How to get an orchid to bloom?

You have the most beautiful plant in the world – orchid. It has lovely flowers, often nice scent, it blooms and eventually flowers fade off. What to do with orchids after bloom? How to get an orchid to bloom? Some people just dispose of faded orchids and use them something like “live bouquet”, but you must know that you can rebloom your orchid and it will be flowering again and again. Orchids are not only perennial plants but also centenarians – some specimens in old botanical gardens are more than 150 years old, so blooming orchid can become a family relic of some kind.

First, you should know what particular type of orchid you grow. If it’s Phalaenopsis-type orchid, Vanda or hybrid orchids such as Cambria-type you shouldn’t do anything but adjust proper care. These orchids do not have specific flowering time, so they bloom in any time, Cambrias bloom as new growth matures and pseudobulbs are formed. So, if you have such an orchid and it doesn’t bloom for a long period of time (more than 4-6 months), you should consider your growing technique. If your orchid looks healthy but do not bloom it is most likely due to insufficient light. Orchid simply do not have enough photosynthetic potential to bloom if light is insufficient, because blooming is rather energy-deficient process, so if your orchid takes enough light, water and fertilizers it should bloom without problems. Quite often orchids do not bloom because of too high temperatures or high Nitrogen. In this (improper) growing conditions, orchid switches to vegetative stage and do not produce generative buds. So Nitrogen and temperatures are important for orchid growing, but imbalance is a main cause of infrequent blooming.

Some orchids, such as Cattleya, some Dendrobiums and cold Coelogyne species, need quite specific conditions to bloom, and they bloom not throughout a year but in specific periods – in spring, after winter dormancy or so on. To get such  orchids to bloom, you should meet their requirements – if it’s cold Dendrobiums or Coelogyne species, they do not bloom without strict cold dormancy in a winter, their generative buds are not formed or transformed into vegetative ones (“keiki phenomena”), and some unifoliate Cattleyas do not bloom if it is long light day conditions. So, if you are growing such “difficult” orchids, you should simply give them such conditions, which mimic their nature growing, and they will bloom again.

See also:

When do orchids bloom

When to repot an orchid

How to feed orchids

Types of orchids

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