How to Get Orchids to bloom: Guaranteed Success

Kathrin Auer Kathrin Auer

Are your Orchids are no longer blooming? These tips will help you get the exotic beauties flowering again.

Flowers of the Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

The flowers of the Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis) charm with intricate patterns and vibrant colors

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Why are my Orchids not blooming any more? This question comes up time and again when the flower shoots of the exotic beauties remain bare. You should bear in mind that the flowering period varies from species to species. All Orchids bloom once a year, and some even bloom twice. There are several reasons why an Orchid may not develop a new flowering shoot for more than a year. The plant may be in a spot that is too warm or dark, or it may have been due to over-fertilization or due to getting too much water. Your Orchid might be resting after an intense flowering period, which is the case with many species in winter. By following these tips, you can rest assured that your Orchid will bloom again.

Tip 1: Prune Orchids to make them bloom

Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis) are among the most popular houseplants worldwide and you can take some very simple measures to get them blooming again. This species in particular has dormant eyes below the flowered shoots. When the last flower on the stem has withered, use clean shears to cut the shoot directly above an eye; they are recognizable as a small thickening. After around three months, this sleeping bud often produces a new panicle. To prevent the shoot from becoming too long, trim the stem roughly in the middle, directly above the second or third eye. Then put the Moth Orchid in a slightly cooler spot. It hardly needs any water during the resting period and also gets by with less light.

Tip 2: Find the ideal spot for your Orchids

Orchids generally need a lot of light to bloom. They are unable to grow or form flowers in dark locations. A south facing window is recommended for most Orchids during the winter months, early spring and late fall. From April to mid-September however, you should keep in mind that the plants need sufficient shade during the day and should be moved around 15 inches from the window – otherwise they are at risk of sunburn.

Orchids need sufficient light

Orchids need sufficient light for their flowers to develop optimally

For Phalaenopsis, south facing windows can speed up flower formation by two to three months. For many Cattleya Orchids and Vanda Orchids, a bright window in a bathroom with a high level of humidity can result in two blooms per year.

Tip 3: Use a cold stimulus to make Orchids bloom

If your Orchids are no longer blooming, this may not only be down to a lack of light, but also the wrong ambient air temperature. Moth Orchids, for example, like warm conditions and are comfortable with daytime temperatures of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and a high air humidity. To stimulate Orchids that are struggling to flower, temporarily put the plants in a cooler room, such as a bedroom or guest room. After two months at a temperature of 59 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit, new flowers should appear. For Cymbidium Orchids, the flowering period largely depends on the temperature. During the bud stage, they desperately need a cold stimulus and must be kept below 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, the buds will fall off.

Tip 4: Water and fertilize your Orchids correctly

Watering Orchids, immersion bath

Orchids need to be fertilized regularly to produce abundant blooms. For example, add a little liquid fertilizer to the water while immersing the plant

Watering Orchids correctly is also important for a strong, healthy growth and a successful flower formation. It is best to water, or even better, immerse them using room temperature water with a low lime content. You can use a wooden stick to check whether there is still residual moisture in the substrate or if it needs watering. Furthermore, regularly using a low-concentrate Orchid fertilizer during the growth phase is crucial for the flowering of the plants. If Orchids are not fertilized enough, they stagnate in growth and fail to blossom. Depending on the species, adding 0.03 to 0.06 fl oz (approx. half a teaspoon) of liquid orchid fertilizer to the immersion water every two weeks provides the plants with an optimal supply of nutrients. Make sure to fertilize your Orchids regularly during the growth phase – this keeps them healthy and helps them develop plenty of flowers.

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