MOTH ORCHID

FAMILY: Orchidaceae | GENUS: PHALAENOPSIS

TYPE
  • Flowers
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Filtered Light
WATER
  • Regular Water

Plant Details

These are tropical orchids with thick, broad, leathery leaves and no pseudobulbs. Leaves are rather flat, to 1 feet long. From spring to fall, plants bear long (to 3 feet) sprays of 3- to 6 inches-wide flowers in white, cream, pale yellow, or light lavender-pink; some are spotted or barred or have lips in a contrasting color. Many lovely hybrids are sold. Very popular orchid commercially.

If you've never grown orchids before, moth orchids are good ones to start with. They are usually greenhouse plants, since they need fairly high humidity and warmer growing conditions than most orchids (minimum of 6065F at night, 7085F during the day). In the house, a good location is near a bathroom or kitchen window with light coming through a gauze or other sheer curtain (foliage burns easily in direct sun). Some smaller-flowered new hybrids give promise of being easier to grow, tolerating somewhat lower night temperatures. Give moth orchids same potting medium as cattleya. When cutting flowers, cut back to just above one of the tiny bracts on the stem; secondary sprays may form. To promote stronger new growth, many growers prefer to cut out the entire stem after blossoms fade.

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