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Phalaenopsis amabilis
  • RHS AGM

East Indian butterfly plant

An upright orchid with between 3 and 5 broadly oval, fleshy leaves which grow to 50cm long. Numerous, scented, long-lasting white flowers, up to 10cm across, with a white and yellow lip and red throat are borne from autumn to early spring on branched racemes up to 1m tall

Synonyms
Phalaenopsis aphrodite
Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green White Green
Summer Green White Green
Autumn Green White Green
Winter Green White Green
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1A
Botanical details
Family
Orchidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Phalaenopsis are a large genus of species and hybrid mainly epiphytic orchids. Short, upward growing, stem-like rhizomes with no pseudobulbs produce oval, fleshy mid to dark green leaves and flowers in branched racemes from the base of the leaves

Name status

Correct

Plant range
E Indies, Australia

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in an open bark-based compost and position with good indirect light and warm even temperatures. Water thoroughly when compost has almost dried out and feed regularly. Do not leave standing in water. See Phalaenopsis cultivation

Propagation

Cuttings or offshoots (keikis) may root successfully when roots are 2cm long

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
Pruning

Cut back flowered stems to a lower node to encourage the production of further flowers

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids, glasshouse red spider mite, and mealybugs

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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