The reasons to welcome an orchid into your home are numerous; for a start, they’re beautiful, straightforward to care for, and they bloom for months on end. They come in various vibrant colours too, as well as serene whites, pinks and creams. It’s no wonder that they’re a go-to houseplant choice.
One of the most popular orchids available is the moth orchid, or the Phalaenopsis orchid, to give it its proper name. Aerial roots, symmetrical blooms and arching stems are all characteristics of these stunning indoor plants and the correct care is the key to an orchid that keeps on giving.
Where should I position my orchid?
Phalaenopsis orchids have a long flowering season, and our British grown moth orchids will usually flower for at least 90 days at a time. To keep them happy and give them the best chance of flowering for as long as possible, keep them in a position where they are warm, ideally above 18°C and in a room where there’s a little moisture, and in bright but diffused light.
A west or east facing windowsill over the kitchen tap works fantastically - in fact, Plants4Presents MD Emily keeps her moth orchid on a shelf near a window and above the kettle, so it gets a nice bit of warm damp air every time she has a cuppa! They can also do very well in a bathroom setting.
How often should I water my orchid?
You will usually find orchids planted in bark in a clear plastic pot that allows both air and light to circulate around their aerial roots - this is what they like best. When it comes to watering, you should always only use a small amount of water at a time, poured directly on to the bark substrate - think of it as a couple of tablespoons, around 50-100ml. Any extra water should be allowed to drain away.
Our top tip is to only water your moth orchid when the roots are a silvery colour. If the roots are currently green, they have plenty of water and they don’t need a drink just yet. The most common cause of problems in moth orchids, in our experience, is overwatering.
What should I do when my orchid has finished flowering?
When your moth orchid has finished flowering, it will benefit from a rest period in a slightly cooler and darker room. For example, it could be a bookshelf in a slightly darker hallway. This will motivate the plant to put on those crucial new flower stems! This part of orchid ownership may take a bit of trial and error in terms of finding the perfect rest spot.
Trim off any spent flower stems to the second bud and keep up with a little watering only when the roots appear a silvery grey colour.
Once they’ve got a nice strong stem coming through, you can move them back to a brighter, sunnier spot to help the flowers develop.
Buy moth orchids online
At Plants4Presents, we pride ourselves on selling only the best, premium-grade British twin-stemmed moth orchids that you can enjoy at home or give to a loved one. Orchids make fantastic gifts, brightening up windowsills for months at a time, and by selecting one from Plants4Presents, you can be confident that it will be a superb specimen, arriving on your doorstep looking absolutely fabulous.
Orchid Care Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if my orchids have white spots on the leaves?
White spots in the middle of a moth orchid’s leaves are usually scorch marks caused by too bright a position. Too much bright, direct sunlight on the leaves, or water left on the leaves when the plant is in the sun, can cause these markings, in which case you should move the orchid to a less sunny position. We’d also recommend being careful when you are watering not to leave any moisture on the leaves.
My orchid’s buds aren’t opening, or are dying before they become flowers - what’s wrong with it?
This is generally an indication that your plant isn’t as warm as it would like to be - cold air can damage the delicate orchid buds. Ensure it’s positioned in a warm room, ideally one that stays consistently above 18°C.
Why are there black spots or mould on my orchid’s flowers?
This usually occurs in very damp conditions without proper airflow, such as Victorian green houses. If you spot that this is happening, move your plant into a room with better airflow.
Why is my orchid struggling to flower?
Your moth orchid could do with a change of scenery if it’s not flowering again as expected - try a new position for it.
Why are my orchid’s leaves soft, brown or mouldy?
This is generally due to overwatering, or a cold environment. Remove the damaged leaves and try moving to a drier, warmer position, and adopting a watering schedule that sees you water with only a small amount and only when the roots turn from green to silver.