Moth Orchid is the number 1 indoor plant!

 In Indoor Plants, Plant breeding, Plant Review

Moth Orchid is the number 1 indoor plant!


Some background

Once thought to be difficult and only a plant for the connoisseur, there has been a transformation in orchids!

pink orchids, moth orchid, Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis orchids in an urn

The moth orchid [Phalaenopsis] is now the most popular indoor flowering plant in Britain.

Even one of our local pubs has a great display of them! [see image]

Wind the clock back just 20 years or so and most would regard the orchid as challenging indoor plant. Indeed it was unlikely to last more than a few days in a home.

Nothing could be further from the truth with today’s Phalaenopsis!


Why the change?

Moth orchids need less care than Cyclamen, Azalea, Begonia elatior or even the ubiquitous pot ‘mum.

The moth orchid is the No. 1 indoor plant because it will flower for months…..and months!

Of course there are still lots of orchids that are quite demanding and not easy.

is the No. 1 indoor plant, Cymbidium, orchid

Pink Cymbidium orchid

But along with Cymbidium the moth orchid has changed things.

Cymbidium orchids are quite easy to look after but unlike the moth orchid they have rather untidy leaves.





British Grown

I suspect you’re thinking that these moth orchids are imported from Holland.  But chances are that if you buy a plant from a store, that plant will have been grown by Double H Nurseries, near Bournemouth.

Moth orchids, Phalaenopsis, orchid

Moth Orchids ready to dispatch

I visited Double H with a group of other Nuffield Farming Scholars.

Their nursery is very impressive and efficiently run.

Double H are wholesale growers and specialize in Phalaenopsis.

I was hugely impressed with the high quality of plants and varieties growing.

The care details are sent out with every plant. But you can access those instructions right here.


Newer varieties

My mini moth orchid

On an earlier trip to I.P.M Essen [the biggest plant show in Europe] we were delighted to find some delightful mini Phalaenopsis on display.

These were from Denmark where several nurseries concentrate on growing miniature indoor plants of several kinds.

I’ve found these mini orchids really easy to grow and I’ve had the one pictured for several years now.

Imagine my delight when I spotted a mini Phalaenopsis worn as a floral necklace at the annual Garden Media Guild Awards lunch at the Savoy in London! Clearly, moth orchid is the No. 1 indoor plant but also a very versatile flower too.


Moth orchids, lady holding orchids

Phalaenopsis Willd Orchid

Willd Orchid

Another great Phalaenopsis spotted at this annual German show was the truly magnificent Willd orchid!  You probably think that’s a typo but it really does have two ‘l’s!

We’ve had one  in flower in our kitchen for over 9 months. It has been covered in drooping sprays of tiny white blooms.

I spotted a pale pink version of this Willd variety at this show. I’m reliably told that there is a promise of more colour options in the pipeline.

What I find so impressive about ‘Willd’ moth orchid is the sheer number of blooms at once!


Blue Orchids?

You may have seen blue flowered orchids and thought that this is a new variety.

I’m sorry to break the news to you but this is all down to a jab! Plants are vaccinated with blue dye before they are sold!

Personally I dislike them and think that the blue colour looks unnatural. What is your view on this?

Each plant flower stem has to be pre-drilled so that the blue dye can be inserted. It looks like fiddly work to me.

Somehow this just reminds me of the once popular blue dye hair rinse!

Drilling stems

Injecting dye into orchids

Injecting dye

moth orchid flowers, Phalaenopsis

Blue dyed orchids







potting machine, orchids, Double H

Phalaenopsis potting by machine at Double H

Double H Nurseries is a great British pot plant grower. They grow three main indoor plants. These are pot Chrysanthemum, pot roses and Moth Orchids.

Double H moth orchids can be found in most major supermarkets in the UK but you can buy directly from them at Love Orchids.

With a plant that is so easy to look after and that flowers so long it’s little wonder that moth orchid is the number 1 indoor plant!




Further Reading

moth orchid, glasshouse nursery, Double H

Young moth orchid in 9 cm pot at Double H

I’ve written about care of Poinsettias here

I’ve written about care of indoor Cyclamen here

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