The Q&A Archives: Nun Orchid

Question: My grandmother received a nun orchid from a florist for her birthday. She's never seen one before and not really sure how to care for it. Can it be planted outside?

Answer: The lovely nun orchid (Phaius tankervilleae) has been a popular orchid species for many, many years. The plants will do quite well outdoors in half shade, if protected from frost. Phaius do best in a mix like that used for terrestrial orchids or other tropical aroids such as anthuriums or spathiphyliums, and should be kept evenly moist and regularly fertilized. They will do well if kept shaded from the hottest noonday sun. Well-grown plants get quite large and give a spectacular display in February and March.

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