Answers to frequently asked questions - Opti-flor

Buying the collection

Where can I buy the Opti-flor collection?

The Opti-flor collection is sold in the top-range florists and garden centres. 

Click here to find the closest Opti-flor sales outlet near you.

I am a florist and would like to carry the Opti-flor collection. How do I go about this?

Opti-flor does not deliver directly to florists. We sell our orchids via a closely woven international distribution network of over 400 trading companies. They supply florists, garden centre owners and other sales outlets for Opti-flor orchids. If you would like to carry orchids from our collection in your assortment, then please send us an e-mail to: and we shall put you in touch with one of our distributors.

Care tips

What is the best way to water them?

It is better to water the soil around the orchid rather than the centre of the plant. Rainwater is preferable to tap water, which contains a lot of calcium. Watering early in the day is best. It is even better to immerse the pot for 5 to 10 minutes in a bucket of water. After doing so, the orchid can easily go seven days without water. The natural environment of Phalaenopsis has a high humidity. So if you want to cultivate or propagate the plant, it is best to leave it in a humid place, like a kitchen, bathroom or conservatory.

How often do I need to water my orchid?

An orchid only needs watering when the soil has dried out and the roots in the pot have turned grey. As that is difficult to see in a non-transparent decorative pot, you could use a gauge, for example a wooden skewer. Check every 7 to 10 days whether the stick is dry. If it is still moist, then the plant does not need any water. If the stick is dry, then water the plant. In general, it is sufficient to water the plant once every 7 to 10 days.

How do I know if my orchid is getting enough water?

The colour of the roots is the best indicator of whether your orchid is getting enough water. If the roots are green, the plant has enough water. When the roots turn grey, your orchid needs watering.

What is the best soil for growing Phalaenopsis?

It is important that Phalaenopsis has an airy soil, which provides moisture-retaining drainage. Special orchid soil is available from most garden centres and is essential. Because there are few nutrients in the airy orchid soil, it is best to fertilise Phalaenopsis when watering it. There is special orchid fertiliser available for sale. Fertilisation is required from March through October, about twice a month.

Do I need to fertilise my orchid?

Because there are few nutrients in the airy orchid soil, it is recommended to fertilise your Phalaenopsis from time to time, preferably when watering it. There is special orchid fertiliser available for sale. Fertilisation is required from March through October, about twice a month.

How often can I get the plant to flower again?

To get the plant to flower again, once the flowers have died off, cut off the spike(s) just above the second eye near the plant. A new spike will grow in a few weeks to a few months. It is only a matter of time before your Phalaenopsis is flowering again.

New roots and leaves keep appearing on the stem of my orchid? What should I do with them?

This is the start of a new plant. It is best to wait until several leaves and three or four air roots have appeared on the offshoot. Once the air roots are about 5 cm long, you can carefully cut this offshoot from the stem and place it in special orchid soil. After repotting, moisten the soil. Or you can let the offshoot continue growing on your original plant.

When do I need to repot my orchid?

It is best to repot an orchid every three to four years. Always use special orchid soil. Before setting the plant in the new soil, carefully remove any unhealthy roots. The air roots can also be set in the new soil. Do not repot an orchid while it is flowering.

What are the ideal room conditions for a Phalaenopsis?

Phalaenopsis naturally grows in shady areas. It is best to place the plant in a bright location, but avoid excess sunlight. Especially in the months from April through September, it is recommended not to put the plant in direct sunlight. Phalaenopsis also does not like drafts, and it is important not to put the plant near the central heating radiators. Phalaenopsis does best at a temperature between 20°C and 22°C. Make sure that the temperature does not fall below 16°C.

My orchid has roots growing outside the pot. Can I cut them off?

Roots growing outside the pot are air roots. They missed getting in the pot. Because they do not have any function for the plant, you can simply cut them off, but it is not necessary to do so.

Problems with my orchid

My orchid had too much water and its roots have rotted. But the plant does have air roots. What can I do to save my orchid?

If the orchid has air roots, you do not have to discard the plant. You can simply use the air roots as new roots. Remove the rotten roots and stick the air roots in the pot with new soil.

What is the sticky substance on the leaves and the spike where the the buds are growing?

It consists of sugars from an overactive orchid. The orchid produces sugars. Unfortunately, you can't stop this process. If it irritates you, it is best to carefully remove the sugars from the leaves and spike with a lukewarm cloth.

Buds are dropping off my orchid. How can that happen?

The most important cause of bud drop is cold, possibly combined with too much water or too little light. Make sure that the room temperature for your orchid is always at least 16°C and prevent drafts. At lower temperatures the roots become inactive and the buds fall off.

Exposure to ethylene can cause buds to turn yellow and fall off, and flowers to dry up. Sources producing a lot of ethylene include many varieties of vegetables and fruit. Therefore, do not place your orchid too close to a fruit bowl.

The leaves of my orchid are limp and hanging. They stay that way even after I water the plant. What is wrong?

It is possible that you are watering the plant too much. When the leaves start hanging, people tend to think that the plant needs water. It is sensible to check that the roots are in good health. If they are, then do not water your orchid for a week. If the roots have rotted, then remove them and repot the plant using the air roots. Wait a few days before watering.

My orchid's leaves are turning yellow. What is going on?

Most likely, your orchid has been standing too long in water. It is also possible that your orchid has been standing in water that is too cold. That can cause the roots to rot, resulting in yellowing of the leaves, which will ultimately drop off.

What types of bugs can live in an orchid?

The most common types of bugs are woolly aphids, scale bug, red spider mite, greenfly, cottony maple scale and slugs. Before purchasing pesticides for these kinds of bugs, ask for advice from a local garden centre.

There are small, white, woolly bugs in my orchid. What are they and how can I get rid of them?

They are probably woolly aphids. It is rather difficult to get rid of these white, woolly bugs. The only way to defeat woolly aphids is to spray the plant or immerse it in an organic pesticide dissolved in water. If you have a severe woolly aphid plague, you could try using double the dose given on the package.


Does the cultivation of these orchids damage the tropical rainforest?

Opti-flor is committed to dealing carefully with nature. For example, we do not collect plants from the wild. We want to leave nature untouched, plus we want to prevent the importing of any pathogens.

How environmentally friendly is the cultivation of the Opti-flor collection?

Enabling consumers from around the world to enjoy our exclusive orchids is our mission. Working with respect for other people, nature and the environment is self-evident to us. We do our best to minimise our environmental footprint. Some examples are given below to illustrate the ways in which we strive to contribute to a clean and environmentally friendly future.

  • The heated sections of our greenhouses are mostly fitted with energy-saving double glazing, so less energy is used.
  • We supply about 50% of our energy needs with geothermal energy. We pump up warm water at a temperature of 85°C from sources located at a depth of 2500 m, and use it to heat the greenhouses.
  • We collect rainwater in special silos and then use it to water the plants.
  • We have a recirculation system that collects the water that we used in the greenhouses and recirculates it. Water is thus reused.
  • We employ biological crop protection to the fullest extent possible. This means that wherever possible, we employ natural control agents to combat diseases and pests and restrict the use of pesticides to an absolute minimum. 


Where does Phalaenopsis come from?

Phalaenopsis, also called butterfly orchid, originates from the tropical rainforests of Asia, New Guinea and Australia.

How long and how often does Phalaenopsis flower?

Phalaenopsis is popular because it flowers for such a long time. Unlike other orchid varieties, which often flower for 6 to 10 weeks once a year, Phalaenopsis can flower for at least 2 to 6 months and even 2 or 3 times a year.

Can I use a Phalaenopsis in a plant arrangement?

An orchid goes well together with other plant varieties and is thus eminently suitable for use in a plant arrangement. Put the plant still in its pot in the plant container, so it will retain its firmness.

Is it better to buy a plant with buds or should the flowers already be open?

That depends on the place where you intend to keep your Phalaenopsis. The darker the location, the better it is to have more flowers open. Always choose an orchid which has several flowers open, even if you put the orchid in a light place.