Even though Phalaenopsis orchids are one of the most common types of orchids, they are far from ordinary. In fact, these extraordinary plants are actually quite unique. We’ve rounded up six interesting Phal Facts to keep in mind next time a houseguest asks you, “Oh, why do you like orchids so much?”
Fact #1: Phalaenopsis Orchids Are Nicknamed ‘Moth orchids’
You may have heard Phalaenopsis orchids called “moth orchids” before. While it might seem like the nickname originated from the appearance of the blooms — which do look like a pretty moth taking flight — the actual reason for the nickname goes much deeper. “Phalaenopsis” comes from the Latin word “phal,” which translates to “moth.” Of course, this isn’t a coincidence: Carl Ludwig Blume, who gave Phalaenopsis orchids their name, supposedly chose it due to the moth resemblance.
Fact #2: The Phalaenopsis Fragrance Is Most Pronounced at Sunrise
If you’ve ever woken up in the morning to the sweet smell of orchids and wondered why your nose was so keen to the scent in the early morning, it turns out there’s actually a reason for that. The lightly sweet smell of a flowering orchid is actually most pronounced at sunrise.
Fact #3: Phalaenopsis Orchids Grow Naturally in Trees
Even though we’re so conditioned to see them in pots, Phalaenopsis orchids actually naturally grow in trees. However, while they like to use trees as their grounding place, orchids don’t actually extract nutrients from their host tree. They have aerial roots that curl around tree trunks and branches, rather than burrow into soil.
Fact #4: Phalaenopsis Orchids can get Sunburned
You likely already know that you shouldn’t put your orchid in direct sunlight, but did you know that doing so can actually cause your plant to develop a sunburn? Rather than turning red, a sunburned orchid will have withered, yellowed leaves or develop brown and white splotches. If this happens, move your orchid to a shadier spot immediately and do your best to keep your plant hydrated.
Fact #5: Phalaenopsis Orchids are Native to Southeast Asia
If you’ve ever wondered where your orchids originate from, here’s your answer: Southeast Asia. However, you’ll also find Phals native to the Philippines and Australia.
Fact #6: Phalaenopsis Orchids Can Take Up to a Year To Flower
Most Phalaenopsis take their sweet time to flower. Luckily, unless you’re an orchid grower, most plant owners don’t have to wait through this process. By the time you purchase your orchid, it should either already be in a blooming cycle or have buds ready to burst.
And finally, one bonus fact: Phalaenopsis orchids are extremely easy to care for! Don’t believe us? Download our free Complete Guide to Orchid Care to learn more.