Phalaenopsis, also called moth orchids, are one of the easiest orchids to grow and a great choice for beginners.
Follow these tips to keep your orchid healthy and encourage it to bloom as often and as long as possible.
Given the proper care, you can expect moth orchids to flower once or twice a year and the flowers can last for 2-4 months.
How to Keep Phalaenopsis Orchids Blooming
1. Provide Indirect Sunlight
Compared to other orchids, Phalaenopsis require less direct light and thrive near any window with filtered sunlight. Avoid placing moth orchids in a south-facing window, which is too bright and “burns” the leaves.
2. Water every 7-10 Days
The number one killer of Phalaenopsis orchids grown as houseplants is watering too frequently. Allow the top inch or two of bark mix to dry completely before watering the plant again.
Pro-Tip: Here are two methods to choose from when watering that can help prolong orchid blooms.
- One effective method is to put the pot in the sink and allow water to gently flow through the bark for 1 minute. Next, submerge the pot in water for 20 minutes to allow the bark to soak up moisture. Finally, return the pot to its saucer, check in 10 minutes, and dispose of excess drained water.
- To simplify watering, place 3 ice cubes on the surface of the bark planting mix and allow them to melt. The melting ice slowly saturates the bark mix, rather than running straight through to the saucer and missing the roots.
3. Place in Typical Household TemperaturesGreenhouse conditions are not necessary to successfully grow a moth orchid. As long as your home stays in the range of 60-80°F, then an orchid can thrive.
4. Fertilize every MonthDilute a balanced, 20-20-20, liquid houseplant fertilizer to 1/4 the recommended strength and apply it every 3-4 weeks.
5. Raise the Humidity
Heating and air conditioning lower the humidity in homes. If humidity is low in your home, the ideal range is 50-70%, set a pan filled with pebbles and water underneath the orchid’s pot and saucer. The pan of water will evaporate and elevate the humidity in the small area surrounding the plant.
6. Trim Faded Flower StalksAfter flowering is over, cut back the flower stalk only if it becomes dry and brown-looking after the flowers fall off. As long as the stem remains green there is a chance it will sprout a new flowering stem off the main shoot. If, however, the flower stalk is clearly dead, removing the stalk will keep your Phalaenopsis moth orchid looking tidy and will not hinder future blooming. New flower stems will eventually emerge from the base of the plant.
7. Repot your Phalaenopsis orchid every 1-2 Years
Orchids should be repotted into the same or slightly larger pot every 1-2 years. The bark mix deteriorates over time and needs to be replaced. Phalaenopsis orchids do best when their roots are snug against the edge of the pot, plus the bark should be tightly packed around the roots.
Pro-Tip: Do not use glazed ceramic or plastic pots with solid walls because this limits the roots’ air exposure too much.
Learn More About Flowering Indoor Plants
Flowering potted plants are a quick way to add color, freshness and a designer touch to interiors. Place one on the dining table to create an instant centerpiece. Special occasions become super special with just a few pots placed at an entryway or along a buffet table. A single potted flower is the perfect gift to honor a special day or celebrate a special person. If you love flowering houseplants then you’ll love our article, 10 Tips – Caring for Flowering Indoor Plants.