How to Take Care of a White Nun Orchid


The White Nun, or Lycaste virginalis alba 'Knob Hill,' is a human-engineered hybrid orchid that produces six to eight flowers in shades of pink and white. The flowers are showy and have a deep lip. The White Nun orchid demands a bit of extra care than other, more common orchid varieties, but it can be grown quite successfully indoors or in a greenhouse. Under the correct conditions and with the right care, your White Nun orchid will dazzle you with its soft blooms and provide much beauty in your home.

Step 1

Plant your White Nun orchid in a pot with a drainage hole. For a potting medium, use small to medium lava rock or medium-shredded fir bark. You can also use a mixture of two parts osmunda fiber, one part sphagnum moss and a little sand.

Step 2

Water every five days, or more frequently as needed in the summer. Using warm water, soak the potting medium thoroughly, and then allow it to dry moderately between waterings.

Step 3

Feed the White Nun orchid with a commercial orchid fertilizer. Fertilize once each month during the orchid's growing period. Follow the directions on the fertilizer package for dosage.

Step 4

Expose your White Nun orchid to temperature ranges that do not vary from 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The White Nun enjoys high humidity, so place a water- and gravel-filled drainage dish beneath the pot, with the pot sitting on the gravel and not in the water.

Step 5

Place the orchid in bright, indirect sunlight. A position near a window that receives sunlight from the south, east or west is ideal.

Step 6

Repot your orchid every two years or when its roots have grown long and plentiful over the lip of the pot. Repot when the orchid is not in bloom, and wait one week before resuming your normal fertilizing and watering regimen.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid exposing your White Nun orchid to cold drafts, direct sunlight or temperature extremes. The White Nun is especially sensitive to environmental extremes. Be careful to avoid getting the leaves wet when watering your orchid. If you do get the leaves wet, dry them right away using a cotton ball or piece of tissue.

Things You'll Need

  • White Nun orchid
  • Pot with drainage hole
  • Small-medium lava rock
  • Medium-shredded fir bark
  • Osmunda fiber, sphagnum moss and sand (optional)
  • Commercial orchid fertilizer
  • Drainage dish
  • Gravel
  • Cotton ball or tissue (optional)


  • White Nun Orchid

Who Can Help

  • Orchid Care Tips
Keywords: White Nun Orchid care, White Nun Orchid tips, grow White Nun orchids

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.