<< go back to Ionopsis main page    <<<  go back to orchids



Phalaenopsis hybrid
Perhaps no other orchid is better suited to home orchid growing. Plants with long lasting sprays of lovely moth like blooms in a broad array of colors are inexpensive and widely available, ready to give weeks of pleasure in your home or office. Simply provide light and consistent moisture, and they will delight you with their relative ease of culture.
Because of their rapid growth and early flowering Phalaenopsis species are among the most frequently cultivated orchids.  As well as having long-lasting flowers, Phalaenopsis plants have the tendency to reflower from old nodes along a previously flowered inflorescence. This tendency extends the characteristic spring flowering season. A favorite group for orchid breeders, modern Phalaenopsis hybrids come in a wide range of size, shape, color, and pattern.    


Adapted to low light levels in nature, in cultivation they should be grown in medium light levels to increase flower production and disease resistance.
Sufficient light is important for healthy growth and flower production. Provide bright light, no direct sun. In the home, an east, west or shaded south window. In a greenhouse, about 30 percent full sun. Foliage should be naturally of a medium olive green color. Dark green, limp foliage indicates too little light.

Mature plants need a 15 to 20 F difference between night and day. Nights of 60º to 65º F, days of 75º to 85º F. Seedlings need temperatures 5 to 10 degrees higher than mature plants.

WaterPhalaenopsis amabilis
Phalaenopsis species are monopodial and lack pseudobulbs or similar storage organs. For this reason they should be kept always lightly moist and do best in a compost that retains some moisture between watering.
Mature plants should seldom dry out between waterings. Seedlings need more constant attention to moisture.

Humidity and Air circulation
Phalaenopsis need 60 to 70 percent humidity. In the home, place on trays of moistened pebbles. In greenhouse, use a humidifier if conditions are too dry. Abundant air circulation also reduces disease problems.

Must be provided on a regular basis. The exact fertilizer you use will depend on the mix in which your plant is growing. A good general rule is to use a balanced (10-10-10, 12-12-12 or similar ratio) fertilizer "weakly, weekly." That is, fertilize every week at one quarter to one half of the recommended dilution.

Should be done every one to two years before the mix breaks down too far. Best done in late spring after main flowering season, using a well-drained but water retentive mix. Select pot size for root mass, not top size.
What potting media are used at Kew (The Royal Orchid Collection)

Phalaenopsis mariae

Phalaenopsis mariae

Phalaenopsis amabilis is the most wide ranging species and is native from Java to Papua New Guinea, North to the Philippines. and south to Queensland, Australia- Smaller-flowered plants from the eastern portion of the range are sometimes distinguished as P. rosenstromii The largest flowered species in the genus, Phalaenopsis amabilis is the parent of most modem hybrids. Branched sprays of large, stark white flowers are offset by variable yellow and red lip markings.
Tolerant of higher light levels than most species, Phalaenopsis amabilis should be grown under medium bright light levels. Most strains of the species have a degree of red leaf pigment, and a slight reddish cast to the leaves indicates that the plants are receiving proper light level.

for more pictures of other species >>

Phalaenopsis lobii

Phalaenopsis lobii       

Need more?