If you were given a Phalaenopsis orchid around Valentine's Day, chances are its bloom cycle has finished. But just because you don’t see anything happening, it doesn’t mean your orchid is dead. This is merely the beginning of a new journey and an essential part of caring for orchids.
As noted in our previous post, Phalaenopsis orchids go through a resting phase called dormancy after blooming. Dormancy typically lasts for six to nine months but may vary from plant to plant. Providing your orchid with quality care during its dormant phase will help ensure that your orchid reblooms again.
When all the blooms have fallen from your Phalaenopsis orchid, follow these steps to trigger orchid reblooming. (Note: If your orchid is currently losing blooms, you should remove the wilting ones to preserve the life of the remaining blooms. Wilting blooms produce ethylene which causes the surrounding blooms to wilt faster, too.)
Help Your Orchid Rebloom With These Simple Steps
Orchid Spike Care
To help your orchid bloom again, follow these spike care tips.
First, remove all clips and stakes.
If the spike is still green, cut off the spike (stem) 1 inch above the first node below the lowest flower bloom (as shown in the image above).
If the spike is turning brown, trim the flower spike off at the base of the plant. Phalaenopsis orchids will not flower on brown spikes.
If your orchid has a double spike, cut off one spike 1 inch above the first node below the lowest flower bloom and cut the other spike off at the base of the plant.
At this point, your orchid is dormant, but not dead. It will stay this way for six to nine months until the new blooms appear.
Orchid Dormancy Care
Even when your orchid is resting, it still needs water and TLC. Follow these simple steps to help reblooming begin.
Continue to water your orchid with 3 ice cubes once a week. If you have a petite orchid, use 2 cubes, and a mini orchid uses 1. If you have more than one plant in a single planter, be sure to give each plant its own set of cubes.
Fertilize your orchid once or twice a month using a balanced houseplant fertilizer at half strength. Do not water your orchid with ice on the weeks it is fertilized.
Help your orchids grow by providing plenty of indirect sunlight.
Put your orchid in a cooler spot at night. Cooler nighttime temperatures (55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit) help new flower spikes emerge. When a new spike appears, you can return your orchid to its normal setting.
When your orchid is getting ready to rebloom, you’ll see something that looks like a root sprouting from the media. The tip of the growth will take the shape of a mitten. If your new growth is a root, it will maintain a rounded edge. As it grows, you may need to support the spike with a stake, but be sure it’s done growing before you clip the stem to the stake.