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Caring for

Phalaenopsis

One of the most popular orchids grown as houseplants are the Phalaenopsis, more commonly known as Moth Orchids. They make good house plants as they are able to tolerate the drier heat of central heating as well as having extremely long-lasting exotic flowers at any time of year, making them an easy to care for and enjoyable orchid as their blooms can last for several months. They don't have bulbs like other orchids but instead grow fleshy leaves that store food and water with new ones forming from the central crown. Moth orchids often form aerial roots above the compost that look like they're trying to clamber out of their container.


TEMPERATURE:

Moth Orchids love the warmth of most modern homes all year round, keep a minimum on winter nights of 18°C, with a daytime maximum of 30°C. Keep plants away from radiators and out of draughts as they dislike fluctuating temperatures.


LIGHT:

Keep shaded from bright, direct summer sun as this can scorch the leaves. Give as much light as possible during the dull winter months, positioning moth orchids in bright light to encourage flowering. An east- or west-facing windowsill is ideal, taking care not to burn the plant by allowing too much sunlight to shine directly on the plant.. You could also consider using artificial lighting, though Phalaenopsis orchids do not require too much light to grow well. 


WATERING:

Keep the free-draining bark compost moist all year round. When watering the plant, remove it from any decorative pot or saucer, pour water through the pot and then let it drain before placing it back in a decorative planter. Never allow the pot to stand in water. Ensure that the compost dries out with the pot becoming lighter before watering again. Avoid water collecting in the crown of the plant as this can cause rot. Spray the aerial roots regularly with water and trim when they have died off. Don't forget- a Phalaenopsis with many aerial roots is a healthy, happy plant.

We recommend using fertiliser sparingly, if at all during the winter months. Regular feeding every time you water can lead to a build-up of potentially harmful salts in the bark.

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