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Just For You: Tips to ReBloom Orchids

Discover how to get the MOST flowers

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ReBloom Orchids

Orchids are amazing because of their astonishingly long-lasting blooms, but what happens when the flowers are gone? Here are 7+ tips to help you get those blooms goin’ on!

As nice as orchid leaves are, that’s not really where the hype is. We want flowers! 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. In fact, if your orchid has lost it’s 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.

I’ve updated this post. Now, instead of 7 tips to help you rebloom your orchids, you’ll get 9 tips!

Here Are 9 Tips to Help You ReBloom Orchids:

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# 1 Sufficient Light = Flowering Orchids

Following nature’s light cycle is important to re-blooming 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.  But, 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. 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 point to sufficient light.

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Give Your Orchids the Right Light

The right light will encourage flowering!

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# 2 The Right Temperature is Key to ReBlooming Orchids

Temperature is another consideration to rebloom orchids.  Some orchids will react to a temperature swing.  Once my Phalaenopsis has finished blooming, I set it in a cool  spot to trigger re-blooming–about 60 degrees F, 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 rain forest environment where temperatures cool down at night.  Fall is the best time to trigger blooming for your Phalaenopsis because they naturally flower in the winter.  

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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 40s (Fahrenheit).  It’s those lower temperatures that sends 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.

Warm growers: between 65° and 85° F.

Intermediate growers: between 60º and 80°F.

Cool growers: between 50° and 75° F.

Here are a few examples or orchid according to their temperature preferences:

  • Brassia: intermediate to warm. Easy to rebloom.
  • Cymbidium: warm to cool. Most varieties need cool temperatures in the winter. If you have mild winters these are easy to rebloom outdoors, but harder if you have to bring it indoors in the winter.
  • Dendrobium: cool to warm. Check with vendor before buying as cool growers are difficult for most of us to keep cool enough.
  • Laelia: warm to intermediate
  • Leptotes: intermediate
  • Militonia: intermediate to warm
  • Oncidium: intermediate to warm (though some are cool growers) Warm growers are easy to rebloom.
  • Paphiopedilum: warm to intermediate. Warm growers are easy to rebloom.
  • Phalaenopsis: warm (with a intermediate temperatures in the fall). Easy to rebloom.

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.

Temperature + Air Circulation = Healthy Orchids

These tips will help your orchid bloom and avoid bacterial leaf spots.

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# 3 Cutting the Flower Spike Prepares Orchids to Bloom Again

This bit of advice is specific to Phalaenopsis orchids: Trim the flower spike at the node just below the last fading flower.  Alternatively cut the spike at the crown of the plant.  Cutting at the crown gives the plant more time to rejuvenate. Still, orchids can be aggressive little plants.  We aren’t dealing with shrinking violets here. Orchids are tough.

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Orchids: Cutting the Spike for More Flowers

A Step-By-Step Guide

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# 4 Feed Your Orchid: Fertilizer

Switching from a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, to a fertilizer with a higher phosphorous content, such as 3-12-6, will give your orchids an extra boost that will promote flowering. When you first notice a flower spike emerging, immediately switch back to your regular fertilizer. If the orchid is dormant, 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 flower, so be judicious in your use of fertilizer. Less is more.

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Are You Fertilizing Your Orchids?

Fertilize with a light hand and see big results.

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#5 Water as a Tool to Bloom Orchids

Just as lowering the nighttime temperature stresses an orchid and can initiate the bloom cycle,  cutting back on water may also trigger flowering for some orchids.  For many orchids, a rest period is desirable after flowering and cutting back on water will allow the orchid to rest before it begins to bloom again.  

This can be counter-intuitive, as sometimes we want to do the only thing we can think of to hurry the flowers along–watering.  But, you must resist!  Over watering can actually have the opposite result and may instead kill the orchid’s roots. This may lead to the eventual demise of the orchid. Use good judgment, don’t let the orchid completely dry out either. Water sparingly.

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For some orchids, a period of cutting back on watering will trigger reblooming. However on orchids such as the Paphiopedilum (pictured above), and the Phalaneopsis, you wouldn’t want to cut back on watering as they have no water storage.

Watering Orchids: Find Out What Works

Learn how to water correctly and you'll avoid the #1 cause of orchid death

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Limp Leaves: Signal a Watering Problem

To solve your problem, read on!

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

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

It’s No Secret That Orchids Need Humidity. Here’s 4 Tips on Giving Orchids the Right Humidity

4 Secrets to Successfully Give Your Orchids the Humidity They Need

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# 7 Immaturity: Give a Young Orchid a Year or Two to Mature

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. However, many orchid hobbyists purchase young orchids with the expectation that the orchid will mature and bloom.

BONUS TIPS:

# 8 Time: Orchids Need Recovery Time Between Flowering

The adage that good things come to those that wait is true when re-blooming orchids, as it takes a month or two, or even several months for Phalaenopsis orchids to re-bloom.  Other varieties, such as Cymbidium, will bloom annually. The anticipation and eventual reward of an emerging spike bedecked with tiny buds is so exciting.  I can’t help but stop and examine the buds every time I walk by.

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# 8 Bad Genes

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, buy plants already in bloom, or with buds.

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

There are 4 stages that an orchid experiences: leaf growth, flowering, root growth and dormancy. Being able to identify these stages can help us provide better care 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 roots 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.

Check out my EBOOK: WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR GROCERY STORE ORCHID to learn how to care for you Phalaenopsis orchid.

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Growth Patterns of Monopodial and Sympodial Orchids 

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

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Orchid Anatomy and Terminology

Help for Defining Orchid Terms

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Your Turn

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 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.

43 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

    1. Anna says:

      Fayne,
      Yes, mealybugs can be a problem! Follow this link to find out how to kill these pests.
      Anna

  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

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START HERE to Learn More About Caring for Orchids

Find Out What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Caring for Orchids

YES! THANK YOU!