Orchids are one of the most popular indoor plants – and for a good reason! They are beautiful, have a delightful and relaxing scent, and they're not too difficult to manage once you get the hang of things. Like all flowering plants, Orchids will go dormant during the winter and need to rebloom once spring starts up again. If you want your orchids to be bright and blooming this spring, consider the following guide that will help you get your orchids to rebloom.
How Do You Know if Your Orchid is Dormant?
Your Orchid will go dormant at some point during the wintertime. Like many houseplants, Orchids will start going through the early stages of dormancy in the fall before going fully dormant during the winter. If you aren’t sure whether or not your plant is dormant, look for the following signs.
One of the most noticeable signs of Orchid dormancy is bloom drop. As the name suggests, this symptom involves the blooms of your Orchid falling off the plant. In some cases, only a few flowers will entirely drop, while the others may become lifeless and dull-looking. You may notice bloom drop as early as late fall, though most plant owners report bloom drop increasing dramatically as winter weather sets in.
Another sign that your Orchid is dormant is the presence of shriveled stems. Orchid stems will become shriveled and dull in appearance as the plant enters dormancy so that you may notice this symptom as early as late fall.
Limp, Dull Leaves
Finally, you may notice the leaves of your orchid becoming limp, dull, and lifeless. Although they will still retain some green color, the green will not be vibrant but appear muted in appearance. Sometimes the leaves may fall off with the blooms.
How To Help Your Orchid Rebloom
If you want your Orchid to rebloom, you will need to take the proper steps to ensure the plant is in the best conditions to bloom again. The process will have two phases: winter and spring. In the winter, you will need to keep your Orchid healthy by following basic winter care instructions; in the spring, you will need to take the right steps to encourage the plant to rebloom.
Phase 1: Winter
Keep Your Orchid Cool
If you want your Orchid to rebloom during the spring, you will need to make sure that it stays cool throughout its dormant season. The best way to manage this is to move the plant to a cool, dark location for the wintertime.
Don’t fertilize in the winter! It can be tempting to feed dormant plants, as the idea that they will need extra nutrients in the winter seems appealing. Still, Orchids are meant to go dormant in the winter, and giving them fertilizer during this time will make it difficult for them to grow properly in the spring.
Phase 2: Spring
Your Orchid will need some fertilizer to rebloom and grow during the spring, which is their growing season. Fertilizers can help plants emerge from dormancy and keep them growing healthy throughout the rest of their growing season. From March to October, you can feed you Orchid with a balanced fertilizer like 12-12-12. Remember, using too much fertilizer will wreak havoc on your orchids, so don’t overdo it!
Up The Humidity
Winter can be very dry in most parts of the world, and dry air is not the best environment for plants to grow. Orchids require a high level of humidity since they are tropical plants. An increase in moisture will help encourage your Orchid to emerge from dormancy and help new buds to develop. If possible, use a humidifier in the space where your Orchid rests in your home.
Move To A Brighter Location (Or Use Artificial Lights)
Orchids need coolness and darkness in the winter – but warmth and light in the spring. To encourage your Orchid to rebloom, you’ll need to move it to a more “spring-like” location. In most homes, this will be a North-west or South-east facing window. If your home doesn’t have such a spot or the sun hasn’t been shining much, you can use artificial growing lights. Remember to use curtains to protect the plant from direct sunlight, especially from May to September.
Rehydrate Your Orchid
Most plants will need to be rehydrated for the springtime, and Orchids are no exception. The best way to rehydrate these plants is to water them from the bottom. Place the Orchid inside a bowl of water and leave it there for about 15 minutes. The soil will soak up the water, and the roots will receive as much moisture as they need.
Look For Orchid Spikes
If you have followed the above care instructions, you will soon start to see Orchid spikes. Once you see them, it is a sign that your Orchid is ready to rebloom. Make sure to keep your Orchid in a bright location, keep the humidity high, and feed regularly the plant until the cold season starts again!
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