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Moth Orchid

SCENTIFIC NAME: Phalaenopsis spp.

KNOWN AS: Moth Orchid, Phals

CLIMATE (LOCATION): Southeast Asia | Tropical & Subtropical

DESCRIPTION: These plants are often misunderstood, but once you get to know them, they're easy to take care of. The foliage is pretty and the roots are interesting, but the best part is the flowers. They look like moths in mid-flight.

hard difficulty & pet safe

Moth Orchid Plant Care

Lighting

Light Requirement: High Light (Bright Indirect Light); Low Light Tolerant

Moth orchids require bright, indirect light to grow well. They can tolerate some direct morning sun, but too much direct sunlight can burn their leaves. The ideal location for a moth orchid is near a window that receives bright, filtered light for most of the day. East-facing windows are usually a good choice as they get the morning sun and filtered light throughout the rest of the day. If your moth orchid is not getting enough light, you may notice fewer blooms, yellowing leaves, or stunted growth. On the other hand, if it's getting too much light, the leaves may start to turn brown or develop black spots.

Lighting Recommendations

-20%
Aspect™ LED Growlight
$120.00 - $160.00 $200.00 Sale
-15%
Vita™ Grow Light
$72.25 $85.00 Sale

Watering

Quick Tip: Water until water comes out of drainage holes. Allow top 2 inches of soil to completely dry between waterings.

Moth orchids prefer a consistent moisture level, but should not be allowed to sit in standing water. Use room temperature water to water the plant when the top inch of the potting mix feels dry to the touch. Deeply water the plant and let any extra water drain from the pot's bottom. It's crucial not to allow the plant to stand in water that is still because this can lead to root rot. Generally speaking, the moth orchid needs less watering in the winter while it is dormant. Moreover, it's crucial to keep water off of the foliage and flowers to prevent spotting or fungal diseases. Overall, the key to keeping your moth orchid healthy and happy is maintaining constantly moist yet well-draining soil.

Temperature

Preferred Temperature: 65º - 75º

Moth orchids are a popular indoor plant known for their striking beauty and ease of care. The best temperatures for these plants are between 65 and 75°F (18 and 24°C) during the day, and between 55 and 65°F (13 and 18°C) at night. They also need a stable temperature, because sudden changes can make the blooms fall off. Temperatures below 50°F (10°C) or above 90°F (32°C) are bad for moth orchids and can hurt the plant. Keep them away from cold drafts and places with direct sunlight, which can cause them to get too hot.

Humidity

Preferred Humidity: 40 - 60%; Moderate Humidity

Moth orchids need a fair amount of moisture in the air. Putting a humidifier near the plant is one way to ensure the best humidity levels. You can also put a tray of pebbles and water under the pot of the orchid. This will make a small area around the plant that is humid. In addition to these steps, you should keep your moth orchid away from places with low humidity, like near air conditioners or heater vents. Instead, put the plant somewhere with steady, moderate levels of humidity. The right amount of watering can also help keep humidity levels at a healthy level. If you water a plant too much, the water can sit there and cause mold to grow, which will hurt the plant. On the other hand, giving the orchid too little water can cause it to dry out and die. Aim to water the plant when the soil in the pot feels dry but is not completely dry.

Additional Plant Care

Propagation
Moth orchid plants can be spread by dividing them or by putting keiki paste on the stem to make new plantlets grow. To spread through division, carefully take the plant out of its pot and gently separate the clumps of roots, making sure each clump has at least one healthy stem and some roots. Move each group of plants to a new pot with fresh potting soil. On the other hand, keiki paste can be put on a node on the stem to make a new plantlet grow. Once it has roots and leaves, it can be taken off and planted in a pot. Keep the new plants in a warm, humid, and well-lit area until they start to grow on their own.
Toxicity
Moth orchids are popular houseplants, and are generally considered non-toxic to humans and pets, and do not contain any known toxic compounds that pose a significant risk if ingested or touched. This makes them safe for households with children and pets. However, it's important to note that while the plant itself is non-toxic, individual sensitivities or allergies can vary. Some individuals may still experience mild reactions if they come into contact with the plant or its flowers. If you or your pet have a known allergy or sensitivity to plants, it's advisable to exercise caution and monitor for any adverse reactions. Don’t let children or animals chew on any plant matter, as this may pose a choking hazard. As well, any plant matter ingested in excess will cause intestinal distress.
Repotting
When a moth orchid has finished blooming and new growth is starting to show is the best time to repot it. Carefully take the plant out of its pot and gently clean the roots of any old potting mix. Cut off any broken or dead roots and try to keep as many healthy ones as you can. Choose a new pot that is just a little bit bigger than the last one and fill it with fresh orchid bark or sphagnum moss. Put the orchid in the new pot and make sure the roots are spread out evenly and the plant is at the same depth as before. For the first few days, give the orchid a lot of water and keep it out of direct sunlight or drafts while it gets used to its new home.
Pruning
Moth orchids should be pruned by cutting back the flower spike after all the flowers have died. This will help the plant focus its energy on making new growth and a strong root system. When pruning, make sure to use clean, sharp pruning shears and to cut the flower spike cleanly just above a healthy node. Avoid cutting into green or healthy parts of the plant, as this can hurt it. Moth orchids need to be repotted and fertilized from time to time to stay healthy and strong. They also need to have their spent flower spikes cut off. You can prune the plant whenever you need to, but don't prune it in the winter when the plant is sleeping. Moth orchids can keep blooming year after year if they are pruned and cared for the right way.
Fertilizing
Moth orchids are a popular houseplant with beautiful flowers that come in many different colors. It is important to fertilize your moth orchid often if you want it to grow flowers that are healthy and bright. During the growing season (spring and summer), use a balanced, water-soluble orchid fertilizer every two weeks to feed your moth orchid. Use a half-strength solution to keep the plant from getting too much fertilizer, which can hurt it. During the dormant season, which is fall and winter, you should only fertilize your plants once a month. It is also important to give the plant a lot of water before adding fertilizer to keep the fertilizer from burning the plant. Also, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for how much and how to apply the fertilizer. These can vary depending on the product you are using.
Soil
Moth orchids do best in soil that is loose, drains well, and holds enough water and air. Bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss mixed together make the best soil mix for moth orchids. The bark gives the soil structure and helps it drain, the perlite improves air flow and drainage, and the sphagnum moss helps keep water in the soil. 5 parts bark, 1 part perlite, and 1 part sphagnum moss is a good mix. It's important to remember that moth orchids don't like to be overwatered. Because of this, it's important to use a soil mix that drains well to avoid waterlogging, which can cause root rot.

Hanging Heights

Moth Orchid Lighting Requirements: High Light (Bright Indirect Light); Low Light Tolerant

Similar Lighting Requirements