Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) have the reputation of being an easy orchid to care for. They are commonly grown as successful house plants. The plant produces an abundant supply of delicate flowers from December through May. Numerous varieties are available that produce pink, pink with white stripes, pure white, pink with white mottling and yellow flowers.
Moth orchids preefer indirect bright sunlight. Placing the plant near a south-facing window that offers afternoon and early morning light is ideal. The moth orchid can also flourish under cool white fluorescent lights that are placed a foot above the plant.
In the fall, expose the moth orchid to a few days of cooler temperatures to encourage blossom production. The temperature should be between 50 to 55 degrees F. during the month of October in preparation for the winter blossom season.
The moth orchid prefers humidity levels of 50 percent or higher. This can easily be attained in the southern United States but in other regions of the nation home growers will have to help the plant receive ample humidity. Weekly misting is beneficial, and placing the orchid's pot on a saucer of moist gravel will add humidity to the the region around the plant. Home humidifiers can also raise the humidity level around the orchid when placed in the same room with the plant.
The moth orchid is a prolific bloomer in ideal circumstances. Prune flower spikes once flowering has finished by clipping the spike at the base 1inch above the nodes or fleshy bumps of the spike. The remaining nodes should the produce additional flower spikes, according to the Canadian Orchid Congress.
Keep the planting medium of the moth orchid moist at all times, but not water-logged. Water should also never be allowed to accumulate around the plant's roots or the base. Excessive water accumulation will cause rot. The moth orchid prefers to be watered with soft water or simple rain water. Avoid watering the plants with tap water that contains fluoride or other chemicals.
Fertilize the moth orchid, using a balanced orchid fertilizer, once a week in the spring and summer. Fertilize every two weeks during the fall and winter. Follow the directions on the label for application.