Pronounced: fal-en-OPP-siss
Aka: Phalaenopsis Philippinensis or the moth flower

Phalaenops are a kind of orchid. In fact, when you think of orchids, you probably think of these bone-china-like beauties. The petals spread wide with a bloom of from 2" to 5" in diameter. The lager petals are round, and the two largest resemble the ears of a mouse, or the wings of a moth (hence the nick-name "moth flower") They are a popular orchid because of their hardiness. In their natural habitat, rainforests, they grow near the bottom layer of the forest and must endure falling derbies and little sunshine. Considering the fragile nature of most orchids these are well suited for the beginning grower.

Phalaenops are a monopodial orchid. That means that it has only one "foot" (monopodial is Latin for single foot) – in this case the foot is the root base of the plant. The roots and the leaves all originate from one point.

The leaves of Phalaenops are broad between 3" and 7" long – deepening on age) and there are usually 2-5 leaves on a plant. It’s important to keep the leaves clean since this is how the plant breathes. A gentile wipe-down with diluted lemon juice will do the trick.

Like most orchids Phalaenops has airel roots. These may wander out of the pot. This is nothing to worry about… in fact it is a sign of vigor and heath in the plant. The roots should be light green and firm to the touch. If the pot becomes too crowded consider repotting.

Phalaenops come in a few colors. Most are white, but pink, deep red yellow and molted varieties can be found.

If you have ever wanted to grow orchids Phalaenops are a great first choice.

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