Tips and Techniques for Successfully Cultivating Phalaenopsis Orchids


If you want to learn how to grow moth orchids Phalaenopsis, also known as phals, you need to watch out for a few important things. One common issue with phals is the yellow leaves. This can be a natural symptom of aging, but it can also be caused by over-watering or under-watering. To keep the leaves green and healthy, it is best to water phals thoroughly and then allow the top inch of the potting medium to dry out before watering again.

Fertilizing is another important aspect of caring for moth orchids. Phals usually remain in bloom for about 4 to 6 weeks, and after the flowers are gone, they need time to rest and regain their strength. During this time, it is best to hold off on fertilizing until a new flower spike starts to grow. This will ensure that the plant has enough energy to produce another beautiful bloom.

When it comes to potting, it is best to use a plastic pot with plenty of drainage holes. Moth orchids prefer to be slightly pot-bound, so it is important to choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the root system. Additionally, using a well-draining medium, such as a mix of bark and perlite, will help prevent root rot.

Moth orchids are native to tropical regions and prefer temperatures between 70°F and 80°F (21°C and 27°C). They also prefer medium to high humidity levels, so placing them near a humidifier or on a humidity tray can help create the ideal growing conditions. However, they can adapt to lower humidity levels, so don’t worry if you can’t provide high humidity.

Moth orchids can be grown indoors near a window that receives indirect sunlight. They don’t like direct sunlight as it can scorch their leaves. If you want to grow them outdoors, please keep in mind that they are sensitive to cold temperatures and should be brought inside if the temperature drops below 60°F (15°C).

In conclusion, growing moth orchids Phalaenopsis can be a rewarding experience with the right care. By watching out for yellow leaves, fertilizing at the right time, using the proper potting method, and providing the right temperatures and humidity levels, you can ensure that your phals will thrive and bloom again and again with confidence.

Phalaenopsis Orchid Care: 7 Complete Tips for Success

Phalaenopsis orchids, also known as moth orchids, are one of the most popular houseplant options for growers. With their showy flowers and natural elegance, these orchids have become a favorite among both experienced and novice gardeners.

If you’ve ever thought about growing moth orchids, here are 7 complete tips to ensure your success:

1. Light: Moth orchids need bright, indirect light. Placing them in a south or west-facing window is ideal, as long as the sunlight is filtered through a sheer curtain to prevent the leaves from burning.

2. Temperature: These orchids thrive in temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C) during the day and 60-70°F (15-21°C) at night. Avoid placing them in drafty areas or near heating or cooling vents.

3. Humidity: Phalaenopsis orchids prefer a humidity level between 50-70%. To increase humidity, place a tray filled with water near the orchids or use a humidifier.

4. Watering: Water your orchid once a week in the summer and every 10-14 days in the winter. Use tepid water to avoid shocking the roots. Water thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain out of the pot.

5. Potting: Moth orchids are typically potted in a mix of sphagnum moss, bark, and perlite. Repotting is usually done every 1-2 years after the blooming period ends.

6. Feeding: Use a balanced orchid fertilizer and follow the instructions on the package. Feed your orchid every 3 weeks during the growing season and stop feeding in the winter.

7. Propagation: Phalaenopsis orchids can be propagated by division or by growing keikis, which are small plantlets that appear on the flower spike. Once the keikis develop roots, they can be carefully separated from the parent plant and potted individually.

By following these care tips, your phalaenopsis orchid will thrive and produce beautiful blooms for years to come. Remember to observe any changes in your plant’s behavior, as it may be a symptom of overwatering, underwatering, or pests. With patience and the right care, your moth orchid will reward you with its stunning flowers and bring a touch of natural beauty to your home or garden.


Phalaenopsis orchids are beautiful and elegant flowers that can brighten up any space. If you’ve recently received a phalaenopsis orchid or are considering picking one up, it’s important to know how to properly care for it. Here are some tips to help you keep your phalaenopsis orchid healthy and thriving.


Phalaenopsis orchids thrive in bright, indirect light. Place your orchid near a window where it can receive plenty of light without being in direct sunlight. In the summer months, you can move your orchid outside, but be sure to place it in a slightly shaded area to protect it from intense sunlight.


Phalaenopsis orchids prefer temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C). They can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures during the night, but avoid exposing them to temperatures below 55°F (13°C) or extreme temperature fluctuations.


When it comes to watering your phalaenopsis orchid, less is more. Overwatering can lead to root rot and wilting, so it’s important to find the right balance. Water your orchid once a week, allowing the potting medium to dry out slightly between waterings. If your orchid is planted in moss, water it only when the moss feels dry to the touch.


Phalaenopsis orchids thrive in environments with high humidity. To increase humidity around your orchid, you can place a tray of water near the base of the plant or use a humidifier. However, be careful not to allow the orchid’s roots to sit in water, as this can lead to rotting.


Phalaenopsis orchids should be fertilized regularly to promote healthy growth and blooming. Use a balanced orchid fertilizer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. During the growing season (spring and summer), fertilize your orchid every two weeks. In the winter, reduce fertilization to once a month.

Flower Spikes:

Phalaenopsis orchids usually produce flower spikes once a year, and these spikes can last for several months. To encourage reblooming, it’s important to properly care for the flower spike. Once the flowers have faded, you can either cut the spike down to the base or leave it on the plant. Leaving the spike on can sometimes result in the development of more buds.

Pests and Bugs:

Phalaenopsis orchids are generally pest-resistant, but they can occasionally attract bugs like aphids, mealybugs, or scales. If you notice any pests on your orchid, take immediate action to control them. You can use organic insecticides or wipe the bugs off with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Caring for a phalaenopsis orchid may seem intimidating at first, but with a little bit of knowledge and confidence, you can successfully grow and enjoy these beautiful plants. Follow the tips above and enjoy the beauty of your phalaenopsis orchid for years to come!

1 What NOT To Do With Your Moth Orchid

When it comes to growing moth orchids (Phalaenopsis), there are certain practices that you should avoid. Here are some of the things you should not do:

1. Overwatering: One of the most common mistakes is watering your orchid too much. These beautiful plants don’t like to sit in water for long periods. Make sure you allow the potting medium to dry out slightly between waterings to prevent root rot.

2. Ignoring temperature and light requirements: Moth orchids prefer temperatures between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius) during the day and around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit (15-18 degrees Celsius) at night. They also need moderate, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves.

3. Neglecting to repot regularly: Over time, your orchid can outgrow its pot, leading to a cramped root system. Repotting every two years is recommended to allow the orchid to grow and thrive.

4. Exposing to drafts or extreme temperatures: Moth orchids don’t tolerate sudden temperature changes or drafts. Keep them away from windows, doors, or HVAC vents to prevent thermal stress.

5. Using artificial flowers or sprays: While it might be tempting to enhance the aesthetics of your moth orchid with artificial flowers or sprays, it’s best to avoid them. These plants are already quite showy and do not need additional adornments.

6. Neglecting humidity: Moth orchids thrive in humid environments, ideally between 50-70%. If the humidity is too low, you can use a humidifier or place the orchid on a tray filled with water and pebbles.

7. Overfertilizing: More is not always better when it comes to fertilizing your orchid. Follow the recommended dosage on the fertilizer packaging and avoid overfertilizing, which can lead to salt buildup and damage the plant.

8. Not providing enough air circulation: While orchids like humidity, they also need good air circulation to prevent the growth of mold and other pests. Make sure there is adequate ventilation around your orchid.

9. Ignoring signs of pests: Moth orchids can be susceptible to pests like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Keep a close eye on your plant and treat any signs of infestation promptly to prevent further damage.

10. Pruning incorrectly: If your orchid is done blooming and the flowers are wilting, resist the urge to cut the stem all the way down. Instead, trim it just above a node. The stem may produce more flowers in the future.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your moth orchids grow and thrive, delighting you with their beautiful blooms for years to come.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.