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Never Give Up on an Orchid!

June 18, 2012

orchid-rebloomingOrchids are glorious when they’re blooming. Their stately stalks rise elegantly from a cluster of glossy, upright leaves to bloom in a gorgeous profusion of exquisite flowers. In full bloom, Phalaenopsis amabilis take your breath away. No wonder orchid owners find it so disappointing when the show finally ends.

One to three months after Phalaenopsis orchids bloom, the blossoms will wither and fall from the stalk. The plant’s leaves will droop and flatten, turning a dull olive color as they lose their luster. Eventually, the stalk will shrivel, leaving a silvery ghost to make the passing of a once robust plant. It is at this point that many new orchid owners lose hope and, believing that their orchid has died, sadly consign what remains of the plant to the trash.

But never give up on an orchid!

Phalaenopsis orchids are incredibly hardy and have amazing staying power. After blooming, Phalaenopsis orchids do not die; they enter a natural dormant phase that allows the plant to rest. Like perennial flowers in your garden, orchids shed their blooms to concentrate their energy into replenishing the nutrients that will be needed for the next growing and blooming cycle. If you continue to water and fertilize your orchid, it should begin to send up a new stalk 2 to 6 months after entering dormancy as the cycle of beauty begins again!

For information on how to care for your orchid during dormancy, read “How to Trigger Orchid Reblooming."

Photo: Vicki DeLoach