IMAGINE GROWING VIGOROUS, FLOWER-FUL ORCHIDSSIGN UP - IT'S FREE
CLICK HERE FOR HELP GROWING ORCHIDS

blog

Just For You: Tips to ReBloom Orchids

Discover how to get the MOST flowers

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.

YES! THANK YOU!
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 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.

I’ve updated this post. Now, instead of 7 tips to help you rebloom your orchids, you’ll get 10 tips!

Here Are 10 Tips to Help You ReBloom Orchids:

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

Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Click here to learn more.

# 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 points to sufficient light. To learn more about how to give your orchids adequate light, 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 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°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 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.  

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

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

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 40sF/4.4C.  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.

Warm growers: between 65°F/18.3°C and 85°F/29.4°C.

Intermediate growers: between 60ºF/15.5°C and 80°F/26.6°C.

Cool growers: between 50°F/10°C and 75°F/23.9°C.

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 the vendor before buying as cool growers are difficult for most of us to keep cool enough.
  • Laelia: warm to intermediate
  • Leptotes: intermediate
  • Miltonia: 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 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.

# 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.

trim-the-orchid-spike-to-promote-reblooming.png

Trimming the flower spike at the base, down by the leaves, will help your phalaenopsis to produce more abundant blooms.

# 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 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.

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 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 the 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!  Overwatering 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.

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

cut-back-on-water-to-trigger-orchids-to-rebloom.png

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

# 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 if humidity levels drop. 

# 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 are so exciting.  I can’t help but stop and examine the buds every time I walk by.

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

# 9 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.

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

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 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.

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.

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
57 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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.

YES! THANK YOU!