How to Care for a Star Orchid


While many orchids have star-shaped blooms, the Christmas star orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale) is by far the most famous. Known for its large nectary (over 11 inches long), strong fragrance and stunning, 6-inch white blooms, the star orchid requires meticulous care. Like similar orchids, it thrives in humid air, fluctuating temperatures and does not like to be re-potted. Pay close attention to your Christmas star orchid, though, and it will reward you with a gorgeous display worth of any evening star.

Step 1

Plant star orchids in potting medium that provides good drainage, such as potting soil mixtures that contain a large amount of bark or peat moss. Keep it moist during the growing season, but let it dry out a bit between waterings during the winter months after it has bloomed.

Step 2

Set your star orchid in a location where it will get 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight. Full sun can burn the leaves of this delicate plant, and afternoon shade is preferred.

Step 3

Care for the air around your plant. Circulate the air around your star orchid by placing it near a fan or an open window where it will be exposed to breezes. Orchids need to be exposed to drafts, and the movement of the air will help reduce the risk of fungus developing, which is a common problem in all orchids due to the high humidity required by the plant.

Step 4

Keep the day temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, but when night arrives, drop the temperatures to the mid 60's. The fluctuation in temperature is absolutely necessary for the star orchid to produce blooms.

Step 5

Care for your orchid by providing it with daily humidity. Mist the star orchid plant with water every morning. The water will evaporate as the sun rises, which reduces the chance of mold or mildew developing on the star orchid's leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting medium that includes bark or peat moss
  • Fan or open window
  • Spray mister


  • The Orchid Lady: Christmas Star Orchid
  • Culture Sheet: Angraecum sesquipedale

Who Can Help

  • Audubon Magazine: Star of the Show
Keywords: care for, star orchid, plant

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.