NOTE: In this article, Moth orchid and Phalaenopsis may be used interchangeably; in fact, Phalaenopsis is the botanical name for Moth orchid.
The Phalaenopsis orchid, native to the tropical regions of Asia and Australia, is one of the most popular plants for home gardeners in the U.S. With hundreds of different genera and thousands of species of orchids to choose from, the Phalaenopsis genus is still the most popular. It’s a good orchid choice for beginners.
If you grow Phalaenopsis orchids indoors, you will get showy blooms for a long time. The thick-leaved plant is featured in many design magazines for this reason, sitting on coffee tables and desks across America.
Why does my Phalaenopsis roots have rot?
If left untreated, root rot on your Moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) can be fatal. For this reason, if the symptoms appear, we highly advise that you adhere to our recommendations to keep your plant alive: Blackened and softened roots.
Why does my Moth orchid have gray mold spots?
Gray mold spots are a type of fungus that is found a lot in flowers, and spreads quite rapidly. If you notice brown (or gray) spots, it is probably this fungus. Don’t ignore these symptoms, as they may end up killing your plant.
When you understand the root of the issue, the solution makes perfect sense. The majority of the time, it is caused by the Phalaenopsis being overwatered. We urge you to cut off the infected roots and leaves, remove the affected sections of the plant, and then repot your plant in a fresh container with sterile potting soil.
Why does my Moth orchid have leaf spots?
This type of disease is one of the most frustrating for Moth orchid owners, we give you all the leads to spot and save your plants that present symptoms such as leaves that suddenly change color, or wilt/droop.
Why are my Moth orchid leaves turning yellow?
Yellowing leaves are arguably the most prevalent issue in the gardening world. Overwatering or a lack of nutrients are the 2 main causes of this issue.
When it’s overwatering, simply reduce your watering frequency, and if you think it’s a nutrient deficiency, here’s how to check it:
Here are some signs of yellowing caused by the many deficiencies on the Phalaenopsis in question:
- The first symptom of a magnesium deficiency is yellow patches between leaf veins on elder leaves. The leaf’s core turns yellow while the veins stay green. The edges of the leaf yellow last.
- Yellowing between leaf veins is another sign of iron shortage, but young leaves on plant tops and branch tips are initially affected.
- Sulfur deficiency starts with the newest leaves, turning them yellow throughout.
- Leaf edges turning bright yellow but inside leaf remaining green are signs of potassium insufficiency. The symptoms first appear on older leaves, and the leaf edges quickly become dark.
- A broad yellowing indicates a nitrogen deficiency. Yellowing starts with older, inner leaves. Yellowing spreads as it advances, eventually touching new leaves as well.
You only need to respond to the signs mentioned above. A gardening store expert will be able to provide you advice on how to purchase a specific soil to treat a potassium or nitrogen deficiency. Additionally, you can reduce how often you water your plants.
Is my Moth orchid sunburned?
It is simple to determine whether your Moth orchid (your Phalaenopsis) has sunburn. Your plant will change color in this instance, beginning to turn yellow or white, much like it does on us.
As we saw above, the leaves of your Moth orchid can also change color if it receives too much water or insufficient light.
To find out if the yellow leaves have been sunburned, look at the part of the bottom that is tinted closer to the base. The yellow leaf is probably burnt and not something else if this portion stays greener.
Why are my Moth orchid leaves turning brown?
Most of the time, leaves of a Moth orchid that turn brown is a sign that your plant has been sunburned, it has probably been exposed to too much direct sunlight. Don’t panic, your plant probably won’t die from this, but its growth will take a hit.
Should I leave my Phalaenopsis in direct sunlight?
No! If your Phalaenopsis (or Moth orchid) has the symptoms described above, don’t leave it in direct sunlight, that’s the reason why your Moth orchid is in such a state!
As explained in the paragraph above, the solution is simple, just place your Moth orchid in a place where the light does not reach it directly, in this way and with a correct watering, your plant should resume its life rather quickly.
Why are my Phalaenopsis leaves drooping or wilting ?
When you become dehydrated, this usually happens. Large plants are more vulnerable since they need more water on a regular basis than smaller plants.
Whether your Phalaenopsis plant’s pot appears light, the soil and roots are likely fairly dry and need water, so you can readily tell if it needs to be hydrated.
If the soil in your plant’s pot is completely dry, you will need to start by moistening it so that the roots will also benefit from the water. A common mistake is to drown the Moth orchid right after a dry period thinking that it needs a lot of water.
This is the case, but giving too much water at once is the best way to finish it off, you should actually water the soil normally, resuming a quiet watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Phalaenopsis
Your plant needs water to survive, but it’s crucial to balance the amount and timing of watering. As we previously mentioned, overwatering could be catastrophic for your Phalaenopsis.
Touching the soil will let you know whether your plant needs water or not; if it still feels damp, it’s generally best to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
Maintaining a consistent temperature for your Phalaenopsis is also a good idea, especially if it is kept indoors. At GreenShack, we typically advise reserving a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees F. Of course, avoid positioning your Phalaenopsis close to air conditioners, radiators, or other sources of hot or cold air.
Keep your Moth orchid Dust-Free
This one relates to indoor plants. Just like your furniture, dust collects on the leaves of your indoor plants. The issue is that this can block the photosynthesis process from starting, which would cause the plants to gradually lose their color.
This would also make the pests happy, a real descent into hell for your Moth orchid.
To remove the dust, gently rub the plant’s leaves with a microfiber cloth. Dust can be removed more easily with a damp cloth, but stay away from corrosive substances like rubbing alcohol!
Keep drainage in mind
If you tend to overwater, you need to pay attention to your drainage, and we advise choosing a saucer and a pot with drainage holes if they are not already there.
In the meantime, if you don’t have holes in your pots, you can add volcanic rocks (or any rocks with holes) at the bottom of your pot, this way it will create a channel so that the water doesn’t stay in your skin too much (to avoid that roots start to rot!)