How to Care for a Moth Orchid When Going on Vacation

Overview

Moth orchids are named such because the first ones discovered had white blossoms that, when in full bloom, resembled moths in flight. Moth Orchids are among the simplest of flowering plants to care for, according to Louisiana State University. Because of this, the plants are a popular choice for gift giving during holidays such as Mother's Day. When you go on vacation, moth orchids are also some of the easiest plants to care for.

Step 1

Determine the length of your vacation. Moth orchid care will vary greatly depending on the length of your vacation. Most moth orchids require water as infrequently as every 7 to 10 days. If your vacation will be shorter than two weeks, your orchid may not require any special care.

Step 2

Fill a tray or cake pan with gravel.

Step 3

Fill the cake pan with water to a level just below the gravel surface.

Step 4

Place the orchid containers onto the bed of gravel. The water in the pan will create a zone of humidity in which your orchids will thrive.

Step 5

Place your moth orchids in a sunny windowsill facing east, west or south. Position the orchids so that they are out of direct sunlight.

Step 6

Set your thermostat to a range somewhere between 65 and 80 degrees. This temperature zone is the one in which moth orchids thrive.

Step 7

Water your orchids just before leaving by drenching the roots with water. You can mix bottled water with a fertilizer specifically formulated for orchids such as a 15-5-5 fertilizer and pour it into the container until the water dribbles out of the drainage holes and runs over the top of the container.

Step 8

Contact a friend or a plant watering service if your vacation will last longer than 2 weeks in order to have your moth orchids watered again and prevent the roots from drying.

Things You'll Need

  • Cake pan
  • Gravel
  • Orchid fertilizer
  • Watering can

References

  • LSU Ag Center:Moth orchids make a good 'first orchid'
  • Iowa State University Extension: What is the proper care for a moth orchid?
  • Clemson Cooperative Extension: Orchids

Who Can Help

  • University of Tennesee Extension: Growing Orchids in the Home
Keywords: growing moth orchids, vacation plant care, orchid care

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."