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recommended reblooming tools

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Flowers are the end goal of growing orchids. To that end, there are 2 basic things that your orchids need to bloom: proper light and proper temperature. And, of course, judicious use of fertilizer always helps.

I’m going to share with you the tools I use to re-bloom my orchids. It consists of:

  • Artificial lights. If my orchids don’t get enough light to bloom through my windowsill, I supplement natural light with artificial light. I use both fluorescents and LED light – both available on Amazon.com.
  • A timer is a must. This way to don’t have to remember to turn the lights off and on. This way you can leave town and your orchid lights will continue on without you.
  • I use a seed mat, available on Amazon.com, for warm-growing orchids that don’t the cool winter temperatures in my orchid room.
  • I also keep a humidistat, available on Amazon.com, that tracks humidity as well as temperature.
  • Fertilizing orchids encourages bigger, more abundant flowers.

That’s it – that’s those are the tools I use to successfully bloom my orchids. Along with these tools, the real trick is to choose orchids with temperature requirements you can easily accommodate. While providing more light is pretty straightforward, changing the temperature of your home just for your orchids is not.

Recommended Setup for Blooming Orchids

Light is the #1 reason for failure to bloom. When it comes to light I don’t have an either-or mentality. I use both fluorescent and LED light, in addition to natural light. With these lights, I successfully bloom everything from Phalaenopsis to Cattleya orchids.

Pro Light System

There are two things I really like about the fluorescent Pro Light System I use. First, the lights don’t get too hot, so you don’t have to worry about burning your orchids. Second, you can adjust the lights to the height of your orchids. Since Phalaenopsis are a low-light and Cattleyas are a high-light orchid, you can lower the lights for Cattleyas and bring the lights up higher for Phalaenopsis.

In addition to the height of the lights, keep in mind that the center of the bulb has the strongest light. So place orchids with higher light requirements in the center and those with lower light requirements on the edges.

Even though fluorescent lights stay cool compared to incandescent bulbs they are warmer than LED lights. If your orchids need warmer temperatures, fluorescents will put off a bit more heat.

LED Grow Lights

Here’s why I like my LED bulbs. The LED lights I use have a dual head with adjustable goosenecks making it easy to place the light where ever is most convenient. The lights are also dimmable and have a clip on the ends. LED bulbs last longer than fluorescent bulbs (replace fluorescent bulbs yearly).

Once your orchids are in bloom, you can move them from the lights to a location where you can enjoy the flowers.

Timer

If you don’t want to have to remember to turn your orchid lights off and on at exactly the right time, a timer will do the job for you. The timer I use has a pin dial so you just have to press the toggle pins down for ON, or keep them up for OFF. I like it because it is simple to change the time. If you want to add or subtract time, based on the season, it is easy to do with this timer.

Seed Mat

Temperature is key to reblooming orchids. Often we talk about light so much that we forget the importance of temperature. Orchids know what season it is – when to bloom, grow and rest – based on temperature. The truth is, BOTH light and temperature are vital to successfully blooming orchids.

A seed mat is a much simpler solution than using a space heater or turning up the heat for your entire house.

This mat will raise the ambient air temperature by 10° to 20° F /(-12.2° to -6.6° C).

Not only can you use a seed mat to help you bloom orchids, but you can also use it after potting orchids as the warmth created by the seed mat stimulates root growth and helps the orchid to recuperate faster from the trauma of potting.

For me, the seed mat makes it possible for me to grow both warm and intermediate growing orchids in the same location. In the winter it gets down to around 55°F / 13°C in the room where I grow my orchids, so I place my warm-growing orchids on the seed mat and leave the intermediate growers to enjoy the cool winter temperatures. It works like a dream!

Humidistat

Like the timer, a humidistat is a tool of convenience. I bought this humidistat on Amazon.com so that I could track my orchids’ humidity levels. It’s also helpful that the humidistat also tracks temperature. You can adjust the humidistat to display the temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. It also shows temperature and humidity highs and lows over the past 24 hours. I love this tool so much that I have two them, placed in two different locations, in the same room. I know that might be overkill, but I’m nerdy that way.

Fertilizer

Dyna-Gro Fertilizer

The judicious use of fertilizer will help you to grow stunningly beautiful orchids. Fertilizers will enhance your orchids in every way including blooming, root systems and leaves, fight off disease and overall health.

When choosing a fertilizer for orchids, it is important to select one that is urea-free. Urea uses soil to change urea into a usable form of nitrogen. As orchids do not use soil in the traditional sense, urea-based fertilizers do not provide orchids with nitrogen – though the urea does not harm the orchid.

Dyna-Gro is the fertilizer that I personally use and recommend for successfully blooming orchids.

Note: There are a couple of times when you should take a break from fertilizer. First, when buds begin to grow. Buds are the most tender part of the plant and fertilizer can cause the buds to wither. Begin using fertilizer after the flowers have dropped. Second, if your orchid needs a winter rest, stop fertilizing. During active growth, or when new roots and leaves are growing, is the most important time to fertilize.