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 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 orchids is watering too frequently. Allow the bark mix to dry completely before watering the plant again.
Pro-Tip: Here are 2 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 Temperatures
Greenhouse 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 Month
Dilute a balanced, 20-20-20, liquid houseplant fertilizer to 1/4 the recommended strength and apply it every 2-3 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 Stalks
Cut back the flower stalk after the flowers fall off. Removing the stalk maintains the appearance of a moth orchid and will not hinder future blooming.
7. Repot your 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. 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.