How to Care for Moth Orchid

Moth Orchid Care

Moth orchids are known as difficult plants to grow indoors. The truth is that they are not so complicated but they do require some dedication. They can be easy to grow as long as you follow some guidelines on how to care for your Moth orchid properly.

The scientific name for the Moth orchid is Phalaenopsis. It is famous for its gorgeous flowers. The flower buds start to appear in December and they last until Mothers' Day. Since they bloom for months they can provide a beautiful sight in any home. While orchids are often sold as cut flowers there are many people who choose to grow orchids as container plants in their homes.

Potting Medium

Moth orchids that are grown in containers can thrive in various potting mediums. Good choices include bark chips, stones and other loose materials. Spaghnum moss is also a great potting medium for your orchids. It is important that the medium is loose enough so it provides good drainage. Drainage is important because orchids cannot survive if they sit in water for too long.


It is never a good idea to overwater your orchid. It can withstand drought much better than too much water. While you should water it regularly, make sure that your orchid never sits in water. Too much water can be very dangerous to Moth orchid and other orchid varieties.

If the roots of your orchid sit in a wet or overly moist environment they will soon begin to rot. This can kill a plant quickly, so it is important to do everything you can to prevent this.

The only time when you should give your orchid a really good watering is when you first bring it home. Orchids typically do not get enough water in stores, so it is important to do it when you buy your plant. The potting media should be wet but it has to be fully drained so the water doesn't harm the orchid.

To water your orchid, it is best to place it at the kitchen sink. Use lukewarm water. Water your plant for about 15 seconds. After this, make sure to dry the soil thoroughly. You should let it drain for at least 15 minutes.

When watering, make sure not to put any water on the flowers themselves. This will harm the flower and make it last for a shorter time. This can also destroy all the flowers on the plant. The plant itself may be healthy but it will not bloom. Remember: if your Moth orchid is healthy it will have flowers that last for months.

This is one of the most important care requirements to remember: never over-water your plant!

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips for orchid care:

  • When purchasing a Moth orchid, make sure that it has roots in the growing media. This is very important for the future well-being of your plant.
  • Bathrooms are excellent places to grow orchids because of the high humidity.
  • It is important to take a good care of orchid flowers. The flowers have to be supported above the foliage. The best support is a strong spike. Many people prefer to use bamboo stakes but other options are also possible.
  • You can more easily tell the flower life of your orchid before all of the flowers are opened. After that, it is more difficult to tell how long they'll last.
  • The container for your orchid should always be proportionate to the size of the plant.
  • Make sure to observe your plant regularly to notice any pests or diseases. When inspecting, take a look at leaves. They should be clean, medium-green in color and unblemished. Some mottling on the leaves is normal.

Photo credit: Sid Mosdell

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