Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Sun Requirements: Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 10b +1.7 °C (35 °F) to +4.4 °C (40 °F)
Leaves: Broadleaf
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Lavender
Mauve
Pink
Purple
Red
White
Yellow
Bi-Color: Magenta/white and purple/white dotted petals are common
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
2"-3"
3"-4"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Late fall or early winter
Suitable Locations: Houseplant
Terrariums
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Containers: Suitable for hanging baskets
Needs repotting every 2 to 3 years
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Epiphytic

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What's Blooming in MarchWhat's Blooming in March
March 18, 2012

It can't be long now! For those of us who garden in temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, spring is just around the corner. While we gardeners anxiously await that magical time of year, come join me for one final look at what's blooming indoors. You'll also discover the identity of the mystery flower for February, who identified it, and what the mystery flower for this month looks like.

(Full article36 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: Hausermann's Orchid Greenhouse  Villa Pk, ILDate: 2012-02-24
By Fleur569
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Location: 99159Date: 2019-01-08NOID Beautiful art shade colored blooms - sparkles
By sejod
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Location: Sunriver Nursery, Orem, UtahDate: 2011-12-16
By Paul2032
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Location: HomeDate: 2019-01-15
By sejod
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Date: 2013-04-13
By Paul2032
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Location: Moody Gardens - Galvaston, TexasDate: 2010-06-27
By jmorth
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Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6bDate: Nov 2018
By cwhitt
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Location: Shangri-la, Orange, TXDate: 2014-04-18
By piksihk
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Date: 2018-09-27
By Paul2032
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Date: 2010-03-24
By sandnsea2
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Date: 2013-02-05
By Paul2032
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Location: Orangeburg, SCDate: Spring
By Deebie
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-03-16
By jmorth
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Location: Sherwood, OregonDate: 2017-04-19
By Toni
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Date: 2018-12-06
By Paul2032
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Date: 2019-01-25
By Paul2032
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Date: 2019-01-25
By Paul2032
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Date: 2010-09-14
By sandnsea2
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Date: 2012-11-19
By Paul2032
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Location: In a flowershop Gent, BelgiumDate: 2008-03-18
By bonitin
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Date: 2013-02-05
By Paul2032
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Location: Indoors - San Joaquin County, CADate: 2013-02-01New spike and buds on an older noid Phal flower spike
By tarev
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Location: mom's houseDate: 2014-09-16
By piksihk
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Date: 2015-04-07
By Paul2032
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-03-02
By jmorth
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Date: 2017-03-15
By Toni
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By Gilgomez
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Date: 2018-05-22
By pinkiris
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Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6bDate: Nov 2018
By cwhitt
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2019-02-10Orchid show
By jmorth
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By sandnsea2
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Date: 2011-11-20
By Paul2032
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Date: 2011-11-20
By Paul2032
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Location: At home-indoors-Central Valley area, CADate: Left photo 25Dec2011-Right photo 14Mar2012Before and After of my Phalaenopsis Orchid
By tarev
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Date: 2012-11-10
By Paul2032
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Date: 2013-01-05
By Paul2032
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Date: 2013-03-06
By Paul2032
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Date: 2015-03-24
By Paul2032
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Location: my garden Date: 2015-12-10
By piksihk
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-03-16
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-03-02
By jmorth
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Location: Moody Gardens - Galvaston, TexasDate: 2010-06-27
By jmorth
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Date: 2017-02-06
By Paul2032
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Location: Springfield, Il.  Washington Park Botanical GardenDate: 2018-02-11
By jmorth
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Date: 2018-08-15
By jherriot
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Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, GaDate: 2018-10-18Orchid - Doritis Pulcherrima - Champornensis 'Bicolor' 002
By dawiz1753
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Date: 2018-12-06
By Paul2032
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Date: 2019-01-25
By Paul2032
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Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, GaDate: 2019-03-22Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis) 030
By dawiz1753
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Date: 2011-11-20
By Paul2032
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Date: 2011-11-20
By Paul2032
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Date: 2011-11-20
By Paul2032
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Location: Sunriver Nursery, Orem, UtahDate: 2011-12-03
By Paul2032
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Location: Sunriver Nursery, Orem, UtahDate: 2011-12-03
By Paul2032
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Date: 2012-10-15
By Paul2032
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Date: 2012-11-05
By Paul2032
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Date: 2012-11-12
By Paul2032
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Date: 2012-12-07
By Paul2032
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Date: 2013-01-05
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Date: 2013-01-05
By Paul2032
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Date: 2013-02-02
By Paul2032
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Date: 2013-02-02
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Date: 2013-02-02
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Date: 2013-02-02
By Paul2032
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Date: 2013-02-23
By Paul2032
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Date: 2013-04-13
By Paul2032
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Location: MississaugaDate: 2013-03-12
By tinpins
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Location: Orangeburg, SCDate: Spring
By Deebie
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Location: Orangeburg, SCDate: Spring
By Deebie
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Location: Orangeburg, SCDate: Spring
By Deebie
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Date: 2014-01-20
By Paul2032
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Date: 2014-01-20
By Paul2032
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Date: 2014-03-28
By Paul2032
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Date: 2014-03-28
By Paul2032
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Location: Krogers
By piksihk
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Location: Wiener Neustadt / AustriaDate: 2016-04-29
By Insagi
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By milena146
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Location: Northern Utah East facing window Oct/2016Date: 2016-10-30
By kimbawall
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By milena146
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By milena146
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By milena146
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Location: Moody Gardens - Galveston, TxDate: 6-28-10
By jmorth
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Location: Moody Gardens - Galveston, TxDate: 6-28-10
By jmorth
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Location: Moody Gardens - Galveston, TxDate: 6-28-10
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 5-6-11
By jmorth
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By Gilgomez
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2018-02-11
By jmorth
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Location: Missouri Botanical Garden, St LouisDate: 2018-03-31
By jmorth
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Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, GaDate: 2018-07-06Orchid 061
By dawiz1753
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Location: Coastal San Diego County Date: 2018-02-06
By carlysuko
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Location: My gardenDate: 2019-02-07After repotting
By piksihk
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Location: Orangeburg, SCDate: Spring
By Deebie
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Location: Vander Veer Botanical Gardens - Davenport, IowaDate: 2011-07-02
By jmorth
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Location: Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT) - St LouisDate: 2011-08-09
By jmorth
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By tarev
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Location: Austria / Wiener NeustadtDate: 2016-01-21
By Insagi
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Location: Austria / Wiener Neustadt Date: 2016-02-16My new one - I really looooove valentine´s day!
By Insagi
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Location: Austria / Wiener Neustadt Date: 2016-02-16My new one - I really looooove valentine´s day!!!
By Insagi
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-03-27
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-03-23
By jmorth
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Location: Wiener Neustadt/ AustriaDate: 2016-04-29
By Insagi
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-10-26Last bloom before now was in March.
By jmorth
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Location: Moody Gardens - Galveston, TxDate: 6-28-10
By jmorth
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Location: Sherwood, OregonDate: 2017-03-15
By Toni
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Comments:
Posted by dyzzypyxxy (Sarasota, Fl) on Aug 25, 2014 11:30 AM

Phalaenopsis is the orchid you will most often see at big box stores, and in grocery stores. They are beautiful, and the flowers last a very long time - up to 3 months - if the plant survives. After the initial bloom finishes, do not cut off the bloom stem, sometimes it branches and puts on a second flush of bloom. They may grow and bloom in your home for years with a little care. Very sensitive to a change in environment, though, and often going from the store to your home is enough of a change to cause many buds to drop. If your plant was in bloom when it was bought, it may have been forced to bloom out of its regular season, springtime.

The mass-produced plants from the box and grocery stores are often potted in a wad of wet sphagnum moss and/or an unvented pot. The moss is good for transport of the plants from the grower to the store, but bad for long-term survival of the plant once you buy it, as it will tend to stay too wet and cause the plant's roots to rot. These (and most) orchids do need their roots to "breathe," and although they like their foliage to be misted daily, the roots must dry out between waterings. So if the plant begins to show wrinkled leaves, or if it drops its flowers, this may be the cause. Re-potting into a proper orchid medium -- a Phalaenopsis mix is best -- and a vented pot or basket is recommended after blooming is finished.

Many people simply throw out the plant once the flowers finish, or if the plant starts to show signs of stress. This is a waste when the plant has taken at least 2 years to reach blooming size. Also a shame because very often they will recover and become wonderful houseplants for years to come with a little care. If you don't have the patience to revive a stressed Phal, you can very likely find someone else who will give it a chance.

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Posted by terrafirma (Jacksonville, Fl. - Zone 9a) on Aug 25, 2014 9:32 AM

Most commonly called Moth Orchid. An epiphytic orchid that has thick, leathery leaves, rather flat and extending about 1 foot, and no pseudobulbs. The beautiful spray of flowers can reach about 3 ft., in colors from white, yellow, and lavender to pink and purple. It blooms in the spring for me. There is a very wide array of colors, and some are spotted or barred, or even have contrasting lips. These do well in warmer growing conditions -- 60F - 70F at night and 70F - 85F during the day -- but mine seem to be doing extremely well outside, with our days hitting as high as 97F this summer. They will not tolerate the sun. Light must be filtered and they don't like to dry out either. Moisture, higher humidity, is a must. I find that I spray/mist them about every couple of days.

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Posted by merkuree (North Texas (DFW) - Zone 8a) on May 25, 2016 5:27 PM

Observe your plant: it may prefer partial sun over shade. Some people recommend shade for Phalaenopsis orchids, but I have mine in partial sun. I got one as a gift approx 8 months ago. Initially, I placed it on a shelf above my bathroom window because of the shade and humidity, but it didn't like it there and dropped all of its flowers. I moved it to the kitchen windowsill above the sink and it has grown two leaves since then. I'm hoping it'll flower in a few months since it seems to be happy at its current location. Also, set a watering schedule. I have mine double potted and water every 2 weeks or so depending on how moist the medium is.

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Plant Events from our members
piksihk On August 1, 2018 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
piksihk On January 19, 2015 Obtained plant
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Untitled by milena146 Dec 26, 2016 11:45 AM 1
Inspiration by Aleaia Apr 20, 2018 2:47 PM 0
No ID Phalaenopsis by sejod Jan 13, 2019 8:04 PM 17
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How to propagate a Phalaenopsis Orchid? by Sophiesaurus May 16, 2019 5:50 PM 2
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new to DR by jasmin6921 May 12, 2019 6:30 PM 1
Orchid issue by WillowShop May 10, 2019 8:16 PM 3
Need help identifying my orchid! by sewingkitty1170 May 15, 2019 11:32 AM 5
Phal Progress by Verac May 10, 2019 3:09 PM 6
What do you think? by _Bleu_ May 2, 2019 7:47 PM 7
Our Orchid blooms in May 2019 💐 by Ursula May 21, 2019 5:56 AM 163

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