Orchid, Phalaenopsis (Phalaenopsis)

Orchid, Phalaenopsis Plant Features

Phalaenopsis orchids (also called moth orchids) are among the most stylish and sophisticated plants you can grow in your home or office. They make fantastic houseplants -- even for beginners -- and their blooms can last for months, making phalaenopsis orchids an excellent gift. Most have attractive butterfly-shaped (or moth-shaped) flowers, in a wide range of colors, from pinks and purples to apricot, orange, and salmon, to lemon yellow to pure white. The blooms appear on elegant spikes above the flat leaves that appear in a fan shape.

Because they're so adaptable, you can grow phalaenopsis orchids in just about any bright spot, including on your desk at work or school, and in your home. They look beautiful displayed in a window sill or in a hanging planter. Complement your phalaenopsis orchid with a colorful pot; this will help give the plant an extra boost of color after the flowers fade. 

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Orchid, Phalaenopsis Growing Instructions

Grow moth orchid in a well-lit spot in your home. They tolerate low light well, but bloom best if grown in medium or bright light. That said, they do prefer some protection from direct afternoon sun on their leaves; if you have them in a sunny window, a sheer curtain is perfect for diffusing the light to keep them happy. 

Water your moth orchid once the bark or moss it's potted in dries out. Orchids would prefer to be a little too dry than too wet. In fact, one of the most common ways orchids die is too much water. Never let orchids sit in water for more than 30 minutes or so. One easy guideline for remembering to water your orchid is to let water run through the moss and out the drainage holes for a couple of minutes each time you water, and to repeat this every 10 to 14 days. 
Get more orchid watering tips.

Moth orchids typically only need repotting once every year or two. Watch the bark or moss it's potted in; when the bark or moss starts to break down and look more like soil, it's time to repot your orchid in a little bigger pot using fresh moss or orchid bark. 

Like many other tropical plants, moth orchids love humidity. One classic way to grow them is to set them on a tray of pebbles or sand and water. The bottom of the pot should sit on the sand/pebbles, just ABOVE the water line. As the water in the tray evaporates, it humidifies the air directly around the plant. You can also group your orchid with other houseplants; most plants add moisture and humidify the air as they breathe.

Lots of people ask if they should mist their orchids. Misting adds humidity to the air for a short time so it doesn't hurt orchids, but it's not as good for them as many people think. It's something many people find therapeutic, however, and often is more personally beneficial to people than misting is for the plant.

Fertilize phalaenopsis orchids a couple of times in spring and summer to help them bloom best. Use a fertilizer designed for orchids and follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging.

Note: Moth orchids typically bloom once a year. After the flowers fade and drop off the plant, you can cut off the flowering stem at its base. Your moth orchid should rebloom again next year -- often in late winter or very early spring. 

These lovely plants are not recommended for human or animal consumption.

  • Water

    Medium water needs

  • Light

    Indoors: High light

    Indoors: Low light

    Indoors: Medium light

  • Colors










  • Special Features

    Purifies the air

    Super-easy to grow

Complement your Orchid, Phalaenopsis

Orchid, Dendrobium
Dendrobium orchids take just the same care as phalaenopsis and makes a wonderful plant partner for it.

Glowee, the glow-in-the-dark plant, is a fun partner for beautiful, easy-to-grow phalaenopsis orchid.

Earth Star
Earth star is a type of bromeliad that grows well with phalaenopsis orchid, and adds a dash of color to the combo when the orchid isn't in bloom.

Rosary Vine
Give phalaenopsis orchid a skirt of color and texture by growing it with rosary vine.