Beth Dreiling Styling: Cari South
They are so beautiful that they don't seem real. Sprays of colorful blossoms hover in the air--whites, pinks, yellows, and purples with faces that can have stripes or spots. Moth orchids will simply make you stop and stare. These blooms surprise you too. Gently arching stalks sport a parade of blossoms that can create a show that will last for months.
Get the Look
Generally, orchids are grown in plastic pots, which are then placed in terra-cotta containers to be sold in stores. It's important to keep your plant in the original plastic pot until it has finished blooming. For a more dramatic display, remove the plastic pot from the terra-cotta container, and drop it in a decorative container. Here are some easy ideas that take only minutes and look great.
Think Tropical With Shades
Moth orchids echo your winter preferences. They like some warmth and love bright light but not direct sunshine. Warm days with temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees and mild nights between 60 and 65 degrees are ideal. They also appreciate humidity. Consider bright windowsills in your kitchen or bath as potential locations that have these conditions. Just give them what they want, and let them thrive.
What's in the Pot?
It used to be that all moth orchids were planted in an orchid bark medium. This allows for easy drainage and a good surface for the roots to grow. Times have changed. Now moth orchids can be purchased growing in an orchid bark medium, sphagnum moss, a combination of these, or sometimes even soil.
This makes watering a little trickier. Sphagnum moss holds moisture well, but it can also become extremely dry and hard to rewet. It's very easy to overwater orchids planted in soil. If you purchase one planted in sphagnum moss or soil, plan on repotting after it finishes blooming. Orchid bark medium, available at your local nursery or garden center, is still best.