Orchids produce blooms that can last for a couple of months. After the plant finishes blooming, it enters into a resting period that is needed to prepare the plant for the next blooming cycle.
During this time, orchid owners may mistakenly believe their orchid won’t bloom again, and often throw away the plant.
Don’t do that. Your orchid will bloom again. What’s more, you can make it bloom again with a few simple tweaks.
By following my tips below and understanding the orchid blooming cycle, you will be able to enjoy your blooming orchid for many more years to come.
How Often do Orchids Bloom?
Most orchids will bloom from January until March, while other varieties will bloom during the fall months. Blooms can last anywhere from a week to a couple of months.
Generally, Phalaenopsis orchids will bloom once or twice a year, but you can enjoy their blooms for up to 2-3 months.
The dormancy period can last from a few months to up to 9 months, and sometimes your orchid may need a little help to kick-start its blooming cycle again.
First, you need to identify the reasons why your orchid stops blooming. Most often a prolonged dormancy period has to do with environmental conditions that don’t favor the orchid entering into a new blooming cycle.
Why Your Orchid Does Not Bloom?
My most immediate answer to this question is because your orchid is in a dormancy period. But often, the reason behind your orchid not blooming is entirely different.
As I mentioned, environmental factors will influence the blooming cycle of your orchid. Here are the top reasons why your orchid may seem like it has gone dormant forever:
– Bad Lighting
One reason why your orchid may stop blooming is the lack of enough sunlight. While orchids enjoy indirect light, this does not mean they will do well, let alone bloom, in dark light conditions.
On the other hand, your orchid may be getting too much light as well, especially if it’s direct light, which will not only cause bloom loss but will also damage the plant itself.
– Improper Watering
Orchids will usually suffer from too much water rather than too little water, but both can delay the restart of the blooming cycle.
Make a point of watering your orchid only if the potting medium feels dry or when exposed roots are starting to turn gray.
– Temperature Fluctuations
Orchids do best in temperature between 65 F and 75 F. If it’s too cold or too hot, your orchid will need to put resources towards coping with these changes. This will cause stress and can delay or stop the orchid from blooming.
Avoid exposing your orchid to cold drafts, cold windows, ACs or heating vents. Find a place with steady temperature, where sudden changes can be avoided.
– Lack of Nutrients
Another reason why your orchid may be having trouble blooming is lack of nutrients in the potting medium. You can easily overcome this problem by regularly fertilizing your orchid.
– Need to Repot
It’s also possible that your orchid has outgrown its current pot and requires transplanting. If you notice the roots getting too crowded for the pot or poking out of the pot and starting to brown, it’s time to repot your orchid. This will increase the ventilation to the roots that were otherwise suffocating.
Tips to Make Your Orchid Bloom
You can get even a neglected orchid to start blooming again if you offer it proper care. Here are 5 tips on how to start your orchid on a new blooming cycle:
– Trim and/or Repot Your Orchid
Once the previous blooming period comes to an end, it’s a good time to do a little ‘maintenance’ on your orchid. You can cut away old flower stalks or leaves that have dried or wilted.
If your orchid has grown so much that it’s time for a repot, take this time to inspect the roots and cut away any damaged, dried, soft, browned or otherwise unhealthy roots.
Plant your orchid in a fresh potting medium that’s well-draining and aerated.
– Keep in Indirect Sunlight
Make sure your orchid continues to receive indirect sunlight. Too much or too little light will have a negative impact on the blooming cycle.
– Move Orchid to a Colder Room
Technically, you need to recreate the temperature conditions that orchids have during their dormancy. This means a difference of about 10 F between day and night temperature for 2 to 4 weeks. After that, move your orchid back to its previous location.
– Keep Your Orchid Indoors
Don’t move your orchid outdoors during the summer.You may inadvertently cause problems like the orchid getting too much light or exposing it to temperatures that are too high.
– Maintain a Good Watering Routine
Make sure you keep the orchid on a correct watering routine. Don’t overwater; wait for the potting medium to dry before watering. Don’t neglect it either.
Why Is My Boat Orchid Not Blooming?
Of all the orchids typically kept as houseplants, getting a repeat flowering from the boat orchid or Cymbidium orchid may be a bit more difficult.
Here are some of the chief reasons why your boat orchid may have a difficult time to bloom again:
– Disturbance in Lighting
It’s possible that you have moved your orchid elsewhere and it’s getting too little light. Even when kept indoors, boat orchids require over 6 hours of daily exposure to filtered light.
But there’s another explanation to why your boat orchid may be refusing to bloom — indoor lights may be interfering with the plant’s perception of dark/light cycles.
If light exposure in the fall isn’t reduced, it may fail to signal to the plant that winter is near and it’s time to bloom. Therefore, artificial lighting that’s too strong can also suppress the plan’s blooming.
A slight drop in temperature during fall may also be needed to trigger blooming in your boat orchid. A difference of 10 F between day and night temperature should be maintained for about 2-4 weeks.
As we enter into fall and start to heat our homes, indoor humidity levels drop, which can also be a cause why your orchid may not enter into a blooming cycle. Using a humidifier when the air in your home is dry is a good way to supplement the lack of natural humidity.
– Deficiencies in Plant Care
Other plant care elements besides lighting and temperature will also influence how often your orchid blooms.
Watering, and especially overwatering, will directly impact your orchid’s ability to bloom. Lack of proper fertilizing will also contribute. Boat orchids will usually require a 10-10-10 fertilizer.
An orchid that stops blooming for a couple of months is normal. Make sure you know the periods in which your orchid blooms, so that you can recognize whether it’s normal or not for your orchid to not go into a repeat flowering.
As I have mentioned before, the most likely reasons for your orchid not blooming are changes in its environment that you can control. Sometimes, a change in just one of the elements that go into plant care can result in a suppression of the blooming cycle.
You should make sure that lighting, watering, temperature, humidity and nutrient intake are all optimal to support the repeat blooming of your orchid.