Orchids are extremely popular houseplants due to their gorgeous, distinctive flowers that come in several dazzling types. However, once flowering finishes, it can seem tricky to get your orchid to rebloom. But it can be done. In this article, we’ll explain how to get your orchid to rebloom.
Can Orchids Rebloom?
Yes, orchids can rebloom. However, this can be a long process because the orchid needs to restock its energy reserves before producing new blooms. Some orchids only flower once yearly, while Phalaenopsis orchids can bloom up to 3 times a year.
After flowering, most orchids enter a dormant period while they build up their energy reserves. Depending on the type of orchid, this dormant period can last between 3 and 9 months (whether you’re growing your orchids inside or outside). The best way to help your orchid rebloom is to provide growing conditions that mimic the plant’s natural habitat.
How to Get Orchids to Rebloom
Getting an orchid to rebloom requires some careful care and maintenance. This varies slightly depending on the exact species of orchid, but the basic principles are usually the same. Here’s an in-depth guide on how to get an orchid to rebloom:
- Once your orchid has finished flowering, you need to trim the spent flower spike. This should be done after any leaves or spent flowers have fallen off.
- If the spike remains green and healthy, trim it back to an inch above the lowest healthy node. If the spike turns a straw-like color, cut it right back to the base. Always use sharp, sterile scissors or secateurs.
- Your orchid will now go dormant to recoup its energy, so continue caring for it normally. Keep it in bright, indirect light so that the leaves stay light green. Dark green leaves mean that your orchid isn’t getting enough light.
- Make sure that temperatures stay between 65 and 85ºF and protect your orchid from drafts. Provide the correct humidity levels for whatever species you have. For more, see our in-depth guide to orchid plant care in winter.
- Water your dormant orchid approximately once a week or whenever the soil feels dry. Avoid watering if the roots are green, but do water if they have turned silver (we generally recommend not watering orchids with ice cubes).
- Fertilize your dormant orchid with a diluted, balanced orchid fertilizer every month.
- Keep doing this until your orchid produces a new leaf. Now, your orchid needs cooler conditions to trigger new blooms. Move your orchid to a location that receives nighttime temperatures between 55 and 65ºF. Continue to provide bright, indirect light.
- After approximately four weeks in a cooler location, a flower spike should appear and continue to grow. Once a flower spike appears, feed your orchid every two weeks with a diluted high-phosphorus orchid fertilizer.
- Keep doing this until your orchid reblooms, then move it back to a slightly warmer location.
Although it may sound tricky, you can get orchids to rebloom. After flowering, most orchids need approximately 3 to 9 months of dormancy to recoup their energy levels. Trimming the flower stalk correctly and adjusting conditions accordingly will help your orchid rebloom. With proper care, orchids can live for years to come. Enjoy!