Orchids are exotic plants of unparalleled beauty. When properly cared for, they bloom magnificently over a period of two to three months. But once the last flower is gone, what’s next? In this article, we’ll be revealing the secret care instructions to get a second flowering from your orchid.
Orchid Flowering: Basic Rules
Most orchid cultivars commonly found in our homes bloom only once a year. The flower stem develops in the fall, and the actual flowering takes place from January to June. However, some Phalaenopsis orchids can offer you a second bloom within the same year if you know the secret to it, which we’ll reveal later.
But whether you’re following your orchid’s natural blooming cycle or trying to force a second flowering, you must provide it with good care at all times and an environment that will support its growth, as the article How to Care for Your Indoor Orchid explains. The success of the next bloom depends on it.
How to Get Your Orchid to Bloom Again
- Cut off the stem about 1–3 cm from the base.
- Between mid-August and the end of October, place the plant in a cooler room for three to four weeks. We suggest a temperature of 15°C at night and 21°C during the day for this resting period. This temperature variation between day and night will promote flowering. If you don’t have a cooler room, you can keep your plant outside in the shade for a few days until October, but avoid any frost. Reduce watering frequency to every two weeks to increase your chances of success.
- As soon as the flower stem starts to develop, usually around the end of October, return the orchid to its initial environment near a bright window and wait to see it flower a second time a few weeks later.
Experienced Gardener’s Tip: What If You Want to Force a Second Bloom on the Same Stem?
When the last flower of your orchid has died and fallen, you can force a mini-flowering on the same stem before its resting period.
When the orchid has lost all its flowers, cut the stem 1 cm above the third node (bump on the stem) from the base of the plant. This technique will stimulate the formation of a shorter, secondary stem, which will produce new flowers.
Pro Tip: Control Ambient Humidity with a Humidity Tray
The ideal ambient humidity level for orchids ranges between 50% and 60%. Unfortunately, the relative humidity inside our homes during winter can easily drop below 30%. This reduction in humidity can have a negative impact on your orchid’s flowering, or even stop it altogether. The solution? Grow your orchid on a humidity tray, a tray filled with stones, clay marbles or gravel. Simply add water to the tray, and that’s it. The water will evaporate and create the humidity your orchid needs.
Orchids aren’t so fussy after all. Getting your orchid to bloom again is a fairly simple task if you provide it with the right growing conditions according to the time of year. With proper care, your orchid should flower again every year.
Please check out our Indoor Gardening section for even more gardening tips to care for your urban jungle.