Easy orchids

Simple steps to getting graceful Phalaenopsis to rebloom year after year
Jim McCausland

Arranged along stems like so many exotic butterflies, Phalaenopsis flowers look almost too perfect to be real. But if you've never grown orchids before, you may wonder: Can you grow these hothouse beauties without a greenhouse? And can you get them to rebloom easily?

Happily, the answer to both questions is yes. Moth orchids can bloom year after year in pots on windowsills; household temperatures suit them fine. Flowers come in white, pink, and other colors. Some have spots, stripes, or weblike patterns; all are gorgeous.

Moth orchids are sold in 4-inch pots for $15 to $75 each. Choose a plant with at least two pairs of leaves whose flowers are just starting to open. Display in bright, indirect light (an east window is usually perfect) out of drafts.