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25 Ways to Care for Your Odontoglossum Orchids

Odontoglossum Orchids is a stunning plant with a unique appearance that makes an excellent choice for indoor gardeners.

In this comprehensive care guide, we’ll go through the hows, whys, and whens of everything your Odontoglossum Orchids require to grow healthy.

Read on to know where you can buy this Odontoglossum, its impressive attributes, and common pitfalls to avoid.

What Is Odontoglossum Orchids?

The Odontoglossum Orchids are widely known for their striking flowers. It has a linear, strap, or lanceolate-shaped and rich green-colored leaves.

It is also called Butterfly Orchids, Odontoglossum, and Odm. Orchids, which are from the Orchidaceae family.

This Odontoglossum would survive outdoors in hardiness zones 10-12.

Origin And Family

The Butterfly Orchids come from the Odontoglossum genus, which belongs to the Orchidaceae family. This plant is originally from Central and South American mountain regions to Guyana. Recently, it has become a well-liked houseplant that is typically moderately easy to care for.

Discovered in 1816 by Karl Sigismund Kunth, this stunning plant makes a great addition to any indoor grower’s collection. It produces significant large red, orange, yellow, pink, white, and often heavily marked or spotted flowers from late winter to late spring.

Photo credits from

Where To Buy

The Odontoglossum Orchids is a beautiful addition to any plant lover’s collection and can be purchased online from Etsy. We usually get excellent plant options and deals there too!

Depending on the species, you can buy Odontoglossum hybrids, but the price usually ranges between $30 to $100.

Odontoglossum Orchids Plant Size

Indoors, the Odontoglossum Orchids reach a height of 15 inches. This Odontoglossum grows slowly and beautifully thrives when placed near an east or west-facing window.

Odontoglossum Orchids Care Needs

Like any other houseplant, your Odontoglossum Orchids will thrive when adequately cared for. With its striking flowers, this plant adores cold and wants relatively moist soil throughout the year.

For most growers, you should water your Odontoglossum when the potting medium is just about to dry. Allow ample time for the water to run through the drainage hole in the pot. This popular plant requires bright indirect light to grow.

Read our elaborate care guide below for more specific advice!

Toxic To Pets? Care Specifics
Botanical Name Odontoglossum Orchids
Common Name Butterfly Orchids, Odontoglossum, Odm. Orchids
Plant Family Orchidaceae
Origin Central and South America to Guyana
Plant Type perennial
Leaf Shape linear, stap, or lanceolate
Leaf Color rich green
Recommended Home Placement near an east or west-facing window
Growth Rate slow
Light bright indirect light
Soil houseplant compost and orchid bark
When To Water Water when the potting medium is just about to dry.
When To Fertilize every other week during growing season
Preferred pH ?MISSING?
Humidity Range 40%-80%
Toxic To Pets? No
Common Pests & Diseases spider mites, brown tips, white flied, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Care Difficulty

The Odontoglossum is often regarded as moderately easy to care for. If you are serious about effectively growing this plant, ensure it gets the proper amount of light and water.

Growth Rate

The Odm. Orchids plant measures 15 inches in height when grown in indoor conditions. The warmth of spring and summer accelerates this plant’s development.

Odontoglossum species grow at a slow speed, including the orchids.


This stunning plant has adjusted well to indoor living and can thrive in almost any type of potting material. For most growers, terracotta planters will work best for Butterfly Orchids.

For sizing, you’d typically need to use a large pot size for most plants. As long as your pot has drainage holes at the bottom, your plant should be generally safe against root rot.


Moving your Odontoglossum Orchids into a bigger pot allows more space for their roots to expand. You will typically know it’s time to repot after the plant has bloomed.

You’d typically want to repot this stunning plant every year or two. When filling up the new pot, it is a good idea to replace old nutrient-deficient soil with a fresh batch of houseplant compost and orchid bark.

I recommend “underpotting” these plants, meaning when repotting, leave only enough room for one to two years worth of new growth. Underpotting, in a way, forces you to provide a more frequent watering these plants need because the smaller pots dry faster and more evenly. Keep the humidity high and the pot dry until new roots form.

Potting Medium

The Odontoglossum is a moderately easy-to-care-for plant that needs houseplant compost, fine fir bark, or orchid bark to stay healthy.

Your Odontoglossum will appreciate the potting medium being kept relatively moist. Nonetheless, aeration and drainage are necessary for all soil types.

Here are some potting mixes we recommend:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $13.37 ($0.03 / Ounce)
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture 8-Quart Black Gold 1310102 Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $16.28 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix,...image Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, Potting Soil for Outdoor and Indoor Plants, Enriched with Plant Food, 2 cu. ft. $34.26
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quarts | The Hydroponic City Stake $23.99 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)


Your Butterfly Orchids will want the soil to stay relatively moist in between watering schedules. Feel the orchid bark with your finger and check when the potting medium is about to dry. If this is the case, soak your plant fully until water runs out of the pot’s bottom.

Overwatering is one of the most recurrent causes of indoor plant death. When in doubt, it’s usually better to underwater rather than overwater your Butterfly Orchids. Use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes to ensure your plant’s roots aren’t drowned.


Odontoglossum Orchids want to be in bright indirect light. Keep in mind that Butterfly Orchids love the ideal conditions in their natural environment. Occasionally, keeping this plant near an east or west-facing window to get just enough light works fine.

When its leaves turn reddish green, you’ll know your Odontoglossum Orchids need less light. Conversely, this stunning plant needs more light if its leaves turn dark green. Avoid putting your Odontoglossum Orchids in direct sunlight, as this could seriously damage or even kill them.


Plants, like humans, require more food when they’re actively developing because they use a lot of energy. For the Odontoglossum, this growth spurt usually happens in spring and summer. During this time, you can apply an orchid fertilizer every other week.

Propagating Odontoglossum Orchids

If your Odontoglossum Orchids have grown too tall, you can cut the stem down and save the cuttings for propagation! Below are step-by-step instructions for numerous propagation methods.


Odm. Orchids can be propagated through a process called division. This method is typically used for vegetables with different bulbs, tubers, stolons, rhizomes, and suckers; it can also be used for houseplants with stems that grow in clumps.

1. Dig up. Take the plant out of its pot. Remember to wear gardening gloves when handling plants and soil.

2. Separate. You should be able to see where the roots and stems spontaneously separated. Gently pull them apart with your fingers. Cut the roots where the sections connect.

3. Repot. Put each section in new pots filled with the same soil they’re used to.

Keiki Cuttings

Another propagation method for orchid plants is the Keiki method. Keikis are small offsets that develop along the mother plant’s flower stalks on various non-flowering nodes.

1. Dig up. Take the plant out of its pot when the Keiki’s roots are about 3cm long. When working with plants and dirt, always wear gardening gloves.

2. Separate. You should be able to identify where the roots and stems parted on their own. Pull them apart gently with your fingertips. Keep a tiny bit of stem with the roots where the parts join. Cut the roots where the sections connect, keeping a small section of stem with it.

3. Repot. Plant each cutting in new pots filled with fresh bark and the same potting medium they’re used to but ensure not to use the old mix used before.

Humidity And Aeration

Odontoglossum Orchids is a popular plant that loves moderate to high humidity. Keep the ideal humidity level between 40%-80% at all times.

Use a simple hygrometer to examine the air moisture level in your Odontoglossum Orchids’ area. If the reading is too low, you can raise the humidity through these methods:

• Because plants produce moisture from their leaves through transpiration, keeping houseplants close together will help them.

• Underneath your plant’s pot, set a flat tray of stones and water. The plant receives some sustenance from the evaporating water.

• Invest in a humidifier for your plants. This device will continually emit steam and raises the humidity in the room.


Like most Odontoglossum plants, your Odm. Orchids will do best in a cool location. Keep the temperature between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Houseplants can be sensitive to drastic temperature shifts, so ensure you keep your Odm. Orchids away from sources of heat like hand dryers or other appliances, vents, and furnaces. Similarly, don’t expose your plant to cold drafts and frost spells during the winter. Ensure there’s good air movement and as much ventilation in the immediate vicinity of the plant.


Albeit rarely, the Butterfly Orchids are capable of producing flowers that are significant and red, orange, yellow, pink, and white, and often heavily marked or spotted. In optimum conditions, this plant blooms from late winter to late spring.


Children and dogs are not harmed by Odontoglossum orchid plants. According to the ASPCA, it will not harm dogs or cats if ingested, and there are no poisonous ingredients in the plant.

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Are your Odontoglossum Orchids looking ill? Most would say this plant is immune to pests, diseases, and widespread problems.

In the following sections, I’ve provided the recurrent issues that affect this popular plant. Use these guidelines to help diagnose and treat your Odontoglossum.

Spider Mites

Unfortunately, spider mites are pretty widespread, and Odm. Orchids are particularly vulnerable. Spider mite damage will look like tiny brown or yellow patches on the plant’s leaves. Fine silk webbing might also appear when the infestation is severe.

Start by spraying down your Odm. Orchids with water from a sink nozzle or a pressure sprayer. This dislodges the spider mites from the plant. If the first method fails, an organic pyrethrin spray will serve you well.

If you desire a more organic approach, releasing ladybugs in your indoor growing space can aid in reducing spider mite populations. There’s also a beetle known as the “Spider Mite Destroyer,” which may be challenging to acquire, but the name speaks for itself!

White Flies

Whiteflies are triangular bugs that are grayish-white and flutter around like small moths. By feeding on the sap of your Butterfly Orchids, they can inflict considerable leaf damage.

Whiteflies and their eggs may be vacuumed away, but make sure to empty the bag outdoors before the pests spread.

Spray the leaves with insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or neem oil if there is a significant infestation. These materials will cover the eggs, larvae, and adults, causing them to suffocate. As needed, reapply the specified therapy.

Scale Insects

Scale insects can take the form of lumps on the stems or leaves of your Odontoglossum Orchids. Once they’ve hooked onto a plant, these small bugs, which might be green, gray, brown, or black, typically remain stationary.

If the infestation isn’t too severe, you may keep scale insects at bay by liberally spraying the plant with a teaspoon of neem oil diluted in four glasses of water in a spray bottle.

Neem oil and horticultural oils may still not kill the bugs, but they will surely harm them. Several pesticide sprays for scales are deemed safe for use indoors.


Aphids are little insects that feed on your Odontoglossum sap. Some aphids are crawlers, while others are airborne. They can be brown, black, green, red, white, and a variety of other colors.

Inspect for aphids on the undersides of leaves, on unfurling shoots, and on fragile regions of the stem. If you come across these insects (which are generally in a group), take immediate action before they spread to other houseplants!

The first step is to cover the soil with a plastic bag. Then, using soap and water, thoroughly clean your plant. You may even use a sponge to ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned. After cleaning, keep your plant in a shady area with sufficient ventilation so that the soap does not burn the leaves.

If the aphids come back, spray your Odontoglossum with neem oil, horticultural oil, or rubbing alcohol. Remember to dilute these products first.


Mealybugs may infest your Odm. Orchids. These little parasites damage your Odontoglossum by inserting a feeding tube into the plant tissues and sucking on the sap. They can eventually weaken or even kill your plant.

Soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol to remove them, then use its tip to remove each mealybug manually. Neem oil can also be sprayed on the leaves to suffocate these bugs.

Brown Leaf Tips

If you notice browning tips on your butterfly orchids’ leaves, you might need to double-check on several factors.

Check if the humidity level in your home is not too weak. If the sunlight is too harsh on your plant, use drapes to block it off. Avoid using too much fertilizer. Let the water flow through the potting medium for several minutes to flush out excess minerals and salts.

Drooping Leaves

The leaves of your Odontoglossum Orchids might start to droop if it’s not getting the proper moisture and light needed. Browse through our Water and Light sections above to learn about the best ways to care for your plant.

Low humidity can also create drooping leaves, so check the humidity levels in your location and make sure they meet your plant’s needs.

Yellow Leaves

If you notice that the leaves of your Odontoglossum are turning yellow, you will need to trace any recent adjustments in your usual care practices or the weather.

Overwatering, under-watering, over-fertilizing, under-fertilizing, too much light, lack of light, root damage, temperature swings, and pests can cause yellowing leaves.

Root Rot

Root rot is a significant threat to Odm. Orchids. Indoor gardeners frequently overwater their plants or fail to provide enough drainage. Rotting roots appear black and mushy, leading to a plant’s decline and eventual death. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

Regulating water input is the simplest method for preventing root rot. Extend the time between waterings, especially if your plant doesn’t get enough sunlight or breeze to dry the soil. Also, remember to drill holes at the bottom of your pot for the water to drain!

Soil aeration is just as vital in preventing root rot. If your soil has a tendency to clump and get soggy, add chunky and airy materials such as perlite, pumice, orchid bark, river sand, horticultural coal, coco chunks, and many others.

Similar Plants

Love Butterfly Orchids? Below are some other similar plant options you should try:

Moth Orchids – Moth Orchids are sought-after by many plant collectors because of their unique attributes that make any indoor garden stand out. It’s a tropical and easy-to-care-for plant, so even if you’re just starting, you deserve to have this plant in your indoor garden.

Cattleya Orchids – Bring color to your indoor garden with the vibrant flowers of this stunning plant. It’s the orchid for all occasions, as it’s used as a corsage for informal and formal events.


The Odontoglossum Orchids, with their striking flowers, are the perfect addition to any plant lover’s collection.

We hope you’ve learned some useful suggestions from us to successfully grow your Odontoglossum Orchids, whether you’re a new indoor gardener or a long-time hobbyist studying more about this particular plant.

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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