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Phalaenopsis: Houseplant of the month of September

The story behind the Phalaenopsis

Butterfly orchid (Phalaenopsis) is a graceful orchid whose flowers remind a bit of a butterfly. The plant as a whole is rather a green ballerina. From an elegant tall stem grows a lush flower branch that gracefully hangs down as more flowers emerge. The flowers can be both large and small and often have beautiful patterns. Some orchids have a slight smell, but most are odorless. What they all have in common is an exotic appearance, long flowering and a maintenance-friendly character.

In addition, the orchid is safe for pets and the plant fits the growing interest in greener life. Because Phalaenopsis has hard leaves and firm flowers, it is not attractive to insects and can be grown with minimal pesticides. This makes it one of the 'cleanest' cultivated living plants. In addition, the orchid flowers for at least eight weeks (and often much longer) and after re-cutting a re-bloom follows: Phalaenopsis also makes this second round sustainable.


In the warmer regions, mostly in the tropical rainforest, butterfly orchid often grows like epiphyte on trees, branches and twigs with roots in the air. Epiphytes are plants that grow up somewhere without taking food from them. For the care this means that they need little water and are cultivated on special culture media, which is often already visible on the translucent pot. The aerial roots grow to the light, a transparent pot keeps them somewhat in line.

Choice of assortment

Phalaenopsis occurs in many variations, usually as two-pack, with different flower and lip colors and both plain and with a pattern. New manifestations are cascade, wave, meandering, hanging, creeping or single (1 flower per plant). Blue orchids have been injected with dye and colors are becoming whiter in new buds. The three-pieter of butterfly orchid is emerging as a showpiece.


Care tips

  • Butterfly orchid likes to be light, from mid-October the plant can even have direct sunlight.
  • The ideal room temperature is between 18-22 ° C.
  • Butterfly orchid needs little water. Once a week let stand in a plunge pool and then let it drain properly.
  • To add a plant or special orchid food to such a bath once every three weeks will help to open all the buds.

(source: Bloemenbureauholland.nl )

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