Moth orchids

Botanical name: Phalaenopsis

With their long, arching stems topped with elegant, exotic blooms, moth orchids are popular and easy-to-grow houseplants. They can flower at any time of year, creating spectacular displays that last for several months.


These orchids send up slender, arching stems, topped with a succession of large blooms, usually pink, purple or white. The petals may be veined or suffused with contrasting hues. The flowers stand above a low clump of long, leathery, evergreen leaves.


Moth orchids need consistently warm conditions all year round and bright but not strong light. Water and feed regularly during the growing season, but reduce both in winter. They must be planted in bark-based orchid compost.


These tender tropical orchids can't stand cold, so keep them above 16°C (61°F) at all times. Avoid temperature fluctuations and draughts. Take care not to overwater or underwater, as the roots tend to rot in soggy compost or shrivel and die in dry conditions.

Did you know?

Moth orchids reproduce by sprouting plantlets (known as keiki) from nodes on their stem. These baby plants can simply be detached once they've grown several roots, then potted up in orchid compost, to give you new plants for free.

Growing guide

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Useful advice

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Caring for your houseplants

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Houseplants for different locations

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Houseplants: holiday care

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