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Orchid Care 101: How Do I Care for a Resting Orchid?

July 21, 2016

When an orchid is finished blooming, its blooms will wilt and fall off before it enters into a resting period. Resting is a normal part of the Phalaenopsis orchid lifecycle in which your plant is storing up energy to rebloom. Continue caring for  a resting orchid, and you’ll likely be rewarded with more vibrant, healthy blooms.

Here’s how to care for a resting orchid:

Water Weekly

Just because your orchid does not have flowers does not mean you should stop watering it. Continue to water your orchid with three ice cubes (one ice cube for orchid minis) on the usual day each week. Sign up for our orchid care watering reminders so you don’t forget your watering day!


Orchids differ from traditional houseplants in many ways, including how they get their nutrients. Unlike houseplants that feed from their soil, orchids receive their nutrients from their fertilizer and potting medium. These nutrients are especially important during the resting phase. For optimum health, fertilize your orchid every other week or once a month with a balanced fertilizer (20-20-20 or 10-10-10) mixed at half strength. Do not water your orchid on the weeks you fertilize.

Give it Plenty of Indirect Light

Just like when it’s in full bloom, your orchid needs lots of indirect light during dormancy. Give your plant the light it craves by tucking it behind a sheer curtain in a north or east-facing window to shield it from direct sunlight.

Move It to a Cooler Room 

Orchids love warm temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day; however, they prefer cooler nighttime temperatures. Moving your orchid to a room with a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees for a couple of weeks during the resting period can help trigger reblooming.

Dress It Up

Blooms aren’t the only beautiful orchid feature that disappears during dormancy. The orchid stem may dry and turn brown, and orchid leaves take on a dull and faded appearance and may become limp and flat. The good news is you can dress your orchid during this time to help maintain its allure. Add a silk stem of Phalaenopsis orchid blooms (taking care not to disturb the roots of your orchid) or incorporate the orchid pot into a larger display of greenery from complementary plants such as mosses.

Resting is not the kiss of death for your plant. In fact, by following these orchid care tips, you can make your plant’s next bloom the best one yet. For more information about orchid reblooming, download this helpful guide!

Don't want to wait for you orchid to rebloom?