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How to: reflower a moth orchid

One of our most-asked questions to the Garden Clinic helpline and to radio is about caring for moth orchids so they flower again.

Here are our top tips.


Caring for moth orchids so they flower again doesn't have to be difficult. You just havce to follow the rules. Photo - Robin Powell


What to do when your magnificent Phalaenopsis, commonly known as moth orchid, has faded? The advice used to be to leave the flowering stem alone. But after talking to many orchid experts and experimenting ourselves, we’ve developed this strategy to reflowering moths.

1. Check the flowering stem closely. If it is brown and dried out, it’s spent all its energy and can be pruned off at the base.

2. If the stem is still green, look for its base among the thick glossy leaves, then find the second bud on the stem. Prune just above it, on a slight angle.


A good liquid orchid fertiliser fortnightly, or pellets or granules monthly is essential. Photo - Robin Powell


3. Position the moth orchid indoors, facing east or north so that it receives plenty of light, but not direct sun. It can be left outside in filtered light, but should brought indoors during winter. Night temperatures between 16-18 C in autumn will stimulate flower stems, but it generally prefers temperatures above 22 C for good growth.

4. Water regularly but let the potting medium almost dry out between waterings and keep the crown of leaves dry.

5. Feed with liquid orchid fertiliser fortnightly, or pellets or granules monthly.

6. Moth orchids love humidity so group plants together in one spot or mist the foliage weekly.


Come with us

You’ve never seen moth orchids like those on display at the Orchid Show that is part of the Singapore Garden Festival. We’ll be there again next year. Call Ros or Royce on 1300 233 2000 if you’d like to join us.


The world-class moth orchid display at the Orchid Show, part of the Singapore Garden Festival. Photo - Robin Powell