Phalaenopsis Orchid Species and Hybrids
Phalaenopsis Orchid Care
Phalaenopsis orchid species, also known as moth orchids,
are one of the most popular orchid species for growing in the home or
The arching sprays of elegant blooms make
them popular accents for interior décor. Several blooms
each flowering spike.
A second one can emerge when the
first one is cut. Broad green leaves spread outward from the bottom of
the plant. Full grown plants can flower often; sometimes a
flowers will bloom throughout the year.
The main season
is late winter to early spring. These orchids typically thrive in
average indoor temperatures and conditions. Some hybrids can be forced
to rebloom by cutting the tip off after the initial flowering.
phalaenopsis flowers range in size from 2 – 5 inches in
They come in a variety of colors, such as white, pink, lavender and
Blooms can be solid in color, or marked with stripes,
spots, or both.
Sprays of small flowers resemble dainty butterflies in
Individual blooms can last as long as 3 months.
Flowers open sequentially at 2-5 day intervals along an arching spike.
Phalaenopsis Orchid Care
– Care Instructions for Phalaenopsis Orchids
orchids prefer moderate to bright light. They grow easily in a bright
window, with little or no sun. Avoid direct mid-day sun.
morning or late afternoon sun is ideal.
light can be provided by using fluorescent lights. Amount of light
should mimic the length of a normal day. Ideal placement is one foot
above the orchid.
Intermediate (65 - 70° F / 18 - 21° C nights and 80 - 85° F / 27 - 29°
C days) Year Round.
is essential. Fifty to eighty percent humidity is ideal for
phalaenopsis orchids. This can be provided by placing the orchid pot on
a tray of gravel filled with a small amount of water or by placing a
humidifier in the room.
Greenhouse should also provide sufficient humidity – just be sure that
there is appropriate circulation.
every third watering during spring and summer - fertilizer should be
mixed at ½ the strength. Feed every three weeks in fall and winter –
dilute fertilizer to ¼ the strength.
Tip: To prevent and remove excess salts from potting soil, thoroughly
flush with clear water every month.
orchids do not have any water-storage organs (psuedobulbs); however,
they can store some water in their leaves. During the growing season,
water this plant when exposed roots turn silvery white (usually
weekly). Soil should be slightly damp.
Orchid Potting Mix
moth orchids develop small plantlets, called keikis, on the flowering
spike. They can be cut off and potted after they have three leaves and
3 in / 7.5 cm roots.
a flat work space with butcher paper or newspaper. To loosen the
orchid, tap the pot gently or slide a knife between the soil and the
- Tilt the orchid pot sideways and gently remove the plant
from the pot and lay it on the work surface.
remove as much of the potting mix from the orchid roots as possible.
Check the root system for sick or damaged roots. Unhealthy roots need
to be trimmed off.
The best pot will be slightly larger than the current one, one large
enough to allow the orchid to continue to grow, as well as allow for
air circulation around the root system.
It should comfortably
accommodate the roots without crowding. An orchid pot that is too large
allows moisture to remain in the soil mix and will cause root rot.
the moth orchid in the pot with the base of the leaves about one-half
inch below the rim of the pot. Add the potting medium until it is up to
the base of the leaves. Allow the leaves to sit above the medium. Make
sure the leaves are not buried. Pot clips can be used to anchor the
plant by pressing the medium against the root.
- Mature plants should be repotted when the potting medium
starts to decompose (usually in two years).
Phalaenopsis orchids can last many years when propagated from plantlets.
Moth orchids are available in a variety of colors and patterns.
Established varieties are less costly than newer hybrids.
Uses and Display Tips
orchids are elegant when planted in a simple flower pot, which can be
displayed in a location that receives moderate to bright light.
Other Types of Orhcids