A species orchid, Phalaenopsis equestris deserves a little more recognition than it gets. Originally found in Taiwan parts of China and the Phillipines this is an epiphytic plant that is easy to grow.
It is not the ease of growing this species that makes it valuable but some of the genetic traits that are important in hybridisation.
This is a smaller flowering species that is used to ‘miniaturise’ hybrids. It is also long flowering and prolific.
So what we gain from Phalaenopsis equestris hybrids are masses of smaller but long lasting flowers. It is also a species that’ll flower repeatedly 2-4 times a year in ideal conditions.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Moth Orchid’ as the flower is said to resemble a moth.
Phalaenopsis equestris does require good warm conditions and some humidity. It is an excellent choice for growing indoors where heating maintains a constant temperature.
Phalaenopsis equestris Care
- Good filtered light – not direct sun
- A constant temperature and some humidity – misting works well as does sitting the plant over a dish of water (not in it)
- Use an open medium to coarse orchid potting mix
- Fertilize every 4 weeks with a general purpose orchid fertiliser
Phalaenopsis equestris Varieties
- The species itself Phalaenopsis equestris is pink flowering with a golden to orange lip.
- Phalaenopsis equestris var alba is a white flowering form.
- As for the cultivars Phalaenopsis equestris ‘Riverbend’ is perhaps the best known of all. And then we have the primary hybrids and easily 70 of them.