth, darker green leaves, and lack of flowering.

Placing Phaius Orchids near an east-facing window provides them with the ideal amount of morning sunlight. This allows them to receive the necessary light without being exposed to the intense afternoon sun. If an east-facing window is not available, placing the orchid near a south-facing window with sheer curtains can also provide the right balance of light. Just monitor the heat levels, because it could become too hot with the southern-facing window.

Watering Phaius Orchids

Phaius orchids prefer moist soil all the time, giving some of the Phaius orchids the name of Common Swamp-orchid, Southern Swamp-orchid, Swamp Lily and Island Swamp-orchid. *Obs: These species are more common in Australia. This doesn’t mean that Phaius orchids like to be in areas that flood or have water that doesn’t drain well, but that they prefer to be in a little wetter conditions than most orchids.

When choosing a spot in your garden to plant theses, make sure that the water will drain off soon, but that the moisture underground is slightly higher than other places in your garden, These orchids are not drought-tolerant and will suffer if kept too long of intervals in between watering cycles. (Source)

Phaius orchids do not like to be constantly wet nor completely dry (even during dormancy). It is important to strike a balance between the two extremes, especially during the seasonal changes. During the growing season, which typically occurs in spring and summer, Phaius orchids require more frequent watering. During the dormant or dry period, which usually occurs in fall and winter, Phaius orchids require less frequent watering.

I recommend watering them when the top inch of the potting medium feels slightly dry to the touch, which in my area means 4-5 times a week, but check in your location and see what works for you. I’ve heard of growers who water their Phaius orchids everyday in the morning during the spring and summer growth spurts, then only 2-3 times a week during winter dormancy. They were in a dry climate and this worked for them. Every person’s growing conditions are different. This ensures that the roots have access to moisture without becoming waterlogged.

What you need to know is that these orchid love water and need to to be watered more than the typical Phalaenopsis orchid and much more than a Cattleya.

As for the type of water, use slightly acidic to neutral pH levels, ranging from 5.5 to 7.0 to water your Phaius orchids. It is important to maintain this pH range when watering your orchids to ensure optimal nutrient absorption and root health. To achieve the desired pH, you can use rainwater, distilled water, or tap water that has been treated to reduce its alkalinity.

Temperature for Phaius Orchids

It is important to note that for Phaius orchids, the temperature preferences are relatively consistent throughout the year, regardless of the season. This is because they thrive in low coast lands, grassy plains, and very low elevation levels, where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate much during the calendar year. Phaius orchids do not have specific temperature requirements that vary with the changing seasons.

However, they do benefit from a slight drop in temperature during the night, which mimics their natural environment. Phaius orchids thrive in tropical climates that don’t get too hot, which means temperatures that range from 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures of 55°F to 65°F (13°C to 18°C) at night. They can go to higher and lower extremes but they don’t thrive there, only survive. These temperature ranges provide the ideal conditions for the orchids to grow and bloom successfully.

Maintaining a consistent temperature within the recommended range is crucial for the overall health and well-being of Phaius orchids. A lot of growers mistakenly chilled their orchid during winter months, since it is drier and cooler in nature, only to find out that the leaves started to die back and get brown and crunchy. Please don’t do this. Maintain the winter temperatures the same as the summer temperatures, but cut back significantly on watering. Extreme temperature fluctuations can stress the plants and hinder their growth and blooming.

To ensure that the temperature remains within the desired range, it is advisable to place Phaius orchids in a location where they are protected from drafts and extreme temperature changes. Avoid placing them near windows or doors that may expose them to cold drafts or direct sunlight, as this can negatively impact their growth. If they are outside, then there is no problem. Airflow and drafts are more than welcome, since they will dry off any water droplets that were left from the morning watering.

Humidity for Phaius Orchids

Phaius orchids, being outside and terrestrial plants, thrive in environments with moderate to high humidity levels. They prefer humidity levels ranging from 50% to 70%. This level of humidity helps to mimic their natural habitat and promotes healthy growth and blooming.

The humidity requirements for Phaius orchids remain relatively constant throughout the year. However, it is important to note that humidity levels can vary slightly depending on the season. During the warmer months, such as spring and summer, the humidity levels may naturally be higher due to increased moisture in the air. In contrast, during the cooler months, such as fall and winter, the humidity levels may be lower, especially in indoor environments with central heating.

To raise the humidity indoors, there are a few simple steps you can take. Placing a tray filled with water near the orchids or using a humidifier can help increase the humidity levels in the immediate vicinity. Don’t let the orchids roots come in contact with the humidity tray though.

Grouping the orchids together can also create a micro-climate with higher humidity. Additionally, misting the leaves of the orchids with water can provide a temporary boost in humidity. I wrote an article that included several tips on how to increase the humidity inside that you can read here.

If you are growing Phaius orchids outdoors, you can take advantage of natural sources of humidity. Planting them near swamps, lakes, or bogs can provide the necessary moisture in the air. May I heavily emphasize the word NEAR and not IN. Phaius tankerville and all it’s variants will have root rot if you place them directly in a watery environment. Alternatively, you can create a small water feature or fountain nearby to increase humidity levels.

Fertilizer for Phaius Orchids

Applying fertilizer is an essential aspect of Phaius orchid care, which means providing the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and vibrant blooms. Since Phaius orchids are such heavy feeders, you can fertilizer (ever so diluted) with every other time you water. If you have a heavy hand when it comes to fertilizer, then only use the fertilizer twice a week, but note that since they are terrestrial, Phaius orchids will appreciate much more fertilizer than your other orchids.

Choose a fertilizer with a balanced ratio of nutrients, such as a 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 formula. This balanced ratio ensures that the orchids receive a sufficient amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Another great fertilizer for Phaius orchids is a slow release fertilizer that you need to reapply every three months. Fish emulsion (which you can read here) and compost tea are also great source of extra nutrients that your Phaius orchid will appreciate.

As for the frequency of fertilization, I recommend applying a diluted fertilizer solution every other watering during the active growing season, which typically spans from spring to early fall. Since they use such a huge quantity of fertilizer, its best to rinse the pot out (a process called flushing) with distilled water once a month. This will decrease the salt build up on the top of the top and inside the media. During the dormant period in winter, it is best to reduce or suspend fertilization to allow your Phaius orchids to rest.

Overfertilizing can have detrimental effects on Phaius orchids. If you notice dark green leaves with a burnt appearance or the tips of the leaves turning brown, it may be a sign of overfertilization. In such cases, it is important to flush the soil with water to remove any excess salts and adjust the fertilization schedule accordingly.

On the other hand, underfertilizing can result in weak growth and lack of blooms. If you observe pale or yellowing leaves, it may indicate a deficiency in nutrients. In such instances, increasing the frequency or strength of the fertilizer solution can help address the issue.

How to Propagate Phaius Orchids

Phaius orchids are self-pollinating plants, which means they don’t need another plant beside them, planted in pairs. Propagation by seeds requires more time and expertise. It involves collecting and sowing the orchid seeds in a sterile medium, providing the right conditions for germination, and nurturing the seedlings until they are large enough to be potted individually. But I’m not too keen on planting with orchid seeds (at least not ye in the foreseeable future…lol) so I’ll just stick to easier methods.

When it comes to propagating Phaius orchids, I have found that dividing the plant after flowering is the most effective method of propagation. This can be done by carefully separating the bulbs or pseudobulbs, ensuring that each division has at least two to four to five bulbs per plant. Don’t single them out in one psuedobulb per plant, since they derive nutrients from older bulbs.

The older bulbs will not flower, and if he y have flowered, they are never going to produce an inflorescence again. Does that mean you can remove them? no!!! Leave them on the plant since the nutrients will still provide the new growths the energy they need to produce that stunning flower. Dividing the plant allows for the creation of new individual plants, each with the potential to grow and bloom.

  1. To begin the division process, I recommend removing the orchid from its pot and gently shaking off any excess soil. This will make it easier to see the bulbs and determine where to make the divisions. Look for bulbs that are mature and have multiple growth points, as these are more likely to thrive when separated.
  2. Using a clean, sharp knife or shears, or gently pull them apart with your fingers to carefully split the rhizome between the bulbs, making sure to leave enough space for each division to develop its own root system. It is important to sterilize the cutting tool before and after each cut to prevent the spread of disease.
  3. Once the divisions have been made, place them in individual pots filled with a well-draining orchid mix. Provide them with the same care and conditions as mature Phaius orchids, including appropriate lighting, watering, and fertilization.

Another method that I have tried (without positive results, sadly) but is very well seen in the orchid-growing world is to cut the flower spike after the flower have died off. Divide that flower spike into segments with one eye on each node. Place the cut spikes down in a container with damp sphagnum moss covering both sides of the segment and close with a slotted lid.

This is a slow method, but at the eye of the spike, a new bulb will form, and from it, leaves and roots should shoot out. Some orchid growers apply rooting hormone to the cut end to speed up the process. In a few months you can transfer the newly rooted plant into its very own pot with lots of potting well-draining potting media and high-quality fertilizer. In twenty-four months, legend says they should bloom. <–Just kidding. They will bloom. I haven’t had success, but they say it works.

When to Repot a Phaius Orchid

One of the most obvious signs is when the plant has outgrown its pot or that the bulb is visible through the dirt (or other orchid potting media). Rain can easily wash away the top soil on Phaius orchids, and that leads to broken spikes and weak plants. If you notice that the roots are tightly packed and there is little room for growth, it’s time to consider repotting.

Another indication that your Phaius orchid needs repotting is when the potting medium starts to break down. Over time, the organic matter in the potting mix can decompose, causing the medium to become compacted and lose its ability to drain properly. Water will pool up on thetop of the pot, and it takes a long time to seep down into the pot. This can lead to root rot and other issues, so it’s important to repot before this happens.

In terms of the best interval to repot Phaius orchids, I find that every two to three years is ideal. This allows enough time for the plant to establish itself in its new pot and ensures that the roots have enough space to grow and absorb nutrients.

When repotting, it’s crucial to choose the right pot size. I recommend selecting a pot that is just slightly larger than the current one, as Phaius orchids prefer to be slightly root-bound. This helps to promote blooming and prevents the plant from becoming too top-heavy.

For potting media, I prefer to use a well-draining orchid mix that consists of bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss as my base layer, then I add potting soil (around 50%) and some sand if I find this isn’t draining properly. Always use the biggest, chunkiest, most coarse pieces of potting media you have when it comes to Phaius orchids. This combination provides excellent aeration and drainage, which is essential for the health of the orchid’s roots.

Potting Media for Phaius orchids

  • Huge Bark Chunks
  • Perlite, massive grade
  • Sphagnum Moss
  • Big Pieces of Charcoal
  • Potting Soil
  • Decomposed Pine Bark
  • Sand
  • Leaf Litter
  • Humus-Rich Compost

By paying attention to these signs and following the recommended repotting interval, you can ensure that your Phaius orchids have the best chance of thriving and producing beautiful blooms.

How to Repot a Phaius Orchid

When it comes to repotting a Phaius orchid, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to choose the right pot size. I recommend selecting a pot that is just slightly larger than the current one, as Phaius orchids prefer to be slightly root-bound. They will need a deep and wide pot, since their height needs the support to maintain their tall inflorescence. This allows for some growth while still keeping the orchid compact, which promotes blooming and prevents the plant from becoming too top-heavy. Some orchid growers spike their Phaius orchids, but I haven’t had to yet.

Next, you’ll want to choose the appropriate potting media. I personally prefer my well-known base mix, which is a well-draining orchid mix consisting of bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss for about 50% of the mix. The other 50% is a mix of potting soil for normal houseplants, peat, well-rotted compost, partially decomposed pine bark, charcoal, and sand. Phaius orchids love rich leaf-litter and humus-rich compost too, that is high in nutrients, so anything that you have to add to the high organic component of this potting media is well accepted. This combination provides excellent aeration and drainage, which is crucial for the health of the orchid’s roots. The bark helps to retain moisture while allowing excess water to drain away, while the perlite and sphagnum moss add additional air circulation and prevent the potting mix from becoming too compacted.

Now, let’s walk through the step-by-step process of repotting a Phaius orchid. Start by gently removing the orchid from its current pot, being careful not to damage the roots. If the roots are tightly packed, you can gently loosen them to encourage new growth. Be sure to handle the orchid with care, as the roots are delicate and can easily be damaged.

Once the orchid is out of the pot, take a moment to inspect the roots for any signs of rot or disease. Trim away any damaged or dead roots using sterilized pruning shears. This will help to promote healthy growth and prevent the spread of any potential infections. Separate the orchid into clumps with 4 pseudobulbs per clump.

Next, place a layer of the chosen potting media at the bottom of the new pot. Position the orchid in the center of the pot, making sure the roots are spread out evenly. Fill the remaining space with the potting media, gently pressing it down to secure the orchid in place. Avoid packing the potting mix too tightly, as this can restrict air circulation and lead to root rot.

Finally, water the orchid thoroughly, allowing the excess water to drain out. Phaius orchids prefer to be evenly moist but not waterlogged, so be sure to monitor the moisture levels in the potting mix and adjust your watering routine accordingly. Place the repotted Phaius orchid in a location with appropriate lighting and temperature conditions.

Common Phaius Orchid Problems

Phaius orchids are generally hardy and adaptable plants, but like any other plant, they can face certain problems depending on where they are grown. Whether you are growing them indoors, outdoors, or in the wild, it’s important to be aware of the common issues that can arise and how to address them.

Growing Phaius orchids indoors can present a few challenges. One common problem is Botrytis, a fungal infection that occurs due to excessive moisture and lack of proper air circulation. To treat Botrytis, it is important to improve air circulation around the plant by providing adequate spacing between plants and ensuring proper ventilation. Additionally, avoid overwatering and remove any infected plant material to prevent the spread of the fungus.

Another issue that can occur when growing Phaius orchids indoors is root rot. This is often caused by overwatering, which leads to waterlogged roots. To prevent root rot, it is important to allow the top layer of the potting mix to dry out slightly before watering again. Ensure that the pot has proper drainage and avoid leaving the plant sitting in standing water.

Phaius orchids can also be susceptible to pests such as thrips, spider mites, and aphids when grown indoors. These pests can cause damage to the leaves and flowers of the orchid. To control these pests, you can use organic insecticidal soap or neem oil. Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pest infestation and take appropriate measures to address the issue.

When growing Phaius orchids outdoors, there are different challenges to consider. One common problem is a period of drought, especially in regions with dry climates. During extended periods without rainfall, it is important to provide supplemental watering to keep the orchids hydrated. Monitor the moisture levels in the soil and adjust watering accordingly.

Another potential issue when growing Phaius orchids outdoors is the risk of fire. In areas prone to wildfires, it is important to take necessary precautions to protect your orchids. Clear any dry vegetation or debris from around the plants and create a firebreak if necessary. Stay updated on fire warnings and follow local guidelines to ensure the safety of your orchids.

Phaius orchids grown outdoors may also face the risk of being trampled by animals. To prevent this, consider installing a protective barrier around the plants or placing them in an area where they are less likely to be disturbed by animals.

In the wild, the main problem for Phaius orchids is human activity. According to the Australian Government, the Common Swamp-orchid (Phaius australis) is threatened by illegal collection for horticulture or cut flowers, as well as habitat loss due to clearing, fragmentation, and drainage for development, agriculture, and road works. It is important to support conservation efforts and avoid contributing to the illegal trade of wild orchids.

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Orchid Fertilization

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Phaius orchids are truly versatile and adaptable plants that can thrive in a wide range of conditions. From temperature preferences to watering needs, these orchids can be grown successfully in various environments, indoors or outdoors from zones 9 to 11 (12 is a stretch). I hope this guide helps you grow these truly amazing orchids! If you have any questions or comments, please be sure to ask them below.

I have a few more articles on terrestrial orchids that you may like:

Also, I have a pinterest account where I gather pictures of my orchids and other’s orchids too. Please be sure to check it out to see some amazing picture of Phaius orchids and other orchids too.

Happy Cultivating!

Signature Amanda Matthews

I have been writing about orchids and researching them for over 5 years now. I have 2 books published in orchid care and I take my blog seriously. That being said, I am not an orchid expert. I still make tons of mistakes, So if you see something that is not correct, please let me know. Thanks!!

Amanda Matthews

Amanda Matthews is a theological professor, author, pastor, and a motivational speaker. She's passionate about spreading hope and teaching. Her hobbies include biking, cultivating orchids, and exploring nature trails. She now lives in Kansas, while raising her two children. To read more, go to

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