When Just Add Ice Orchids are delivered to local garden centers and grocery stores for gift-giving, they arrive at the peak of blooming perfection. Hardy and easy to grow, Phalaenopsis Orchids are America’s most popular orchids, partly because of their extended bloom time. When kept moist and cool and exposed to bright, diffused light, Just Add Ice Orchids will maintain their beautiful display for up to four months.
When orchid blooms do eventually fade, proper pruning and a little TLC will rejuvenate your Just Add Ice Orchid and allow it to bloom again; just follow these steps:
- When all blossoms have died, you will need to cut off the orchid stem to encourage new growth. Where you make the cut is extremely important. Inspect the orchid stem. Every few inches along its length, you will notice a papery bract that encircles the stem. If you gently feel around the bracts, you will feel small bumps, called nodes. New stems emerge from these nodes.
- Carefully cut off the orchid stem one inch above the second bract above the orchid’s base. In six weeks you should notice a new stalk growing from the node.
- Place your plant near a west-facing window so that it will receive plenty of bright, diffused light.
- Make sure to set your thermostat so that your orchid will be exposed to cooler temperatures at night. (Or move it to a cooler spot each night.) Phalaenopsis Orchids require a 20-degree temperature drop at night for optimal growth.
- Continue to water your Just Add Ice Orchid with 3 ice cubes once a week.
- Once a week during the growing season, fertilize your orchid with a small amount of 20-20-20 fertilizer, diluted to one-quarter strength.
- When your Just Add Ice Orchid blooms again, it will exhibit smaller and fewer blossoms but should provide several more weeks of enjoyment.