It’s name comes from the greek phalaina “butterfly” and opsis “looks like”, and it refers to the flowers of almost all subspecies. The common name all over the world is “butterfly orchid” or “moth orchid”.
This specie includes around 70 subspecies and so many manipulated hybrids, the flowers shapes, colors and sizes are very vast. Almost all orchids we find in stores are hybrids from the original species, making this specie one of the most popular amongst orchid’s enthusiasts.
It is special for beginners due its strength and easy to care. Ideal for home due to low special lighting needs a temperature almost identical to ours and overlong duration of the flowers.
This specie is an epiphyte, they live in the trees, however it is not invasive nor parasite to the trees, the roots cling tightly to the bark of the tree. However, they can live quite well in a small pot.
It has short stems, the plant produces only a few leaves (2-6) that are large and fleshy, but not very long.
The flowers appear on long, arching stems and a number to 30. Ranging between 1 and 5 inches(2.5 and 13 cm) and can occur at any time of year, lasting up to three weeks and even 12 weeks depending on the plant’s health.
The colors are variable, pink, red, violet, etc.
Phalaenopsis lives between 3-7 years at home or even more with the proper care.
Ideal range between 15.000-20.000 lux.
You can put it next to a window, looking to East or West, in a place with good light and ventilation, just avoid to put it directly to the sun, this can burn the leaves and damage the plant.
Between 16ºC y 32ºC is good for them, the perfect temperature for them is 20ºC at night and 29ºC during the day.
During winter, and inside the house, between 68°F and 75°F (20°C and 24°C) are just fine.
In the fall, is good to put the plan in a location around 55°F-57°F (13°C-14°C) at night during two or three weeks, this leads to flowering. Keep looking at the plant and when you see the blooms coming, you can put it again in a warmer location.
Constant, between 50% and 80%. Up to 60% if it is exposed to high temperatures. You can use an atomizer, just be careful to do not exceed the amount of water, excess can cause rotten roots.