Phalaenopsis are monopodial plants. It produces a single stem formed by the alternation of the nested leaves in each other. The latter are usually quite broad oblong in shape, with a rounded end, rather thick. The plant produces an abundance of fleshy, whitish roots. The size varies greatly from species to species, ranging from only a few centimetres for Phalaenopsis appendiculata to almost a metre long for Phalaenopsis gigantea.
Paraphalaenopsis is a small genus consisting of four species and a natural hybrid, all originating in Borneo. They are cylindrical leaf plants that love heat and light. They are close to the Phalaenopsis and differ by their hollow leaves, but require a little more light than the latter.