To see your orchid bloom again, you must be patient. However, there are techniques that provide these delicate plants with conditions conducive to re-flowering. By implementing them, you can make all the orchids in your garden or in containers bloom time and time again. To practice, choose varieties that bloom again at a fast pace.

Orchids are monocots, meaning they belong to a family of flowering plants that includes about 20,000 species. The orchid flower needs light, heat, shade and soft water. Under favourable conditions, these plants can delight us with their beautiful flowers for extended periods of time that may even last entire months. The preferred varieties to practice on are moth orchids and boat orchids.

Caring for orchids

Some habits need to be developed when taking care of your orchid. First, avoid watering them with calcareous water. This flower needs a good amount of moisture, and as such its leaves must be sprayed with water daily, taking care to avoid flowers.

A weekly watering is sufficient because the roots, which need to be aired out, cannot bear to be immersed in water permanently. They can rot, causing the plant’s death. Sometimes, a weekly ten-minute drench in summer, and once a month in winter, is beneficial. Simply immerse the orchid container in water containing liquid fertilizer to feed it properly. After drenching, you can also sprinkle the plant’s soil with solid fertilizer. Choose an organo-mineral fertilizer specifically made for orchids.

Generally, orchids are planted in plastic or clay pots of which the bottom layer, located under the roots, is made up of pine bark debris mixed with clay beads. The roots are then entirely covered with a mixture of earth and fertilizer.

Furthermore, avoid exposing orchids to direct sunlight. If you keep an orchid indoors, remember to put it outside between May and September, setting it slightly in the shade, so that it can still enjoy a good amount of light. Another piece of advice; do not place an orchid pot near a window because the glare will damage the flowers. A distance of at least 20 inches (50 cm) must be respected.

How to make an orchid bloom again

Normally, depending on species and variety, the orchid’s stem comprises between eight to twenty flowers. Once they have all bloomed, they remain open for several months. Then, the flowers wilt and it is at this time that we must begin to carefully observe the stem. Remove the wilted flowers after the first bloom, and once they are all fallen, it takes a while to see little new buds appear on the stem.

Starting from the base, cut the stem a third of an inch (1 cm) above the second bud to trigger a second flowering, which will normally take place within two months following the fall of the first bloom’s flowers. When all of the second bloom’s flowers will, in turn, have fallen, buds will no longer grow back on the same stem. The orchid must then be cut flush with the foliage and you must wait for a new bud-bearing scape to appear again.

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Published in Flower guide by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011