In Bloom: Phalaenopsis Orchids

Posted by Kristin on December 13, 2019

A   F A N   F A V O R I T E

Phalaenopsis orchids are the most popular orchid variety in the world 
due to their large delicate, vibrant blooms and their resilience as 
a house plant. Commonly known as moth orchids, the phalaenopsis 
orchid will bloom all year round, making this orchid genus a favorite 
among orchid lovers and the go-to orchid plant for novices. 

The phalaenopsis orchid's unique bloom shape and delicate nature
make it a stunning addition to cut flower arrangements. These are
often used as a focal flower in lush compact arrangements and as a
cascading branch of blooms in taller styles to really elevate a vase to
the next level of beauty and sophistication. 


A genus of the Orchidaceae family, the phalaenopsis orchid genus was first
identified by the German-Dutch botanist and entomologist Dr. Karl Ludwig
Blume in 1825. The phalaenopsis orchid bloom reminded Dr. Blume of the
flying white moths he had seen in tropical jungles, so he derived the orchid's
name from the Greek word "phalaina," meaning "moth," and "opsis" meaning
The first orchid plant was sent to Europe all the way from Manila
for cultivation 
by natural history collector Hugh Cumming in 1837. Since then,
countless species 
and hybrids have been established through the expertise of
various botanists and experts.


Phalaenopsis orchids are one of the easiest orchids to grow in the home.
If you follow these basic requirements, your orchid plant will reward you
with months of ripe buds and beautiful blooms! 

WATER: How often you water your phalaenopsis orchid will depend on
the potting medium. Bark retains less water than moss. If your phal is potted
in bark, watering once a week is generally sufficient. If your plant is potted in
moss, water when the top feels dry. The amount of light and heat your plant
receives will also affect how soon your phal orchid needs watering. Summer
months will need more frequent watering, winter will need less. After a few
waterings, you will be able to tell by the weight of the pot whether or not it is
time to water again. If in doubt, wait a day.

Orchids often prefer to be watered in the morning. Place the plant in the sink
and use tepid water. Do not use salt-softened or distilled water. Let the water
run through the plant for a minute or so. Be sure to let the plant drain completely.

If any water remains in the crown (where the leaves join in the center) use a paper
towel to blot the water to avoid crown rot.

Any balanced orchid fertilizer (look at the numbers on the container, 20-20-20, etc.)
can be used to fertilize your orchid. Feeding weakly (half strength) weekly works well.
Once a month, use clear water to flush any accumulated salts from the potting mix.


LIGHT: Phalaenopsis are ‘low’ light orchids. They grow beautifully in an east window
and can be grown in a south or west window if protected by a sheer curtain. A phal’s leaves
should be olive green. If they are darker it means the plant is not getting enough light;
red tinged leaves mean the plant is getting too much light. Once the plant is in bloom you
can place it anywhere in your home out of direct sunlight. If your plant does not re-bloom,
increase the amount of light that it receives.

Continue watering and fertilizing while waiting for the blooming cycle to begin!

TEMPERATURE: Phals are easy to grow because they enjoy the same temperatures
as we do – above 60º F at night and a range of 70º F to 80º F or higher during the day.
95º F is the maximum temperature recommendation. Keep in mind that temperatures
close to the window on a windowsill will be colder or hotter than your general house
temperature. Fluctuating temperatures can cause bud drop on plants with buds ready
to open.

HUMIDITY: Use a shallow tray of pebbles filled with water to increase humidity
around your plants. Be sure the pot does not sit in water as this will rot the roots.

OTHER TIPS: When the blooms are finished, you can cut the spike down to the level
of the leaves and the plant will bloom with larger flowers and a strong stem within a year.
You can also cut off the stem leaving two nodes (those little brown lines on the stem below
where the flowers were) on the stem. One of these nodes will then initiate and generally
produce flowers within eight to 12 weeks. See the video on the AOS website: Phalaenopsis Spike


Orchid Republic:

The American Orchid Society:




We proudly carry a large inventory of phalaenopsis orchid plants as well as a huge variety of cut orchids flowers! The elegance and beauty of orchid plants and orchid flower arrangements truly are perfect for any occasion, whether you are expressing love, sympathy, or friendship. Shop handcrafted orchid arrangements for same day delivery here:

Black Beauty
Vivid Violets