Fall Care for Orchids

What You Need to Know to Care for Your Orchids this Autumn

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Fall care for orchids

Checklist: Fall Care for Orchids

As summer winds down and we prepare for winter, fall care for orchids is essential to growing healthy orchids. This article provides a checklist of things to do this autumn to getting your orchids ready for winter.

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Prepare Your Indoor Orchid-Growing Space

Prepare your indoor space by cleaning your orchid growing area by washing the windows to fully take advantage of natural sunlight. As a precaution against disease, disinfect the growing area. If you grow under lights, autumn is a good time to change out your lights. Check timers, alarms and any other automated systems you have in place.

TIP: If you grow your orchids under lights, every month until the spring equinox, turn the timer to your light so that your orchids receive one hour less of light.

Bring Orchids Indoors

If you have been caring for your orchids outdoors, now – before temperatures begin falling below 55°F /13°C. This is a good time to bring your orchids back inside where they will be safe from frost.

Check for Pests and Disease

Take a few minutes to give each orchid a thorough inspection. Look for pest damage to leaves and roots. Check for any signs of infection. Some key indicators are leaf damage, color variation of leaves and flowers, and bad odors. If you suspect signs of pests or disease, click here to learn more. 

Do Not Re-Pot in the Fall

For many orchids, spring, not fall is the best time to pot orchids. In the spring new roots are emerging making it the ideal time to pot orchids. However, in the fall orchids are preparing for a winter rest. Some orchids even go completely dormant. Unless it is an emergency, wait until spring to pot your orchid.

Be Mindful of Winter Care Adjustments

Though it is not yet winter, be aware that some orchids go dormant during winter months. These orchids will not require fertilizer and very little to no water. Other orchids, that are not actively growing – they are not putting out new roots, leaves or flowers – will experience about a 20-30% decrease in their water and fertilizer needs. Also, some orchids need cool temperatures during the winter  such as Dendrobium nobile, for instance.

Checklist – Fall Care for Orchids

  • Cleanup your indoor orchid-growing space.
  • Bring your orchids indoors when temperatures approach 55°F /13°C.
  • Check for pests and disease.
  • Barring emergencies, wait to pot your orchids until spring.
  • Be aware of upcoming winter care changes for your orchids.

Related Articles

Winter Care for Orchids

Baby, It's Cold Outside: What to Do for Healthy, Blooming Orchids


Spring Care for Orchids (with an Essential Health Check)

Spring Cleaning for Your Orchids


Summer Care for Orchids

For Orchids that Perform

  1. Beryl Haygood says:

    I’m not happy my orchids hasn’t bloom any flowers for about two years. What I am doing wrong. I water them once a week, fertilizer them once a month, they by the east window they are getting the sun light from the west side. So why aren’t blooming? One of my orchids has a lot of roots growing to? Is that normal and ok it’s growing a lot of roots on each of the leaf? Do you want me to send you a picture what it looks? Can you send me a private response? Thank you Beryl Haygood

    1. Anna says:

      It is frustrating when we are doing everything we know to care for our orchids, and still, they do not bloom. Here is a link to some helpful pots on how to re-bloom orchids. Usually, it is a matter of light, temperature, and bloom cycle.

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the ONE email you'll open every week

Saturday mornings I send out an exclusive email sharing my best tips on how to grow healthy orchids.