|Latin name:||Phalaenopsis amabilis 'Washington'|
|Delivery type:||Supplied as container plant|
|Guarantee:||6 months growth and flowering guarantee|
|Preferred location:||Sun, Half shadow|
|Leafs all year:||Yes|
|Growing Height:||60 - 75 cm|
For best results, remove the plant from the cultivation pot and plant it in a larger, decorative pot. Fill with a coarse potting compost or special orchid potting bark and add gravel at the bottom of the pot. Water immediately after planting. Pot the orchid up once every 5 years.
The butterfly orchid is best placed on a sunny windowsill during the winter months. However, in the summer months this plant is grateful for shelter from the strong afternoon sun. Water the plant every week but do not leave water standing in the pot or in the saucer. The plant has thick roots that take in both air and water. Phalaenopsis can flower on an old flower spike - cut the branch off at the first node on the fading flower spike (a very small leaf, starting from the base of the plant). A new spray of flowers will soon grow from the dormant bud and your plant will continue flowering for a while! Sometimes a small plant grows on the main flower spike – these can be left to grow until they are about 10 cm, then carefully remove the new plant from the spike and pot them up.
The butterfly orchid in its natural habitat has a dormant period during the dry months in October and November. This variety will probably not need so long a dormant period, due to hybridisation, but may need to rest in the winter so, best if you move it to a cooler room - as long as it's not flowering. For the next 6 weeks give little or no water after which it can return to the warm living room. If the plant is still flowering or forming new flower spikes it can be left in the living room as it is quite at home there and evidently doesn't need to be rested.
This botanical Phalaenopsis is a native of the tropical regions of South East Asia where it grown on trees (epiphytic) and rocks, so always in the sun. The plant grows on aerial roots that provide it with sufficient nutrients - these are of course now in the pot so do allow the potting medium to dry out between waterings. Phalaenopsis is from the ancient Greek and literally translated mean: like a butterfly. Quite fitting really.