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 greenhouse. 

The arching sprays of elegant blooms make them popular accents for interior décor.  Several blooms appear on 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 few 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.


Elegant phalaenopsis flowers range in size from 2 – 5 inches inPhalaenopsis Orchid diameter.

They come in a variety of colors, such as white, pink, lavender and yellow.

Blooms can be solid in color, or marked with stripes, spots, or both.

Sprays of small flowers resemble dainty butterflies in some species.

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

Lighting Requirements

Phalaenopsis orchids prefer moderate to bright light. They grow easily in a bright window, with little or no sun. Avoid direct mid-day sun.  Early morning or late afternoon sun is ideal. 

Supplemental 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.

Temperature Requirements

Intermediate (65 - 70° F / 18 - 21° C nights and 80 - 85° F / 27 - 29° C days) Year Round.

Humidity Requirements

Humidity 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.


Fertilize 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.


Phalaenopsis 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


Most 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.


  1. Cover 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 pot. 
  1. Tilt the orchid pot sideways and gently remove the plant from the pot and lay it on the work surface. 
  1. Gently 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.

Note: 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.

  1. Center 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.
  1. 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

Phalaenopsis 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

Cattleya Orchids - Large Stunning Blooms
Cymbidium Orchids - Long-Lasting Flowers
Dendrobium Orchid - Arching Displays of Beautiful Flowers
Oncidium Orchid - Colorful Exotic Blooms
Paphiopedilum Orchid - Slipper-Shaped Flowers


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