Phalaenopsis, or moth orchids, come in a myriad of colors, displaying exotics patterns and intricate designs. The Phalaenopsis is only one of the 780 genera of orchids. When calculating all the species, there are over 28,000 types of orchids.
Inside the genus of Phalaenopsis, there are 60 unique orchids, all pertaining to the same specifications. I won’t cover all 60 of course, but group them by colors, which I can narrow down to 6. I’m leaving out all the thousands of colors inbetween, too. So you can just imagine how many types of fascinating orchids there are.
In this article, you’ll learn what colors orchids come in and what each color symbolizes.
Image Credit: “Bellina X’mas” by Shaun@KL is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Moth orchids come in several colors: vibrant red, salmon orange, pink, purple, frosty white, and even black. The one color you won’t see in Phalaenopsis is blue. These are tinted with dye to produce a temporary effect, and actually hurts the orchid. Even black orchids are found in nature, even though, rarer.
White Moth Orchids Are the Most Common
White Phalaenopsis always seems to wiggle its way into decor magazines and interior design photo shoots. The more sophisticated the room, the whiter the orchid. Used widely in office spaces and bathrooms, the white moth orchid is a symbol of peace and purity.
White Moth Orchids are found in most all grocery stores and super markets, too.
They soon become some of the best-selling orchids, since they can be given as gifts in almost all occasions: birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, and special celebrations like job promotions.
White orchids also symbolize inner beauty and elegance. Since there are no other colors to contrast with the white phalaenopsis on the petals, and the lip of the orchid is also white (although mostly tinted white yellow or peach spots) these orchids are beauty for what they are, not their colors.
This is why the meaning of their color goes deeper to what the eye can see. They are most likely larger, bolder, and the flower spike is covered with blossoms that cascade down into a flower waterfall.
So much can be said about the person who has a white orchid in their office or living space. The outer beauty is not in make-up, clothes, accessories, or any outward color that is clearly visible.
The beauty of this person is in their personality, the boldness and elegance, a peaceful sophistication that surrounds them—this person is clearly organized and calm.
If you are looking for white orchids to purchase, search for these names as suggestions: (1) Phalaenopsis Bonbori (Hatsuyuki x Yukimai), (2) Phalaenopsis Timothy Christopher ‘Floribunda, and (3) Phalaenopsis amabilis var formosanum.
Salmon-Colored Moth Orchids: A sunset of Peachy, Orange-Colored Phalaenopsis
Orange Moth Orchids bring a vibrant ray of boldness to the orchid. These are harder to find in big box stores, which makes them more special.
They clearly show off their rays of sunset colors, usually in patterns that mix in with red, orange, and yellows. The enthusiasm that these peach-colored Phalaenopsis portray are almost contagious. They bring a bright, airy, fun-filled joy to them, that make any festive occasion more colorful.
Who is the perfect person to give a peach moth orchid to?
Since most people have either a pink or white colored moth orchid, the peachy, salmon-colored moth orchid says bundles about the person who cultivates one.
They are the more humorous, finding joy in every occasion. This is a person who can laugh and make you laugh even with the road gets tough. They find the best in every situation.
Clearly an optimist, who knows how to enjoy life and is not ashamed to think outside of the box. This creative personality is what attracts the more vibrant orange-colored Moth Orchids.
There are some lighter, peach-colored moth orchids, and this would be more suited for people who are optimist, but not over the top. They have a quieter calmness about them, but still can yank a smile from you even when times are tough.
Yellow Phalaenopsis Orchids: Sunshine On the Horizon
Yellow Moth Orchids symbolize a strength of a job well done. The accomplishment of a hard task, in which the person not only finished, but excelled. Yellow Phalaenopsis are given among friends—not lovers. The yellow moth orchid symbolizes a tie that goes beyond the hardships of life, and signifies the happiness of being together.
Yellow is related to the happiness—the happy face is yellow. Spring tulips are almost always associated with the color yellow (which also ties into the meaning of the yellow moth orchid: overcoming with success a hard obstacle—in this case, overcoming winter).
If you’re looking to purchase a yellow orchid, try these species on the market: Phalaenopsis Pure Moon ‘Sweetheart”, Phalaenopsis Brother Sweet Sugar ‘Montclair AM/AOS’ and if you want a white with yellow stripes, try searching for the Phalaenopsis Yaphon Love Song.
Purple Moth Orchids: Respectful Dignity
Purple has always been the color of kings.
It has come down in history as a color that is hard to obtain with dyes, and once obtained, is hard to keep in the cloth for long periods of time. This is why purple—and red, too—are more expensive. Nowadays, with modern dying practices, purples and reds are easier to achieve in clothing. Yet, the purple dynasty remains…
“Phalaenopsis Orchid” by chaz jackson is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Purple moth orchids are related to dignity, nobility, and respect.
Purple moth orchids are eye-catching, and most fascinating. The larger, open petals of the purple Phalaenopsis are amazing to look at. The purples in these orchids can be blotched out, only present at the outer rims, dashed through, or spotted. They also can display purple spots on otherwise white petals or all purple petals, which is outright fascinating.
Purple is the highest form of respect, too. As in the same king scenario, respect is appreciated and due. Purple displays that same respect, and shows that you respect the person your presenting with the orchid. Honor, admiration, and dignity also come with the purple moth orchid.
Perfect for giving to co-workers who are more than just co-workers, purple orchids will tell the person that you admire their sense of responsibility, honor, ethics, and overall, dignity.
In your searches to purchase this orchid, look for: Phalaenopsis OX Firebird, which has patterned white spots on the outer leaves, or this one, Phalaenopsis Formosa Ruby ‘Brilliant , which is pure purple from lip, petals, and sepals.
Blue Orchid: A Rarity of Exquisite Delicacy
Blue Orchids are fascinating. It’s such a shame that they aren’t real.
Well, let me rephrase that. They aren’t real in nature. There are only four blue orchids that grow naturally in nature, and none of them are the Phalaenopsis. If you’re interested, this article about blue orchids is good information about the naturally grown blue orchids.
But none of them are blue moth orchids.
Growers have injected ink into the flower spikes, alternating the color of the previously white petals. This process is said to do no harm to the orchid, but in the end, it does. The ink seeps out the injection point, stains your fingers and clothes, and does nothing to provide nutrients or hydration to your moth orchid.
For a gift, they are fascinating. They make the person stand in awe of the giver, because such amazing blue tones are fascinating. Yet, they don’t last. The next bloom, (if they survive the first after the ink is injected) will grow back white.
Your fascination has crumbled to the floor. The disappointment of seeing that this blue orchid is nothing more than a white orchid with a mask.
Wow…This could describe so many people I know… Oh, sorry… I’m deviating.
Anyway, the blue orchid is seen as a rarity, but I’d personally stay away from it. There is nothing worse than waiting a whole year for your moth orchid to bloom again and find out it’s white—not blue. That kind of disappointment hurts worse than bad relationships.
The traditional meaning behind the blue moth orchids is of a deep spirituality and profound meaning. It’s more for a person who is more introspective, and analyzes things.
If you close your eyes and think of meditation images, you’ll notice they almost always have the color blue in them. Even though this doesn’t have a clear explanation of why this happens, some people say it’s because the clouds and water bring peace. The color blue brings a calmness to us, that nature reflects in peaceful environments. This is not proven, of course, but I like the theory.
If you are considering getting a blue orchid as a gift, it would be advisable to warn the person that the orchid will grow back into a white orchid. This will eliminate the disappointment and can be done in a way that brings expectation: what will my orchid look like next year?
Red Moth Orchids: The Color of Love and Passion
“Bars & Stripes” by Shaun@KL is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Red has always been associated with love:
Everything seems to turn around red.
Red Phalaenopsis are a little harder to find, since most red moth orchids will be in the miniature version of the plant.
Red moth orchids in this sense, will lose their passion, virility, boldness and strength, since they are miniatures. They will express a deeper love, more delicate, but still strong. The red mini Phalaenopsis are not harder to care for, but will need to have some knowledge of watering and lighting, since they’ll tend to dry out more if mounted on slabs and driftwood.
Love is still the meaning of any red flowers, be it a moth orchid or not. Yet if you’re going for a strong, sexy, powerful meaning, then I’d pass on this one. Unless you can find a big open flower in a normal Phal size. Then you’re right on track!
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No matter what color of moth orchid you’ll get, you’ll need to know how to care for it and what is essential for watering, lighting, fertilizer and much more. Check out this article, which is a complete beginner’s guide to cultivating Phalaenopsis, to know more about this wonderful orchid.