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Moth Orchid Color Varieties

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Michael is interested in life's little oddities and finds writing helps him to understand the world around him.

The Moth Orchid comes in a multitude of colors

The Moth Orchid comes in a multitude of shapes and colours. We have managed to keep several beautiful examples alive for several years now. In the past trying to keep these plants at home was almost impossible.

The much loved white moth orchid favoured by brides, is often the focal point of the wedding ceremony as it represents purity.

From the deep blues to the striking bright reds, and just about every other conceivable colour in between. There is a perfect orchid for every occasion. Hybrid cultivators have added to the choice available.

There are approximately 30,000+ varieties globally. There is a flower for every occasion. Due to the widespread adoption of central heating it is now possible to grow these delicate and expensive plants at home in colder climates; like the UK.

The Phalaenopsis Orchid or Moth Orchid

The Phalaenopsis Orchid or Moth Orchid

White Orchid

White Orchid

Of the 60 or so varieties in common cultivation, there are several plants that have similarities, in terms of the shape of the flower heads.

The Phalaenopsis Group

The term Phalaenopsis (pronounced phonetically fael a nop sis (my phonic) is a neo latin word from the Greek for forum, looks like, or just 'alike types.' In this case, flowers that 'look like moths'in general.

The [Phalaenopsis orchid] 'looks like' a Moth in flight. It is part of a group of flowers that share these common characteristics. The reason for the long winded introduction, is because the term hasn't been around long.

Many dictionaries do not even carry a definition for this term. ' Phalaenopsis Orchid ' Without wanting to get into the whole naming process that goes on the scientific community.

Suffice it to say, it takes a long time to name anything in science. It doesn't detract from the beauty of these incredible plants.

Infra Red Image

The above is a representation of a flower as seen in the Infra Red spectrum.  Insects see In Ultra Violet. both of these Spectra are invisible to humans.

The above is a representation of a flower as seen in the Infra Red spectrum. Insects see In Ultra Violet. both of these Spectra are invisible to humans.

On the naming of flowers. (Phalaenopsis)

Do not worry I am not going to name each flower. With over 30,000 known types it would take all afternoon. They are mostly found in the tropics and survive in a variety of habitats from tropical rain forests to dry parched deserts.

This wide variety is both natural, and the results of hybridization by gardeners, and specialized flower producing companies.

When it comes to classifying plants and animals. We tend to lump together things that look alike.

For example. if we think of dogs we can say they all share some common characteristics. Four legs, A Tail, Similar Jaw bones and teeth to name a few of these characteristics.

When we consider that there far less dog breeds, compared to the over 30,000 varieties.

Lumping things together because they look alike has it's drawbacks. Consider the eel, it is a form of fish. Yet it looks like a snake. A snake of course is a reptile.

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They look similar but are not related at all? You can see where naming something can become tricky?

These beautiful flowers common characteristics are, their petals that look like Moth's wings, The stigma also resembles the body of some moths.

The Force Of Attraction

Many insects see in a much wider range of the light spectrum than we humans. Some flowers use colour and fragrance to attract insects and other animals, to assist in their pollination process.

At night when colour is of little use, then fragrance plays a vital role in attracting insect to help in pollination.

The design of the petals, stigma and anthers along with the colour and fragrance 'guide' the insects, birds and animals, to the area of the flower where pollination can take place.

10 Flowers for you to view

Please take a few moments to look at these ten flowers.Sorry there is no smelly vision at the moment. I am sure that will be coming soon too! : )

There is a poll below, where you can vote on which flower you like the most.

Moth Orchids are native to the Tropics

Ornamental Orchid Plants grow your own

10 Varieties of these lovely plants in a multitude of colors

A selection of these photos are available on Redbubble.

A selection of these photos are available on Redbubble.

photos of orchids

photos of orchids

blooming orchids

blooming orchids

Classic white moth orchids

Classic white moth orchids

Variegated moth orchid

Variegated moth orchid

For the Home & Garden

With the widespread use of central heating in homes. It is now possible to keep these exquisite flowers at home, in more northern climates. The opportunity to have these exotic flowers in the home, give a much needed splash of colour on those gloomy grey days.

Some varieties have been breed and hardened off, for planting in the northern hemisphere garden too. They make a great gift, they are long lasting, and can act as a pleasant reminder, of the occasion, when the gift was given.

Although symbolically associated with, beauty, love, strength and of course luxury. Most people will not be aware of this symbolism, and just love them for their true beauty.

Brides and Weddings

It is no surprise that these flowers and especially the white orchids are very popular with brides and have become an essential wedding floral arrangements. Wedding finance planning will always include floral display.

Flowers are an essential element of just about any wedding ceremony. As mentioned above the symbolism of the floral component, in the wedding ritual cannot be underestimated.

Particular flowers, such as white moth orchids send clear signals that reflect love, purity, fertility, fidelity and abundance. They are vitally important to traditional marriage. In earlier times these plants were seen as extremely difficult flowers to grow, in cooler climates. This is not the case today.

Once prohibitively expensive, whilst today they are, in no way cheap, they are affordable and they can last for many months. Even years if carefully tended too. It is easy to love these amazing creations, both natural and hybrid. Thanks for taking the time to look at these beautiful specimens.

Prasetios' hub on the incredible Monkey Orchid

Your Turn To Vote

Caring for your Orchids

Orchids are now quite easy to grow and care for

There are a multitude of colours to choose from.

  • With good light, warmth and humidity, this variety can flower almost all year round.
  • When the flowers have dropped off, cut back hard to the second joint from the base.
  • Ideal temperature range is 62° - 68° (16° -30°) Mist once or twice a week. In winter keep in a very light bright place.
  • Water once a week by soaking the plant thoroughly. Make sure to let the excess water drain away.
  • Feed once a week in summer and every 2 -3 weeks during winter months. Use half strength diluted orchid feed in winter.

Hope these simple tips will help you have a great time caring for this gorgeous flowers.

Thanks To Om Paramapoonya For This Great Idea


Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on September 27, 2015:

Thanks for dropping in Mary. The Orchids were very good this year again. We got some great blossoms from our plants. They just keep giving if you treat them right. They are stunning.

Mary Craig from New York on September 05, 2015:

That was sure packed full of useful information! Such a beautiful flower there was no way I could pick just one.

I have a green thumb in the garden, but it turns black inside. The only inside plant I have is a Christmas cactus my mother-in-law gave me about five years ago. For some reason I CAN keep that one alive.

Thanks for the beauty this Saturday morning!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on May 12, 2013:

Hi Mary,

How wonderful that it is back in bloom. They really are amazing plants and so much easier to keep these days.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 10, 2013:

Good Morning. I just came back to share my news with you and to reread this beautiful Hub on Orchids. I have a Catteya orchid given to me four years ago on Mother's Day by one of my children. The big news is: it is now in full bloom! What a gorgeous sight.

Last Mother's Day when it bloomed I took photos of it from bud to blossom. When you have some time, take a look at this beauty.

I am sharing and Pinning your beautiful photo.

Have a wonderful day.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on March 12, 2013:

Thank you Fossillady,

They are truly amazing I agree. How nice to see the Orchid you were given continuing to bloom. They can last for many years with proper care.

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on March 07, 2013:

Beautiful photos and informative article molometer . . . I have a single orchid in my home that blooms from February till May! It's unreal how long the blooms last. It was given to me when my husband passed so have special meaning. I'm sure it was brought to me by his divine influence.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 27, 2012:

Hello Audrey,

Insects see light in the infrared spectrum. The world looks very different to them. I find it fascinating that the colour of these plants plays little part in their pollination.

The photo at the top of the hub is my own Moth orchid specimen.

It is still blooming, even at the end of November. Amazing.

Audrey Howitt from California on November 27, 2012:

Such an interesting article! I did not know that insects see on a different light spectrum. Orchids are a favorite of mine!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on October 24, 2012:

Hello Brittany Becky Lehman,

Sorry to hear you are having this spotting issue. Orchids are much tougher than we give them credit for.

I refer you to my above care tips. This may help.

See section this hub on:-

Caring for orchids

How to grow orchids

Brittany Becky Lehman on October 24, 2012:

I have an orchid at home, its a blue mystique orchid, I bought it at a home depot store and i have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how to take care of it. I believe it to be a dendrobium or Phalaenopsis type of Orchid... its getting spots and I don't know whether that's good or BAD. If its dying and there's still time to save it, please tell me how. I NEED HELP.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on August 16, 2012:

Hello Rajan,

Orchids certainly are popular and beautiful. The poll above shows a widespread interest in a variety of colours and types.

Nice to have variety don't you think : )

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 14, 2012:

Michael, orchids are indeed lovely. Nice and useful tips for their care them too.

Votes up, useful and interesting.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on July 02, 2012:

Hi tillsontitan,

Thank you so much for you lovely comments. They are spectacular flowers. They are not too difficult to keep. Just keep them out of the conservatory on sunny days. : (

I suppose it depends on the variety but the white moth did not like direst sunlight under glass.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on July 02, 2012:

Hi Virtual Treasures,

There really are something special. There is something there for everyone.

Mary Craig from New York on July 02, 2012:

You must know by now I'm a gardener and love flowers, however, I have a tendency to turn into an executioner when it come to indoor plants.

Orchids are so beautiful and I found it too difficult to choose just one so I couldn't vote.

Your photos are breathtakingly beautiful. Such clarity and color they just pop, put t hem together with the information you've provided and you've got a wonderful hub.

Voted up, useful, beautiful and interesting.

Tonja Petrella from Michigan on July 02, 2012:

I love all orchids, but I voted for #2. Great hub!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on July 02, 2012:

Hi Mary,

Thanks for popping back in. I haven't seen your hub yet but will check it out. You are more than welcome.


Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on July 02, 2012:

Hi there unknown spy,

So glad you enjoyed this hub. It was great fun putting it together too. I like your idea of scented letters. Nice touch.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 02, 2012:

I just came back to look at your beautiful Hub again. I see my Blue Orchid is a related Hub to yours here. Did you ever have a chance to read that one.

May I link this Hub into that one? Thanks in advance.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on July 02, 2012:

Thanks sgbrown,

We bought a lovely moth orchid when I wrote this hub. It was doing so well until I left it in the conservatory.

The sun decided to come out. It got a little too much sun and seems to have expired. We will keep it for a while as apparently they can come back to life.

Life Under Construction from Neverland on July 01, 2012:

I love these flowers. I always used the fragrant violets when i give own-made cards, jsut to give a little scent. sweet. beautiful hub!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on July 01, 2012:

Wonderful hub! I love flowers, but have never tried to grown orchids. I man have to change that! You information in great and your pictures are beautiful. Voted up and sharing! Have a wonderful day!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 21, 2012:

Hi Pollyannalana,

I hear you. This particular orchid's name has been in the making for over 80 years and still isn't settled yet.

That is why it is still under the catchall name. Phalaenopsis

Pollyannalana from US on April 21, 2012:

Absolutely, I think just saying white would do me, lol. I have a time keeping up with the names of all the new flowers I shoot!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 21, 2012:

Hi Jackie Lynnley,

They certainly are beautiful.

I went back to the garden centre and bought a white Moth Orchid.

It's so much easier to say moth orchid, rather than phalaenopsis. Don't you think lol

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on April 20, 2012:

I just downloaded some orchid pictures I took a few days ago. Almost too beautiful to be real, aren't they?

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 18, 2012:

Hi frogpetals,

I think that makes sense. These orchids look so delicate. But it seems they are pretty tough.

frogpetals from Christiansburg, VA on April 17, 2012:

Thanks!! I guess I'll leave it and see how it does.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 17, 2012:

Hello frogpetals,

Sounds like your orchid is doing pretty good as it is, in the soil.

Our orchid is in pieces of broken tree bark.

They each have particular habitats that they prefer.

As your one is thriving I would leave it as it is.

Check cebutouristspot great comment above on propagation.

frogpetals from Christiansburg, VA on April 16, 2012:

Beautiful orchids!! I have one that my mother-in-law gave me about a year ago. I have great success with this one so far. It had never bloomed for her, but I now have three beautiful lime green flowers on it. I really don't know anything about orchids and was wondering if you can give me some advice. I have it in a pot with just soil in it. It now has about 4 aerial roots coming out from it. What should I do with these roots, if anything? Should I re-pot it into something different? Thanks!!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 11, 2012:


Thanks for stopping by and admiring the flowers.

They are beautiful aren't they.

I am very keen on nature in all it's complexity.

Orchids are stunning examples of adaptation and variation, by both natural selection and hybridization by human intervention.

I just love to them.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 11, 2012:

Hello cgfacevedo,

Certainly sounds like an idyllic environment in which to grow up.

Surrounded with such beauty, you were very lucky indeed.

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment

homepagepays from Australia on April 10, 2012:

Now I am not much of a "flower" guy, just ask my best friend.. she will so agree on that point! However after logging into hubpages today this hub showed up and the image of the flower just stood out and grabbed my attention. Even I have to say, stunning!! My friend jules is on hub also.. will drag her over to read this one also! :)

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Hi Susan,

Petunias are good too! lol

All flowers are good lol.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Thanks always exploring,

They are just stunning. Glad you liked the hub too.

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on April 10, 2012:

They are amazing. I better stick to my petunias. LOL

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 10, 2012:

Aha, The beauty of orchids, I loved them all and your hub too. Very interesting. Thank you..

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Hi Susan,

They grow in just about anywhere. Mostly tropical regions but as we have seen from the comments here, They grow in the most unusual places.

Even on a piece of coconut! Amazing orchids!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Thanks Mary,

The tree sounds lovely. They can lay dormant for years and then burst into bloom.

I heard somewhere that even after 7 years they can suddenly just bloom again?

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Hello Tina,

My wife was given an orchid years ago. It lasted for quite a while.

Today we bought another one. The woman in the shop reckons that they can last for years.

Some hubbers have left comments to that effect too. So we have high hopes for this one lol.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Thank you Vellur,

I am pleased that you enjoyed them too.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Hello Theresa,

You will not believe it, but I said to Linda today, that this is just the thing to read, in a coffee break. How interesting.

Glad it was there to distract you lol.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Hi Joelipoo,

That sounds amazing. To see whole trees covered in orchids would be a treat.

I can see a hub there waiting for you to write.

Have you got any photo's? That would be cool.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Hello Om Paramapoonya,

What a great idea. Consider it done.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Hello Goodlady,

You are absolutely right, it is time to stroll around the garden centres.

We went back today and bought a lovely white orchid.

Apparently they are much tougher than I thought.

@cebutouristspot pointed out that they are easy to propagate. All we need is a coconut shell and off they go. Thanks cebutouristspot.

I am not familiar with "The Orchid Thief"? Joan Didion. Is it a good read?

Thanks for reading glad you liked it.

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on April 10, 2012:

I love orchids. I never knew they could grow in the desert. I always thought of them as a tropical plant. So many varieties and beautiful shapes. Interesting information. :-)

Mary Hyatt from Florida on April 10, 2012:

I was in Home Depot this AM, and they had some blue orchids for sale. Never saw blue before. I would have bought one, but it was $25.00! I grow orchids under my oak tree here in S. Fl. and they do very well. They just don't bloom as often as I would like. Beautiful photos.

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on April 10, 2012:

Orchids are so beautiful and these photos are stunning! I must admit that I am not so good with orchids, I manage to keep them alive, but they never look as good as they did when I bought them after a while in my care. I voted for number 9, it is my favorite! Thanks for all the information about orchids!

Voted up, interesting


Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:


Thank you, they are stunning.

@Movie Master

The variety is amazing. I do like the white one too. We just went out and bought one today lol

@alocsin Thanks Aurelio, I should have numbered them. I'll fix that today. There are so many shapes and sizes.

and the colours are spectacular.

Thanks for the votes and sharing buddy.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 10, 2012:

Interesting and informative. Enjoyed reading the pictures are so beautiful. Great hub. Voted up.Awesome.

Orchids are beautiful.

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on April 10, 2012:

Michael! They are absolutely gorgeous! Taken with your new digital camera, I suppose; :) I am between classes and just nededa ten mintue distraction and what did I see? All there beautiful orchids! Just lovely. :) Theresa

Joel from Ohio on April 10, 2012:

These are lovely. Where you brother lives in South America, they have orchids growing up trees like vines (much like we would see English Ivy, Virginia Creeper, or Poison Ivy done around here). It's beautiful to see the orchids climb throughout a tree with their vibrant blooms.

Om Paramapoonya on April 10, 2012:

How gorgeous! In your survey, there should be one more option: "all of the above." I like all those orchids very much, so it's kind of hard to pick only one favorite. lol

cebutouristspot from Cebu on April 10, 2012:

Wow those are nice orchids. i have around 5 different type of orchid here but sadly I only seen 1 in your picture :)

P.S. all you need is one. The moment you see a little bit of root you can cut it off and tie some dried coconut husk dip with water and they will grow :)

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on April 10, 2012:

Why don't you enter into the competition I just wrote Hub about? I think it's a fantastic initiative, for people who can't resist getting their cameras out!

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on April 10, 2012:

Pretty Hub! Lovely pics! It's the time of year to wander round garden centers and go crazy with orchids isn't it? I used to do that when I lived in England...and some of our orchids survived a trip across Europe in the car, as well as several apartment moves in Italy (through my illness)though they died of dry heat last summer...They like to be badly treated (I kept them in the bathroom for moisture), but the bathroom here in Tuscany in the summer gets as hot as everywhere else. They didn't stand a chance. You've probably read "The Orchid Thief"? Joan Didion had a thing for orchids too; they crop in her work time and time again.

I've got a thing about them too...they are unpredictable aren't they? (re-flowering after 7 years, growing in dank glades, off bark and not in exquisite terrains).

Anyway, lovely to peruse your Hub and think about how wonderful they are. Thanks

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on April 10, 2012:

These are wonderful, though I had a bit of trouble figuring out what number belonged to what orchid during the vote. I picked 3 because of the pink and white patterns. Voting this Up and Beautiful. SHARED.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on April 10, 2012:

Beautiful Orchids, their colours and patterns so vivid, yet the plain white one is just as fabulous!

I enjoyed reading thank you and voted up.

Best wishes

Pollyannalana from US on April 09, 2012:

I love 6 and 9, a hard choice, all beautiful!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 09, 2012:

Hello Pamela99,

We almost picked one up the other day. I do like the white moth orchid.

I think everyone should have one. They are not that hard to keep these days.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 09, 2012:

Hi Moonlake.

Thanks, still figuring out the camera.

We were given the white orchid many years ago.

I expected it to die immediately but it survived for months. Much to our surprise and joy.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 09, 2012:

Thanks Nell.

So everyone seems to be voting for Orchid no.4.

My daughter will be

They were what she had for her wedding. They are stunningly beautiful, just like her.

moonlake from America on April 09, 2012:

Well, your camera works great. Beautiful pictures. I love orchids but I kill them. Just not enough light I think in my house. My friend has no trouble growing hers and they bloom for her. Voted UP.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 09, 2012:

Thanks Alastar,

I was visiting the garden centre when I saw these orchids. I wanted to test out my new camera.

It dawned on me, that it would make at least, a colourful hub. It is a little overcast here at the moment.

The more I researched it however, made it quite interesting to me.

So I thought I would share it. So glad you liked it.

It is a little out there,I guess even for me. lol

Thanks for overcoming your initial horror! : )

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 09, 2012:

I only own 1 orchid but hope to buy another one soon. They are such exquisite, beautiful flowers. Your picture display was awesome and I enjoyed your hub immensely.

Nell Rose from England on April 09, 2012:

Hi, They are all gorgeous, I was surprised to see that everybody had chosen no 4! I did too, but saying that they are all lovely. My aunts next door neighbour used to grow them for the shops, he had all this equipment in his greenhouse that we weren't allowed to touch! I have no idea what it was though! lol! lovely, votes all the way, and thanks for sharing!

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on April 09, 2012:

Well, learned sometime back not to judge a book by it's cover, or a Hub by it's subject for that matter; especially when its by a writer like yourself Micheal. You actually made this orchid excursion interesting for someone not into orchids. The pics are eye delightful as well. Up and interest my friend.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 09, 2012:

Hello fpherj48,

I agree they are beautiful.

No.4 was the orchid my daughter had, for her wedding bouquet. Stunning.

No.10 is so intricate, and the colours so vibrant.

Orchids are truly amazing.

Suzie from Carson City on April 09, 2012:

Molo...Beautiful flowers....I love orchids. Beautiful hub, thank you for teaching me so much. I would have never guessed at the number (variations) of orchids.

I have the vision of the light purplish orchid that we would buy as a wrist corsage for our mom on Mother's Day as well as Easter.

It wasn't easy to choose a favorite...after carefully staring at each, I chose #4. The markings on #10 are exquisite!

Up, interesting and awesome!!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 09, 2012:

Thanks billybuc,

I should have entered that 'know it all competition' :)

Orchids are amazing.

I spotted these beauties and couldn't resist getting my camera out.

Especially as it is so overcast today, here in ol'blighty!.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 09, 2012:

Well aren't you just a fountain of knowledge? I love orchids and these pictures are beautiful as is your hub. I just wish I had the patience and time to grow them properly. Well done my friend!

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