Orchids are among the most beautiful and popular houseplants, but they can also be quite tricky to care for. Orchids have a natural cycle of dormancy and flowering, which means that they will not produce blooms all year round. However, with some proper care and attention, you can encourage your orchids to rebloom and enjoy their stunning flowers for longer. In this article, I will show you how to make orchids bloom in six easy steps, as well as some tips and tricks to enhance their flowering.
How to Make Orchids Bloom?
Step 1: Cut the old stem
How to Make Orchids Bloom? The first thing you need to do when your orchid stops blooming is to cut the old stem, or spike, that produced the flowers. This will help the plant to focus its energy on producing new growth and blooms. Depending on the type of orchid you have, you may need to cut the stem differently. For most orchids, such as cattleyas, dendrobiums, and oncidiums, you should cut the stem all the way to the base of the plant, as they will not rebloom from the same stem. For phalaenopsis orchids, or moth orchids, you can cut the stem just above the first or second node, or bulge, from the base, as they may produce new buds from the same stem. You can also cut the stem completely if you want to encourage the plant to grow a new stem. Make sure you use a sharp and sterile pair of scissors or a knife to make a clean cut at a 45-degree angle. You can also apply some cinnamon or fungicide to the cut to prevent infection.
Step 2: Provide enough light
Light is one of the most important factors for orchid flowering. Orchids need bright but indirect light to produce blooms, as direct sunlight can burn their leaves and damage their flowers. The best place to put your orchid is near a window that receives morning or afternoon sun, but not midday sun. You can also use artificial lights, such as fluorescent or LED lamps, to supplement the natural light. The ideal duration of light for orchids is about 12 to 14 hours per day, depending on the season and the type of orchid. You can use a timer to regulate the light cycle for your orchid. To check if your orchid is getting enough light, you can look at the color of its leaves. Healthy orchid leaves should be light or medium green, not dark green or yellow. If your orchid leaves are too dark, it means that they are not getting enough light and will not bloom. If your orchid leaves are too yellow, it means that they are getting too much light and may be sunburned.
Step 3: Water and fertilize correctly
Proper watering and fertilization play crucial roles in nurturing orchids for both their well-being and the blossoming of flowers. Orchids require consistent but not overly frequent watering, as they dislike being in overly damp soil. Excessive watering may lead to root rot and fungal infections, jeopardizing the orchid’s health. Conversely, insufficient watering causes dehydration and wilting, negatively impacting the flowering process. To efficiently water your orchid, immerse it in lukewarm water for around 15 to 20 minutes within a sink or bucket, ensuring complete drainage afterward. Alternatively, employing a spray bottle or watering can is suitable, but avoid dousing the leaves or the plant’s crown to prevent potential rot. For an in-depth understanding of effective methods to encourage orchid blooms, explore the comprehensive guidance provided in “How to Make Orchids Bloom.”
You should water your orchid once a week in the summer and once every two weeks in the winter, or whenever the potting medium feels dry to the touch. You can also use a wooden skewer or your finger to test the moisture level of the potting medium. Fertilizing your orchid is also important to provide it with the nutrients it needs to grow and bloom. You should use a balanced orchid fertilizer, such as 20-20-20, or a bloom booster fertilizer, such as 10-30-20, to feed your orchid.
You can apply the fertilizer once a month in the summer and once every two months in the winter, or follow the instructions on the label. You should dilute the fertilizer to half or a quarter of the recommended strength, as orchids are sensitive to salt buildup. You should also water your orchid before fertilizing, to avoid burning the roots.
Step 4: Repot when necessary
Repotting your orchid is another way to improve its health and flowering. Orchids need to be repotted every one to two years, or when the potting medium becomes too compacted, decomposed, or infested with pests or diseases. Repotting your orchid will provide it with fresh and airy potting medium, which will improve its root growth and water drainage. You should repot your orchid after it finishes blooming, or in the spring or summer, when it is actively growing. To repot your orchid, you will need a new pot that is slightly larger than the old one, a sterile pair of scissors or a knife, and a suitable potting medium for your type of orchid. The most common potting medium for orchids is bark, which provides good aeration and drainage. You can also use sphagnum moss, perlite, charcoal, coconut husk, or a mix of these materials. To repot your orchid, you should follow these steps:
- Remove the orchid from the old pot and gently shake off the old potting medium from the roots. You can also soak the roots in water to loosen the potting medium.
- Trim off any dead, rotten, or damaged roots with the scissors or the knife. You can also trim off any old or dried stems or leaves. You should leave about two-thirds of the healthy roots intact.
- Fill the new pot with some fresh potting medium and make a hole in the center. Place the orchid in the pot and spread the roots evenly. Add more potting medium around the roots and press it lightly. Make sure the orchid is stable and the base of the stem is slightly above the potting medium.
- Water the orchid thoroughly and let it drain. Do not fertilize the orchid for a few weeks after repotting, to allow it to adjust to the new potting medium.
Step 5: Control the temperature
Temperature is another factor that affects orchid flowering. Orchids need a certain range of temperature to grow and bloom, depending on their type and origin. Most orchids are tropical or subtropical plants, which means that they prefer warm and humid conditions. However, some orchids are temperate or cold-tolerant plants, which means that they can tolerate cooler and drier conditions. The ideal temperature range for most orchids is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15 and 27 degrees Celsius), with a difference of about 10 degrees between day and night. Orchids need this temperature difference to trigger their flowering, as it mimics their natural environment. You can use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of your orchid’s location, and adjust it accordingly. You can also use a humidifier, a misting bottle, or a tray of pebbles and water to increase the humidity around your orchid, as orchids like a humidity level of about 50 to 70 percent. You should avoid placing your orchid near sources of heat or cold, such as radiators, air conditioners, or drafty windows, as these can cause temperature fluctuations and stress your orchid.
Step 6: Be patient and enjoy
The last step to make your orchid bloom is to be patient and enjoy your plant. Orchids have different blooming cycles, depending on their type and variety. Some orchids may bloom once a year, while others may bloom twice or more. Some orchids may bloom for a few weeks, while others may bloom for a few months. You should not expect your orchid to bloom all the time, as this is not natural for them. You should respect your orchid’s dormancy period, which is necessary for them to rest and prepare for the next blooming cycle. You should also not force your orchid to bloom by using artificial methods, such as hormones, chemicals, or stress, as these can harm your orchid in the long run. You should enjoy your orchid as it is, whether it is blooming or not, and appreciate its beauty and uniqueness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about How to Make Orchids Bloom that people ask about how to make orchids bloom, and their answers.
How long does it take for an orchid to rebloom?
The time it takes for an orchid to rebloom depends on several factors, such as the type of orchid, the care it receives, and the environmental conditions. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year for an orchid to rebloom, depending on the orchid’s natural blooming cycle. Some orchids, such as phalaenopsis, can rebloom faster than others, such as cymbidiums. You can check the label of your orchid or do some research online to find out more about your orchid’s blooming cycle.
How do I make my orchid bloom more?
There are some things you can do to make your orchid bloom more, such as:
- Providing enough light, water, fertilizer, and temperature for your orchid, as explained in the previous steps.
- Pruning your orchid regularly, by removing any dead or diseased stems, leaves, roots, or flowers. This will prevent infection and promote new growth and blooming.
- Repotting your orchid when necessary, by using a fresh and suitable potting medium and a slightly larger pot. This will improve the root health and the water drainage of your orchid.
- Providing some stress to your orchid, by exposing it to a lower temperature at night, reducing the water and fertilizer, or moving it to a different location. This will mimic the natural conditions that trigger orchid flowering in the wild. However, you should not overdo this, as too much stress can harm your orchid.
- Using some natural remedies, such as apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, or banana peel, to stimulate your orchid’s blooming. These substances contain hormones or nutrients that can boost your orchid’s flowering. However, you should use them sparingly and carefully, as they can also cause damage or infection if applied incorrectly.