How To Care For Your Beautiful Phalaenopsis Orchid

Holy Orchidaceae batman – how fascinating, gorgeous and intriguing your flowers are.  Each of your blooms is like a work of art!  Also known as the Moth Orchid, this is the one that does the best as a houseplant and can be commonly seen in restaurants, hotels, offices, spas and the like.  Here’s how to care for your Phalaenopsis Orchid to keep it healthy and also how to get it to bloom again.

Many of these Phalaenopsis Orchid care tips came straight from the growers themselves.

many phalaenopsis orchids moth orchids in a grower's greenhouse

Caring for these beautiful orchids is not as hard as you may think.  This should help you out:


Make sure the light for your Phalaenopsis Orchid is as bright as possible without being in the hot, direct sun.  They will burn in no time flat if in a south or west-facing window, especially in the summer.  However, in the darker winter months you may have to move if it to get more of that light it needs.  Think of a greenhouse that has lots of nice, natural light but the glass is whitewashed to diffuse the direct rays of the sun – that’s the exposure they love.


There’s a great concentration of Phalaenopsis Orchid growers here along the central coast of California because our temperatures are relatively even.  And, it cools down in the evening which is something else they love.  Be sure to keep them away from air conditioners and heaters as well as any hot or cold drafts.  Drumroll please: the ideal temperature for Phals is 60 to 75 degrees F.

Be sure to watch the video outlining their care.  Plus, it was shot in the greenhouses at Westerlay Orchids!

Some Of Our General Houseplant Guides For Your Reference:


I did a separate post & video on how I water my Phalaenopsis Orchids last week which has a lot more details in it.  In short, you want to water them thoroughly & let the water completely drain out.  If yours has gone bone dry, then you may want to soak it in a pail or bowl for 10 minutes making sure all water drains out.

Moss vs. Bark

Orchids grown in bark will dry out faster than those in moss which really holds the water in.  If your Phal is growing in bark, then you want to water it every 7-10 days.  If it’s growing in moss, then water it every 14-21 days.  There are variables to these numbers so again, be sure to check the post above.

I prefer to grow my orchids in bark because I have a much easier time getting the watering right. If you need to repot yours, this bark mix is a good growing medium.

close up of beautiful lavender/white phalaenopsis orchid moth orchid flowers


If you’ve read any of my other posts or watched my videos, then you know I don’t use a lot of fertilizers.  With orchids, however, you really need to feed them because they’re not growing in soil.  Bark or moss doesn’t provide any of the nutrients they need.

The growers that I’ve talked to recommend a water-soluble balanced fertilizer like 20-20-20 ( you can also use 20-10-20, 15-15-15 or 12-12-12) for the homeowner because the timing on orchid fertilizers can be very tricky.  Be sure to use it at 1/2 strength & feed your Phals every 30-45 days.  Not to be a broken record, but be sure the fertilizer thoroughly drains out because the build-up of salts can cause the roots to burn. This is the orchid fertilizer I use, which the grower uses also.

close up of large white phalaenopsis orchid moth orchid flowers with deep rose centers

Pruning for Re-Bloom

Most growers get re-bloom from their Phalaenopsis Orchids in 6-9 months.  Mine usually re-bloom closer to the 9 month mark.  It’s best to watch the video for this, but the higher up you prune, the sooner it will flower again.  I’ll do a separate video on this in the next couple of months because it’s easier to understand by watching.  Some people prune the stem down to 1 node above the foliage which is fine but it takes longer for the stem to re-grow.  I prune just above the node below where the very 1st flower appeared.

By the way, if your Phal doesn’t re-bloom, the most common reason is that it doesn’t have enough light.


Obviously a greenhouse is ideal – no kidding Sherlock!  I live about 8 blocks from the ocean & have my windows open for about 7-8 months out of the year.  That means my Phals get a lot of the humidity they love.   If the air in your home is too dry, then you may have to put your orchid on a tray of pebbles filled with water to up the ante on the humidity.  Make sure the bottom of the pot or any of the thick, fleshy roots don’t sit directly in any water.

magenta mini phalaenopsis orchid moth orchid in a grower's tray

This is a mini Phal.

Air Roots

Speaking of roots, your Phalenopsis will probably have some of them growing out of the pot.  It’s not because the orchid is pot bound – those are the air (or aerial) roots reaching for something to grab onto.  They’re epiphytes & in nature, they grow on other plants & those wandering, spider-like roots are what anchor them.

If your orchid has plenty of roots, then you can cut a couple of them off if they’re bothering you.  Do the same with the ones that are dead & dried up.


When I worked for a florist in San Francisco so many moons ago, the colors you could find Phalaenopsis Orchids in were white, pale lavender & deep lavender.  My how times have changed!  They’re grown in so many more colors, variegations & color combos now.  As mentioned in the video, Westerlay Orchids has the popular Gemstone Series so you can even pick out your favorite jewel-tone color.

many blue phalaenopsis orchids moth orchids in a grower's greenhouse

Here are some of the color-infused Gemstone Collection Phals.

Despite the fact that Phalaenopsis Orchids seem quite exotic to some, they make easy care houseplants.   2 of mine have been in bloom for almost 3 months now making them quite a bargain compared to cut flowers.  The Phalaenopsis has become America’s favorite orchid.  I love the many different types of orchids so it’s a tough choice for me.  I say, the more orchids the better!

Happy gardening,

Nell's signature
beautiful yellow & lavender phalaenopsis orchids moth orchids in a grower's greenhouse

Just for fun – a sea of Westerlay’s beautiful Phalaenopsis Orchids!


15 Stunning Types Of Sunflowers

Organic Flower Gardening: Good Things To Know

How To Successfully Plant Perennials

Roses We Love for Container Gardening

Plants With Fabulous Foliage To Add Interest To Your Garden

Add A Pop Of Pizazz To Your Garden With Chartreuse Foliage Plants

This post may contain affiliate links, you can read our policies here.

Similar Posts


  1. Hi Ranae – If only a few roots are growing out, that’s fine. Phals prefer to grow a bit tight in their pots. If more roots are growing out & getting long, then it’s time. Go up 1 pot size & use a mix formulated specifically for this type of orchid. Nell

  2. Hi Kiesha – I don’t water mine with ice cubes. I have them in bright, natural light. I take them to the sink & water them thoroughly as needed, usually every 7-10 days. Nell

  3. I was handed a Phal three hours ago and I have no idea what to do with it. Help!!!

  4. My orchids are in a ceramic pot with no drainage. Should I put it in a pot with drainage and what type of bark do I need to use?

  5. Hi Lisa – Because orchids are epiphytes, they need to drain well & aerate. I’d put them in a pot with at least 1 drain hole. They do make orchid pots. If you have phals, small to medium orchid bark is best. All are available on amazon. Nell

  6. I have a flower pot on the balcony with ten white and purple phalaenopsis orchids.

    They are beautiful, they flourish every year

  7. My phaleo is sprouting green leaves at the tip of stems as the blossoms drop off after blooming. What do I do with these green leaves?
    Are they new plants? This orchid plant is a couple of years old and has bloomed both years. There has never been new leave growth at the tip of the stem before. This same plant has sprouted new stems with buds. The plant seems to be healthy. I just need to understand what to do with the green leaves. I couldn’t find a reference for this so I hope that you can help me. Thank you. Nancy Anderson

  8. Hi Nancy – 1 of my Phals is doing that now too – it’s a new plant forming. I’m leaving it on the stem for now, but once the roots gets developed enough, you can cut it off the stem & plants it. Nell

Comments are closed.