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20 Tips to ReBloom Orchids – A Tried and True Guide

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ReBloom Orchids

Over the past dozen years of growing – and blooming – orchids, I’ve learned a lot. In this post, I want to share with you 20 tips to help you rebloom orchids.

The key to rebloom orchids is to mimic their native climate. Specifically regarding temperature and light – but we will discuss other factors as well. By replicating your orchid’s natural growing conditions you’ll be able to rebloom a variety of orchids that fit within your growing environment.

If your orchid has lost its flowers and shows no signs of reblooming, you may be wondering: Do orchids bloom more than once? Happily, the answer is YES! Let’s learn how to rebloom your orchids.

Perfect-for-anyone-who-wants-to-re-bloom-their-orchids.png

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# 1 Sufficient Light = Flowering Orchids

Following nature’s light cycle is important to reblooming an orchid.  If the orchid is set in a window, particularly an east window, you won’t have to worry about making any adjustments–mother nature will take care of that. 

Light Duration –How long do my orchids receive light?

If you are growing orchids under lights, try mimicking the sun’s cycle.  Leave the lights on longer in the summer and shorter the winter.

One way to know if your orchid is getting enough light is to let leaf color be your guide. Leaf color is the best indicator of sufficient light. Dark green leaves imply not enough light. Medium to light green leaves points to sufficient light. 

Light Intensity – How strong is the light that my orchids receive?

Along with adjusting light duration, it is also important to make sure that your orchids receive the light intensity that they require to flower. Light intensity for orchids is commonly measured in foot candles (fc) and in lux. 

Check out this table of commonly cultivated orchids and their light intensity requirements.

Genus

Foot Candles

Lux

Brassia

2000 - 3000

21528 - 32292

Cattleya

2000 - 4000

21528 - 43055

Dendrobium

1500 - 5000

16146 - 53819

Paphiopedilum

1000 - 2000

10764 - 21528

Phalaenopsis

1000 - 1500

10764 - 16146

Vanda

4500-5000

48437 - 53819

Determining light intensity is as easy as downloading an app on your phone that measures the light. Next, use the app to measure the light. Then, if you find that your orchid lacks sufficient light, be willing to make a few adjustments.

Here are a few suggestions on how to add or subtract light.

  • Move the orchid to a different room in your house with more, or less, light.
  • Add a sheer curtain to a window if the light is too strong.
  • To add more light, supplement natural light with artificial LED or fluorescent light. CLICK HERE, to learn more about artificial light – specifically more about how to choose your lights for optimal light quality.

NOTE: If you decide that your orchid requires more light, slowly adjust your orchid to more light. Otherwise the orchid’s leaves will likely sunburn.

To learn more about light to rebloom your orchids, click here

light-for-reblooming-orchids.png

Providing your orchid with the right light is key to reblooming your orchid

# 2 The Right Temperature is Key to ReBlooming Orchids

Temperature is an important, yet often undervalued, consideration to rebloom orchids.  Most orchids will react to a temperature swing

For example, once a Phalaenopsis has finished blooming,  set it in a cool spot to trigger re-blooming–about 60°F/15.5°C, for about three-four weeks.  An easy way to accomplish this, if it’s not too cold outside, is to crack a window before going to bed, and closing it again in the morning.  This mimics their natural rainforest environment where temperatures cool down at night. 

Cymbidiums, in particular, need a drop in temperature to trigger reblooming. These are good plants to set outside for the summer and bring inside, to enjoy the flowers, in the winter. These plants can be kept outside until it gets down into the 40°sF/4.4°C.  It’s those lower temperatures that send the signal to re-bloom.

Orchids are most likely to bloom when grown in the temperature they prefer. Some orchids are considered warm growers, intermediate growers, or cool growers. Choose orchids that best suit your growing conditions. For most people, warm and intermediate growing conditions can be met in a typical home environment.

orchids-in-a-cool-spot-to-trigger-reblooming-orchids-rebloom.png

Temperature, especially during the winter, is crucial to rebloom orchids.

Warm Growers

Intermediate Growers

Cool Growers

65°-85° F/18.3° 24.9° C.
Winter lows between 65°-70°F/18°-21° C
Summer highs around 85° F/29° C

60º-80°F/15.5°-26.6°C
Winter lows of 58°-62°F/14.4°-16.6°C
Summer highs in low 80s°F/27° C

50° - 75° F / 10° - 23.9° C
Winter lows around 50°F/10°C
Summer highs around 80°F/26.6° C

TIP: For most of us, it’s the cool growers that are hard to get to rebloom as getting our homes that cool can be tricky.

# 3 Cutting the Flower Spike Prepares Orchids to Bloom Again

Most orchids bloom only once from each flower stalk – exceptions being Phragmipedium and Phalaenopsis orchids. Phragmipedium can bloom for several months off the same stalk. Phalaenopsis flower stalks can continue to grow and produce flowers.

In the case of Phragmipedium orchids, it is best to leave the flower stalk alone until the flower stalk stops producing buds. 

phragmipedium rebloom on same flower stalk

See the new flower bud growing on the same stalk as the mature flower.

Phalaenopsis, on the other hand, perform best if they are only allowed to produce their first flush of blooms and perhaps a few more. Then it is time to cut the flower stalk down to about 1-inch above the last node near the crown.

By cutting the flower stalk you give your Phalaenopsis time to recharge and build up energy to bloom again, rather than expending energy on smaller and smaller blooms.

Regarding the vast majority of other orchids that do not continue to produce flowers on the same flower stalk, it is best to use sterilized shears and trim off the stalk after the orchid has finished blooming. A cleaned up, well-groomed orchid gives pests fewer places to hide. 

# 4 Feed Your Orchid: Fertilizer

Switching from a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, to a fertilizer with higher phosphorus content, such as 3-12-6, will give your orchids an extra boost that will promote flowering

When buds begin to grow, hold off on fertilizer until all the flowers have opened. Waiting to fertilize will help protect the buds, as they are the most fragile part of the orchid plant. 

Likewise, if the orchid is dormant or resting, meaning the plant is not flowering, growing new leaves or roots, wait to fertilize. A resting period for the orchid is completely normal. Wait until new growth is observed, then begin fertilizing again. 

For more information, be sure to check out my post on fertilizing orchids. Just as fertilizing orchids will help them to rebloom, too much fertilizer will inhibit flowering, so be judicious in your use of fertilizer. Less is more.

use-fertilizer-to-encourage-orchids-to-rebloom.png

Feeding your orchids will give them essential nutrients to enhance blooming.

#5 Water as a Tool to ReBloom Orchids

It is crucial to avoid overwatering as it may result in not only a non-blooming orchid, but also to its eventual demise. When an orchid is dormant, use good judgment, don’t let the orchid completely dry out either. Water sparingly.

To learn more about how to water your orchids, click here.

# 6 Don’t Let Lack of Humidity Keep Your Orchid From Blooming

Orchids release oxygen and water through tiny openings in their leaves, called stomata. Through the stomata, orchids absorb carbon dioxide and water. This process is called transpiration – imagine it as plant breathing. If there is not enough water vapor, humidity, in the air the orchid will close its stomata. This is analogous to an orchid holding its breath. 

Humidity matters. For optimal health, there must be a balance between water vapor exchanged through the leaves.

Orchids that require high levels of humidity may lose their ability to bloom if humidity levels drop. 

To learn more about how to provide humidity for your orchids, CLICK HERE.

# 7 Immaturity: Give a Young Orchid a Chance to Grow Up

A young orchid may need time to grow up a bit before flowering. It takes a seedling between 2 and 4 years before it reaches maturity and will be able to flower. To avoid this scenario, before purchasing from a vendor, ask if the orchid has reached maturity. 

Young orchids are less costly than mature orchids. In fact, many orchid hobbyists purchase young orchids with the expectation that given time, the orchid will mature and bloom.

# 8 Time: Orchids Need Recovery Time Between Flowering

Flowering takes a lot of energy. When your orchid is not in bloom use this time as an opportunity to give it the care it needs. 

In particular, pay attention to light and temperature. Be sure your orchid has adequate light and make adjustments as necessary.

Another consideration is temperature. Be sure that if your orchid needs a cooling-off period to initiate blooming that you provide the needed temperature requirements.

Beyond light and temperature, water is also important. If the orchid is growing, more water, and even fertilizer, is needed, but if the orchid is resting, less frequent water accompanied by a break from fertilizer will help your orchid recover and build up strength to bloom again.

As noted below, learning your orchid’s growth cycle will help you know when to expect flowers, and when to expect a rest.

somtimes-it-just-takes-time-to-rebloom-an-orchid.png

# 9 Learning Your Orchid Growth Cycle Will Help You Determine When Your Orchid is Ready to Produce Flowers

The adage that good things come to those that wait is true when re-blooming orchids. It takes a month or two, or even several months for Phalaenopsis orchids to rebloom.  Many other varieties of orchids bloom annually. 

The anticipation and eventual reward of an emerging flower spike bedecked with tiny buds are so exciting.  Stopping to admire and examine the buds may become a happy habit.

Orchid Growth Cycle

There are 4 stages that orchids experience: leaf growth, flowering, root growth, and dormancy. Being able to identify these stages can help us provide better care of our orchids. For instance, during the dormant period, we can feel confident that leaving off with the fertilizer and watering sparingly is the correct action. 

Likewise, we will know that during the root and leaf growth period the orchid is still working. It is doing what it is supposed to do. Be patient with the knowledge that even if the orchid is not currently in flower, it is powering up to do so. It also helps to recognize that while Phalaenopsis orchids can re-bloom every few months, most others will bloom annually.

TIP: Not all orchids experience dormancy. Some orchids continue to grow year-round. 

To learn more about your orchid’s growth cycle, CLICK HERE.

# 10 Bad Genes Can Inhibit Orchids From ReBlooming

Sometimes you may just have a poor cultivar. This is something that is out of your control. The orchid will never bloom, even when you’re doing everything right. To avoid this problem, purchase award-winning cultivars, or buy plants already in bloom, or with buds. 

# 11 Jewel Orchids = Focus on Foliage

One workaround while waiting for your orchids to bloom is to grow jewel orchids. Unlike most orchids, these orchids are grown for the delicate leaf patterns rather than for their flowers. 

Before investing in these highly treasured orchids, find out if you can give them proper care.

BONUS: These are low-light orchids. For many of us, that’s good news! 

jewel orchid - ludisia - starter orchid

Jewel Orchid Care Requirements

These orchids enjoy high humidity – levels above 60%. If humidity is a problem, these orchids, fortunately, grow well in terrariums. This is interesting because most other orchids need constant air movement and languish in terrariums.

Just as these orchids require high humidity, they also like water. Do not let your jewel orchids dry out. Instead, keep the potting mix evenly moist.

Finally, the last consideration is temperature. These orchids prefer temperatures between 70°-85°F / 21°-29.4°C during the day and nighttime temperatures between 60°-68°F / 15.5°-20°C

# 12 Limit Orchid Variety

If it really is orchid flowers you are interested in, another option is to invest in a limited variety of orchids that bloom at different times.

I suggest a limited variety because you can spread yourself too thin by growing too many varieties of orchids. 

Tag Team Flowering

Many orchid enthusiasts specialize in just a few orchid varieties with similar growing conditions.

For example, phalaenopsis, paphiopedilum, and dendrobium phalaenopsis are easy to grow alongside each other and will result in extending blooming periods. 

Even growing the same genus of orchids can result in prolific blooming. By investing in several phalaenopsis orchids you can have several that take turns flowering. 

By the same token, some enthusiasts grow nothing but cattleyas. You can purchase cattleyas that bloom during different seasons.

# 13 Pests and Disease

Not only are pests and diseases bad for orchid plants, but they can also severely diminish the beauty of the flowers. 

A symptom of botrytis, a fungal infection, is spotted flowers. Other infections manifest themselves with malformed flowers. Color breaks or streaking is a symptom of viral infections. Disease spreading insects such as aphids like to feast on new growth – like flower buds. 

To grow healthy orchids, with great-looking flowers, CLICK HERE for important information on how to prevent, identify, and treat pests and diseases that can attack orchids.

# 14 Not a Good Fit

Maybe your orchid just isn’t a good fit. For example, growing a vanda orchid outdoors is a walk in the park if you live in South Florida, but even in a mild climate like southern California it just isn’t quite tropical enough for a vanda to thrive.

Another common scenario is moving to a new location. I’ve received numerous emails from people who grew thriving orchids in one climate and then moved to another (usually drier) only to watch their orchids struggle.

Perhaps you’ve done your homework and purchased an orchid that should do well, but just doesn’t. 

In each of these scenarios it doesn’t mean you should give up on orchids, it just means that adjustments need to be made.

Determine what your climate is like. Consider what adjustments you are willing to make (ie humidifier, artificial lighting). Lastly, match the orchids with your growing environment.

# 15 Orchids with Particularly Extraordinary Flowers

If you are reading this article, and especially if you’ve made it this far down the post, I know you have a special fondness for orchid flowers. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a shortlist of orchids with, particularly interesting flowers. I’ve limited this section to only a few select orchids and is certainly not exhaustive. 

Cattleya and Its Many Hybrids

When many people think of orchids it is the cattleya that comes to mind, and for good reason. These beauties have been hybridized producing many spectacular and easy to grow specimens.

You might begin, as I did, with some compact, miniature varieties. Some growers are so enthralled with cattleyas that they refuse to grow anything else. And who can blame them as there is so much variety?

A lovely Cattleya orchid.

Lycaste

Many orchid lovers consider Lycaste blooms to be the most beautiful of all orchid flowers. The best part is that some varieties are well-suited for windowsill growers.

Begin with easier varieties, such as Lycaste aromatica. Though these orchids grow smaller flowers, they require more moderate temperatures and lower humidity levels than their larger-flowered Andean counter-parts. 

Considered by many to be the most beautiful of all orchid flowers – the Lycaste.

Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium

Both paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium orchids possess prominent lower lips. They are in the love it or hate it camp. Paphiopedilum orchids are considered the easier of the two to grow. 

Paphiopedilum - Rebloom Orchids

An extraordinary black Paphiopedilum orchid.

phragmipedium - how to bloom orchids

Phragmipedium orchids dazzle with their prominent lower lip.

I’m stopping here, but there are so many exquisitely beautiful orchids that I recommend attending an orchid show to discover your favorites for yourself.

# 16 Orchids That Are Easier to ReBloom

Easy to bloom orchids usually translates into orchids with growing requirements similar to typical household temperatures with minimal humidity and light adjustments. 

I use the term ‘typical’ to mean around 70°-77°F / 21°-25°C, recognizing that typical for you could mean temperatures much higher or lower. Many households have humidity levels down around 10%, while others may have much, much higher relative humidity. 

Likewise, some homes are flush with large windows and natural light, while other homes may have small windows with large trees or buildings that block light. 

Every home is different, and we all have to work with what we have. That’s life, right? That said, here are 5 orchids that are known as easy-to-bloom.

5 Easy-to-Bloom Orchids

  1. Phalaenopsis. This graceful favorite is found in grocery stores and home decor magazines around the world. Just because it is more commonly found doesn’t make it any less amazing than other orchids. 
  2. Phalaenopsis-type Dendrobiums. These dendrobium orchids have a phalaenopsis-like flower, though the rest of the plant definitely looks like a dendrobium with canes and a sympodial (grows along a horizontal rhizome, rather than a single stem) growth habit. 
  3. Miniature Cymbidiums. Traditionally cymbidiums are large orchids that need a cool winter that can be hard for many growers to achieve. There are now smaller varieties with more moderate temperature requirements that make these beauties easier to grow and rebloom.
  4. Oncidiums such as ‘dancing lady,’ ‘sharry baby’, and ‘twinkle’. All three of these oncidiums are fragrant, have lower humidity requirements, can be grown in a bright window with indirect light, and produce sprays of flowers.
  5. Lastly, the zygopetalum is another fragrant orchid you can grow in a bright window. For best results, plant in a well-draining mix and water to keep barely damp.

For a more expansive list of easy to grow orchids, CLICK HERE.

# 17 Peak Blooming Seasons for Specific Orchids

If you’re interested in having at least one orchid in bloom at all times, or at least nearly all the time, here’s a chart that shows when some of the most popular orchids are most likely in bloom.

Cattleya

Spring
Fall

Cymbidium

Midwinter to Early Spring

Dendrobium

Late Fall - Winter

Oncidium

April - July
Late Fall

Paphiopedilum

Late Fall to Late Spring

Phalaenopsis

Anytime

Zygopetalum

Winter

# 18 Protecting the Buds

After providing the right growing environment for your orchid, complete with proper temperature, light, and water, and a flower stalk has begun to grow, you’ll need to protect the buds. 

It is extremely disheartening to have seemingly perfect buds wither and die – and for no apparent reason.

When buds abort it is called bud blast and is usually the result of environmental stress. As the most delicate part of the orchid plant, the buds are the first to show signs of stress.

To help you protect your carefully tended orchid from bud blast here are some precautions you can take:

  1. Protect your orchid from drafts. Inventory all exterior doors, heating, and cooling vents and heat sources (wood-burning stoves). Before placing your orchid in a particular location, imagine how drafts will impact your orchid. If needed, move your orchid to a safer location.
  2. Regulate watering. Irregular watering is a sure way to shrivel orchid buds. Don’t neglect your orchids when your schedule gets busy, guests come and stay, or when you’re on vacation. Instead, plan ahead, make arrangements, and set alarms on your phone to remind you to check on your orchids. 
  3. Be aware of pollutants. Orchids are sensitive to pollution. Be sure that vents are in working order. This precaution will protect you and your orchids.
  4. Take a break from fertilizer. After the buds have opened, resume fertilizing your orchid every-other-week or so at ½ to ¼ strength.

# 19 Your Orchid Has Bloomed – Now What?

After all the work you’ve done and all the love you’ve given, take care to protect your orchid from heat. 

Just as direct sunlight will burn your orchid’s leaves, heat coming in from a window can cause the flowers to wilt prematurely.

Move your orchid a few feet back from intense sunlight coming in from a window and turn on a fan. Air movement will help prevent infections and mix hot and cold air for more moderate temperatures.

Continue to water your orchid as flowering is often a time of active growth when leaves and roots may also be growing. 

If you stopped fertilizing during bud development, now that the flowers have opened, resume feeding your orchid.

TIP: Take a picture to remember the why. Since flowers don’t last forever, a photo can serve as a nice reminder during the months between flowers as to the reasons why you are taking such good care of your orchid.

# 20 Prepare Your Orchid to Bloom Again

Depending on your orchid, the flowers will last anytime from a few days to months on end. After blooming is complete, it is time to prepare your orchid to bloom again.

As noted above, many orchids will rest after flowering. For some orchids, this means little to no water and no fertilizer. Despite the need for less water, do provide your orchid with higher light, cooler temperatures, and frequent misting.

If you do continue to water an orchid that is native to a climate with a distinct dry season it is likely that the orchid will rot and die. 

One way to tell if your orchid does NOT require a dry, winter rest is to see if it continues to put out new growths. If the orchid keeps growing, it likely does not a dry rest.

It is always a good idea to ask the seller what kind of winter care your orchid needs. If you know the type of orchid you are growing, you can always Google it.

Your Turn

As nice as orchid leaves are, that’s not really where the hype is. We want flowers! (Unless, of course, we are growing Jewel orchids.) It can be really frustrating to have enjoyed the blooms, only to have them fade away, while the plant just seems to sit there, doing nothing.

As you can see there are several factors that influence when an orchid reblooms or, frustratingly, when it doesn’t. The good news is that there is lots of room for experimentation. Decide which areas your orchids could use a little boost and see if you can trigger blooming. Be patient. Don’t expect overnight results, but do expect gradual improvement.

Soon you’ll stop wondering, Do orchids bloom more than once? You will know for yourself that, yes, they do. I promise, it’s a very good feeling when you see that flower spike start to grow!

You’ve got this! You’re ready to rebloom orchids.

Ready to Learn More?

Growth Patterns of Monopodial and Sympodial Orchids 

Knowing this will help you better water and pot your orchids.

Read

Orchid Anatomy and Terminology

Help for Defining Orchid Terms

Read

76 Comments
  1. Tatjana Ramos says:

    I love orchids! Thanks for the tips!

    1. Anna says:

      Tatjana,
      Me too! And, you’re welcome. I’m glad I could help.
      Anna

  2. De Retna Surjaning says:

    Amazing! Thanks for tips??

    1. Anna says:

      De Retna,
      Thank you for the feedback!
      Anna

  3. Paul says:

    I AM A BEGINNER

    1. Anna says:

      Paul,
      Perfect! I hope you find the information you need. If not, let me know.
      Anna

  4. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting .learned a lot .thanks

    1. Anna says:

      I’m glad I could help!

  5. Milda says:

    Thanks for the info. I love orchids.

    1. Anna says:

      Milda,
      I’m glad you’ve found the the information helpful and that you love orchids! You’ve come to the right place!
      Anna

  6. Myriam says:

    Thank you for your great infos, Anna.

    During fall 2015, while sitting on the window sill, two of my miniature Phalaenopsis presented a flower spike. And they bloomed and I was happy. I don’t know exactly why but, during fall 2016, I had the idea of moving them where the temperature was much less cold. I live in a snowy city. I think I wanted to “protect” them… Result: no bloom. This fall, let me tell you that they stayed on the window sill. And they are in spike!

    1. Anna says:

      Myriam,
      I love mini Phalaenopsis! I’m glad you found their happy place! Re-blooming orchids are so rewarding–especially when it’s cold outside.
      Anna

  7. Fayne says:

    Hello I have a mealy bug problems, just my Phals can’t seem to defeat them, HELP

  8. Patrice Bain says:

    Thank you for the tips.

    1. Anna says:

      Thank you Patrice! Come back again soon!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thx sooooo much for a really good information. I need to know how to repot and plant my orchids. thx ?

    1. Anna says:

      Hey thanks for asking about potting! Follow these links for help on potting orchids: When and Why RePot and How to RePot Your Orchids.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ana, my vandas are attached to trees, they don’t bloom. Any suggestions?

    1. Anna says:

      Vandas require a lot of sunlight, so perhaps that are too shaded?
      Hope this helps!
      Anna

  11. Kath Lawrence says:

    Hi Anna,
    Do you have any tips for flowering Cymbidiums in NORTH western Australia please? South it is not a problem, flowers galore! About 30 klm from where we live..flowers!! Cannot get the temp to drop!! ANY tips gratefully appreciated Anna…Many thanks, Love Orchidbliss….Kath

    1. Anna says:

      Kath,
      Cymbidiums need two things to bloom. Cool temperatures and light. You need to be able to set your Cymbidium in a location where it will get down to 50s F (10 C) in the fall or winter to set the flower spikes. Then bring it inside to an unheated sunroom or basement in a south-facing window or under lights. During this winter period reduce watering by half. If you can’t get the cooler temperatures, the flower spikes won’t set. I don’t know what to tell you short of putting your orchid in a refrigerator with lights on! And that sounds crazy! I’ll be thinking and let you know if I come up with anything reasonable.
      Best of luck!
      Anna

  12. lyn77mueller @gmail.com says:

    Thank you for spending so must time explaining temperature etc. I’m going to keep trying. Beautiful! Lyn

    1. Anna says:

      You’re welcome! Good luck blooming your orchids!
      Anna

  13. Mona says:

    I received a large Phalaenopsis about 4 yrs ago. The leaves are large and green and the air roots are about 24 inches long. It has never bloomed again. Will it ever bloom again if the stem was trimmed down too far??

    I have three other orchids that continue to bloom throughout the yr.

    1. Anna says:

      Mona,
      Hmmmm! That is frustrating to have 1 of 4 that won’t bloom. If you’ve had them for 4 years and haven’t repotted them, you may want to do that. Check out this post on potting. For the three blooming orchids, wait until they are finished blooming before potting. Keep in mind, the orchids will need some recovery time after potting before blooming again. Try moving your orchid to cooler temperatures 55-65 F at night to trigger reblooming. Also, fertilizing, with a light hand can also help to trigger blooming. Here is the link to using fertilizer.
      Let me know how it goes!
      Anna

  14. Amor Martinez says:

    Thank you so much for the tips. I’m just a beginner. I’m loving following your advice and tips.
    Amor

    1. Anna says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I’d love to help with any questions you have about your orchids.
      Anna

  15. Chantal Doe says:

    Thanks for the information and tips. I adore orchids and am trying to grow a lot of them. I am a beginner also. Am struggling with my first phalaenopsis.

    1. Anna says:

      Chantal:
      I’m so glad you found my site! Here are a few helpful posts for beginning orchid growers:
      Start Here
      Orchid Care: Great Tips for Great Orchids
      Tools & Gifts
      Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about caring for your Phalaentopsis.
      Anna

  16. Henry says:

    I have 9 phalaenopsis when I purchased them each had two stems of flowers.. I now have 3 plants with spikes and buds. But only one stem each. Is there a way to get back two stems on each?

    1. Anna says:

      Henry,
      Commercial orchid growers are able to produce multiple flower spikes by controlling every aspect of the orchid’s environment. As a home grower, there are not guarantees, but here are a few tips:
      1. Genetics. By purchasing a cultivar with multiple flower spikes you’re more likely to get multiple flower spikes in the future.
      2. Health. Proper care is an essential element to upping your odds of getting multiple flower spikes.
      3. Keiki paste. By applying keiki paste you can encourage an orchid to produce more flowers. When you do this the flower stalk will last much longer than it normally does. Then, if you’re lucky (and I’ve been lucky) the orchid will produce another flower stalk on its own, giving you multiple flower spikes. This method is sort of cheating, but you may end up with multiple flower stalks.

      In case you’re interested, follow this link for keiki power pro.
      Also here’s another link on applying keiki paste: Propagating Orchids: Keikis
      The commercial growers have an edge that is hard for home growers to compete with.

      Anna

  17. Maria says:

    Thanks for information, very informative!

    1. Anna says:

      Maria,
      I’m always happy to help and answer questions. I’m glad you found the information useful!
      Anna

  18. Avril says:

    Thank you so much, I have just got interested in orchids and it helps to find a good site.

    1. Anna says:

      Avril,
      Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot. Let me know if you have any questions about growing orchids.
      Anna

  19. Giota says:

    Thank you Anna. Your tips are very helpful for me because I’m a beginner.
    Giota

    1. Anna says:

      Giota,
      I’m glad I could help. Let me know if you have any unanswered questions about growing orchids.
      Anna

  20. This is actually helpful, thanks.

  21. Anne W. Tanis says:

    Very good tips thanks

    1. Anna says:

      Anne,
      You are so welcome!
      Anna

  22. Kelvin says:

    Thank you for the tips, learning alot .

    1. Anna says:

      Kelvin,
      You are most welcome!
      Best wishes to you and your orchids,
      Anna

  23. Chays says:

    What is that GORGEOUS yellow Phal with the deep purple center?

    1. Anna says:

      Chays,
      I wish I could tell you – I got it at Trader Joes. It was only labeled “Phalaenopsis.” It is my favorite! It is in bloom again for me right now. I’ve kept my eye out for another, but I haven’t seen one.
      Have a wonderful day!
      Anna

  24. Dawna says:

    Hi I would like to know where to trim the spike on a catt

    1. Anna says:

      Dawna,
      Thank you for your question. Cut the cattleya flower above the pseudobulb, below the flower, on the short stem that connects the flower to the pseudobulb. The pseudobulb is fat and lined, the flower stem is shorter, smoother and connects to the flower.
      Best,
      Anna

  25. Dawna says:

    Cattleia spike trimming. Where do you trim after the flowers fall off. Do I wait because I have two more flowers still in bloom on another spike same plant thanks for advice

    1. Anna says:

      Dawna,
      You can carefully remove the faded flower. Use care and you won’t damage the other flowers. No need to wait for the other flowers to fade. (Congratulations on your blooming catt!)
      Yours,
      Anna

      1. Elsie Warner says:

        I know I bought my orchids on a windy day, lost one bloom and 2 others finally fell off. Now it is just a stick.

        1. Anna says:

          Elsie,
          That must have been some wind! What a bummer! Give it time and proper care and your orchid will grow a new flower spike.
          Take care,
          Anna

  26. Kitty says:

    I have an orchid I’ve had way over 10 years. It bloomed when I got it and has never bloomed again, it produces new leaves now and then, but I cannot get it to bloom again. I’ve tried everything so I don’t know what more to do…HELP

    1. Anna says:

      Kitty,
      IIt sounds like the plant is healthy, but to get the orchid to bloom I have 2 suggestions. First, make sure your orchid is getting enough light. The amount depends on the orchid variety, so I can’t give you any specifics here, but go to this page for more tips on giving your orchid enough light:

      ORCHIDS NEED LIGHT TO BLOOM

      Second, orchids need specific temperatures, particularly in the winter to help initiate blooming. This may sound strange, but it is fundamental to re-blooming orchids. Click on the link below to learn more about temperature and blooming orchids.

      ORCHIDS NEED THE SPECIFIC TEMPERATURES TO BLOOM

      I wish you the very best in re-blooming your orchid,
      Anna

  27. Barb says:

    Thank-you so much Anna for your time & talent. You have become my go-to person when it comes to my orchids. I’m going to do my best to follow all your advice. Thank-you again. Barb

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks, Barb! You just made my day!
      All my best,
      Anna

  28. Susie Moore says:

    I have a cattelya that hasn’t bloomed since I got it about 4 years ago. This summer I noticed a tiny bud coming out from a very healthy leaf. Now the bud looks like it’s turning brown in the center like it has a disease or maybe an insect. I have sprayed it with horticultural oil but I’m afraid it’s going to die & I will need to cut it out. I have a vanda that did exactly the same thing last year with a bud and then the brown spot. It stopped growing & died so I cut it off.
    Please tell me what is eating my buds & how to get a new one to grow as I don’t want to wait another year!

    1. Anna says:

      Susie,
      Thanks for sharing. This has happened to me and here is what I learned:
      First, the catt needs to be blooming size – this can take several years. Sometimes an immature cattleya will produce an empty sheath and then the next year will flower.
      Second, the dying flower inside the sheath might be water-related. Water in the morning so that your orchid has time to dry out. When watering try to keep water off the leaves.
      Third, you can also try giving your cattleya more light.
      Forth, it could be genetic – a poor cultivar.
      The bottom line. Don’t give up. Cattleyas can take several years to reach maturity.
      All my best,
      Anna

  29. Marie Killip says:

    Great help and advice thanks

    1. Anna says:

      Marie,
      You are most welcome!
      Have a lovely day,
      Anna

  30. Lisa says:

    Hi Anna!
    I just found you! I have a question about leaves. I have some leaves that are new and growing. They look like they have little pebbled spots all over they. They are growing slowly, and kind of turned inward. But the little little dented, pebbled spots confused me. This plant has also started growing leaves under a big leaf down at the bottom. One leave is growing out normal and then the leaf coming out above it is turned down over the other new leaf. Like it is growing upside down. It is like it is starting a new little plant under there. Sorry if this is confusing. Just wondered if you know what is going on with it. Thank you so much.

    1. Anna says:

      Lisa,
      Could you send me a picture? email me at [email protected]
      Thanks,
      Anna

  31. Andree says:

    Hi
    I bought orchids ❤️ 3 of them , I’ve listen to you about transplanting them and I must’ve done a good job cause one of them is having buds . Wish I could send you pictures , maybe you could tell me if the other 2 are dormant.

  32. Kathy Stearn says:

    Was wondering if you could show pictures of the different orchids and label them but not jus the flowers I need the whole orchid I have 2 and don’t know what they are and how to care for them because they have no flowers. Neither of them bloomed this year so I have no idea what they are, Thank you for all your help and encouragement.

    1. Anna says:

      Kathy,
      Send me pictures: [email protected]
      Best,
      Anna

  33. Dawn says:

    Anna, thanks for this wonderful site and all of your advice. I just got my first orchid a month ago. The last flower dropped off this morning. Is this the time that I should be watering sparingly? And what does sparingly mean? Less water weekly or the same amount of water less frequently?

    1. Anna says:

      Dawn,
      If you have a Phalaenopsis orchid, just continue as normal. Phals do not have water storage and do not need a reduction in water. That said, water evaporates faster in warmer weather and slower in cooler. So, you will need to take temperature into consideration. Phals like their potting media just barely damp.
      Best,
      Anna

  34. Carol Clarke says:

    Thanks for all the pointers. One of my orchids has gotten a sticky substance on the stem. When you touch it, it is sticky/mucky. The flowers and plant seem fine. Is this normal? It’s in bloom right now, near the end…last few blooms. I just want to be sure it’s not a bug or disease.
    Thanks for your help

    1. Anna says:

      Carol,
      The sticky substance is called honeydew and is perfectly normal. Keep an eye out for ants the also enjoy honeydew.
      Best,
      Anna

  35. Ga says:

    Is there a special soil mixture for the planaenopsis orchid or can I use a general
    Orchid soil?

    1. Anna says:

      Ga,
      I use and recommend Bonsai Jack’s orchid mix.
      Anna

  36. BARBARA RAILEY says:

    i had a stem fall off orchid blooms were too pretty to throw away so put in water. the pot itself was full of mold so threw away. Stem has developed a root – is it worth trying to plant? How? know nothing about these other than they are beautiful. (Phalaenopsis) Had for about three years and rebloomed – I am out of country six months of year and house sitter cared for it – neither one of us know much about it.
    Nonie

    1. Anna says:

      Barbara,
      I say go ahead and pot up your orchid. You have nothing to lose!
      Good luck,
      Anna

  37. Rosana Watts says:

    I’ve just discovered your website and I’m so excited. I’ve read a few of the sections and already picked up so much wonderful information. I received two Phalaenopsis plants as gifts about 5 years ago and have been very “lucky” with their care (no prior experience).. They have bloomed often, consistently, and produced many ariel roots. They have become very leggy, some of the leaves are beginning to show yellow spots, and they are looking crowded. Both plants are in the same (large) pot. I’ve considered re-potting them separately, and cutting the “legs” (after they finish this bloom period) at the nodes to shorten them and cutting off the unhealthy leaves. Do you think these steps are good resolutions.?. .
    Rosana

    1. Anna says:

      Rosana,
      I am not sure what you mean by the “legs” but after 5 years, I am sure your orchids would appreciate being re-potted. Yes, removing the unhealthy leaves is a good idea.
      Anna

  38. Carrie says:

    I bought an orchid at a grocery store. The blooms lasted on mine a few weeks and shriveled and died. The plant itself is healthy. I am new to orchids and was reading about cutting the flower spikes. Before I had a chance to cut either of them, I noticed that new buds were forming. Now the new buds are close to opening. I asked a friend about this as she loves raising orchids. She has never had this happen. Is this common for new buds to form without cutting the flower spikes?

    1. Anna says:

      Carrie,
      When blooms shrivel and die before opening it is called bud blast and is caused by environmental factors – irregular watering, temperature fluctuations etc. Here is an in-depth article on this topic.
      HOW TO PREVENT ORCHID BUDS FROM DROPPING
      Try to create a stable, predictable care environment to protect the buds.
      Anna

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