Few houseplants are as spectacular as orchids when they’re in bloom. However, once the blooms have finished, your orchid needs a bit of attention. With the proper care, orchids can rebloom year after year. In this article, we’ll discover how to care for orchids after they finish blooming.
Can Orchids Bloom Again?
Orchids can bloom again after flowering. However, this can take up to 9 months while the orchid recovers its energy ready for another round of flowers. The recovery period varies depending on the type of orchid. While some orchids may only bloom once a year, Phalaenopsis orchids can flower as many as three times a year.
How to Care for Orchids After They Finish Blooming
Getting your orchid to rebloom successfully requires good care once it has finished blooming. You’ll need to continue caring for your orchid while it recovers its energy during its dormant phase (whether you’re growing indoors or outside).
First, you’ll need to remove the old flower stalk once all of the old flowers or leaves have fallen off. If the stem turns dry and straw-colored, remove the entire stalk. Cut it back to the lowest leaf node if the stem stays green.
Once you’ve cut back the flower stalk, keep caring for your orchid as you usually would. Provide plenty of bright, indirect sunlight and warm temperatures between 65 and 85ºF. Protect your orchid from cold or dry drafts caused by air vents, open windows, and radiators or heaters.
Maintain humidity levels between 50 and 80%, depending on which species of orchid you’re growing. Use a humidifier or a pebble tray to increase the ambient humidity around your orchid. You can also regularly mist your orchid, although this won’t be enough.
Keep watering and fertilizing your orchid to help it recoup its energy. Most orchids need watering every 5 to 10 days during the spring and summer. Always use room-temperature filtered or distilled water (we generally recommend not watering orchids with ice cubes).
Check the roots to see when your orchid needs watering. Water it if the roots look dry or silvery, but leave it if the roots look green and full. Fertilize your orchid once a month with a diluted liquid fertilizer.
As soon as they produce a new fully-grown leaf, most orchids require a cold spell to help them rebloom. Position your orchid somewhere with nighttime temperatures between 55 and 65ºF and plenty of bright, indirect light.
Keep your orchid in a cool location until a new flower spike starts to appear. Start feeding your orchid every two weeks to give it as much nutrition as possible. This helps the new flowers develop properly.
Once your orchid starts blooming, move it back to its original warm position and care for it as usual.
Once your orchid has finished blooming, it’ll enter a dormant phase while it gets ready to rebloom. You can help this process by cutting back the old flower spike at the right time and continuing to care for your orchid as normal.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.