Latin name:
tropical Asia, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Malaya, Philippines, Australia.

The genus Phaius includes 50 species of ground orchids with large rhizomatous shoots, folded leaves, flowers with free petals and sepals, and a short spur. Almost all representatives of this genus are easily cultivated.

The most well - known species in the culture is the tankervilleae Phaius (P. tankervilleae), a rather large terrestrial plant that grows in moist places, on mountain slopes closed from the sun, in river valleys, near streams. This orchid first bloomed in 1778 in England, and since then and to this day it is grown with pleasure as a beautiful ornamental plant. For the special color of the flowers with brown inner and white outer sides of the petals and sepals, this Phaius was called the nun orchid. Pseudobulbs of this species (especially in natural habitats) sometimes reach gigantic sizes and they weigh at least 400-500 g. The leaves are oval-oblong, pointed at the end, folded, thin, about 50 cm long. Peduncles are erect, rather thick, up to 1 m or more in height, and develop about a dozen flowers 8 cm in diameter. The lip is three-lobed, 3 cm long, yellow at the base and white on the anterior lobe. The lateral lobes of the lip are reddish in color. Blooms from December to May or in autumn. Flowering of one inflorescence lasts about 2 months.

Phaius yellow (P. flavus) is famous for its remarkable spotted leaves and bright yellow flowers.


Phaiuses are grown in rooms, winter gardens, greenhouses. In hot climates in summer, they can be put outside, always protected from direct sunlight and protected from pests. The substrate for potting culture should be loose, breathable, but at the same time sufficiently fertile. As a substrate, you can use ground mixtures for indoor plants or lighter mixtures based on bark with various organic additives (leaves, sphagnum moss, peat). You can add some of the weathered dry manure Phaiuses respond well to weekly top dressing balanced liquid mineral fertilizers in the spring and summer period. The solution concentration is 0.2 %.


With prolonged flowering, any damage to the flower appears too clearly - the marks and wounds turn blue-gray. To preserve the decorative nature of the flowers, it is recommended not to disturb the plant during flowering - do not rearrange it, and also refrain from spraying the flowers. To make flowering last longer, wilting flowers are removed daily.


In the annual cycle of Phaius, there is a period of relative rest (late winter-early spring), during which watering should be slightly reduced. Resume watering only after the roots of young shoots start to grow. During active growth, plants are watered abundantly, completely soaking the earthen lump, but not allowing the roots to get wet. For irrigation, it is better to use soft sedimented or rainwater.


Transplanting is carried out every 2-3 years or when the roots do not have enough space in the pot.


Propagate by dividing the bush, carefully dividing it into several planting units with 3-5 shoots. Rootless shoots can be planted in fresh sphagnum moss and sprayed regularly. After a few months, dormant daughter buds may awaken on these shoots, capable of further development.


Light-loving plants, need bright diffused illumination (10,000-20,000 lux), do not tolerate direct sunlight.


It needs moderate (in winter during the day 16-18 °C, at night 14-16 °C) or cold (in winter during the day 14-16 °C, at night 10-12 °C) maintenance.

Diseases and pests

Sometimes aphids settle on the inflorescences of Phaiuses, which multiply quickly and suck out the juice, weakening the plants, causing a delay in growth and development, as well as rapid wilting of flowers and falling buds. In addition, aphids secrete sugary substances on which the sooty fungus settles. To control this pest, decoctions and tinctures from different parts of insecticidal plants, such as potato and tomato tops, citrus peel, pharmacy chamomile flowers, yarrow, are suitable. Root rot (fusariasis) is also dangerous. To avoid additional rot, the leaf rosettes after watering should not be filled with water. water accumulates.


Phaiuses and their hybrids can be found in flower shops, sometimes in gardening centers. They are sold as adult flowering plants or as seedlings of the second or third year of life. Seeds do not normally propagate.

Care summary

Cultivation medium difficulty
Watering plentiful in summer, moderate in winter
Transplanting in spring
Appearance maintenance remove damaged flowers
Location well-lit, but not in direct sun
Temperature minimum 14-16 °C
Flowering time winter, spring, autumn
Height 40-100 cm depending on the type


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