We stock moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) here in the shop and are always asked for care advice, so here are some essential tips to help you care for your orchid (courteousy of Kew):
- Only feed your orchid when it is actively growing. This is when you see new flower stems or roots appearing.
- Use a normal houseplant fertiliser (diluted to half strength) with every other watering
- Water from the top when the pot feels dry and light in weight.
- Allow to dry out between waterings.
- Orchids prefer rainwater to mains water in hard water areas.
- Place your orchid on a tray of wet pebbles to increase humidity.
- Repot orchids every two years.
- After flowering, remove old flower spikes and tip the plant out of its pot.
- Gently remove old compost from roots and remove any dead roots.
- Repot in the smallest pot possible - preferably the same pot it came out of.
- Fill with a moistened, bark-based orchid compost.
- Moth orchids require a central-heated room with a minimum temperature of 15°C is ideal.
- Choose a well-lit place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Some tips to help promote reflowering:
As each flower wilts and turns brown, remove it from the flower spike. Then, when all the flowers are over, cut the whole spike off cleanly about 3cm from the base. The orchid will then concentrate on leaf growth. It should flower again the following year.
Moth orchids will flower again more quickly if you cut the spike just above the third node from the base.