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Moth orchid

Phalaenopsis spp.

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Moth orchids are one of the easiest orchids to grow in the home. With a few basic requirements, these plants will reward its owner with several months of beautiful blooms. Unlike many other orchids, Phalaenopsis can be repotted anytime, though it is usually best to do so when not in bloom. Most species in this group are epiphytic shade plants.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Fruiting time
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

Harvesting

When the blooms are finished, 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.

Propagation

Rhizomes
Small plantlets (keiki) appear from the nodes on the flower stems. Detach the plantlets when they have developed several good roots and pot them up in orchid compost. Water sparingly at first.

Special features

Indoor plant
Should be cultivated inside, a windowsill with dappled sunlight works best.
Pot plant
These plants are epiphytic, so if not attached to a branch of a tree, they should be grown in pots. Not using soil, but use a proprietary orchid compost like bark.

Geography

Origin
China, Taiwan, Indian subcontinent and most of subeast Asia

Environment

Light
Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Personality

Family
Orchidaceae
Flower colour
A large variety of colours including, white, pink, purple, mauve, yellow, orange
Scent
None

Problems

Root rot is a common problem with over watering. Allow roots to dry between waterings. Slugs and snails can also sit between leaf nodes, remove promptly.

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