Orchid Care After Flowering: Blooming Orchid Plants
Once the floral rod is bare of flowers we will observe, before making any decision, if the rod is still alive (strong green color) or if it is drying (loses the green color to take a brown color that indicates that it is drying up). In some genera such as the Phalaenopsis, some sticks continue for a long time alive, even without flowers, to the point that they can generate new floral buds.
If we see that the rod dries there is no doubt and we can proceed to cut it from its base.
If the stick is still green we have several options. The first is to leave it as it is and the plant will decide if, later, it starts new floral buds from this old stick. However, we must bear in mind that the flowers that arise from old rods are neither in quantity nor in size as those that a new rod can produce.
If we leave the rod, we can also produce at the height of any knot what we call “keiki” (son) . This can happen when the plant detects adverse conditions and try to survive. One of the ways you have to do it is by producing a small replica of itself, that is, a daughter plant identical to the mother plant.
It is a small plant that little by little grows and forms its own roots. When these roots are already about 3 cms. the daughter plant can be separated from the mother
The flowering of the orchids is the most attractive of some plants, in which in many species the least showy is the vegetation.
The wonderful thing about flowering orchids is that it usually lasts a long time, but the most desperate thing is to get it to bloom again.
There are many questions and many doubts about the flowering of orchids, which I hope will be solved largely along this and other articles on the flowers of orchids
Table Of Contents
- 1 How long are the orchids flowering?
- 1.1 How to make the orchid last longer
- 2 How long does it take for an orchid to bloom?
- 3 Why does not my orchid flower?
- 4 The flowers of my orchid are withering
- 5 What to do when an orchid loses its flowers
- 6 How to achieve a rapid flowering of orchids
How long are the orchids flowering?
The flowering of the orchids lasts for about two months, eight weeks.
This period of time must be taken as a reference, since the length of time that flowering can last will depend to a great extent on the variety and the care we provide .
Orchids are tropical plants, which in certain regions should be grown as indoor plants, reproducing the environmental conditions of their origin.
To the extent that these conditions are more similar, flowering can be extended up to three months.
How to make the flowering last longer
Many people buy orchids in full bloom , especially from Phalaenopsis , one of the best-selling orchids.
As they do not understand very well their peculiar nature and that in most of the occasions, they are epiphytic plants, the orchids end up dying after flowering.
So this is not your case, here are some basic tips on how to take care of an orchid so that it lasts longer:
- Orchids can not stand their roots in contact with water. When watering, make sure the pot drains well and do not leave the typical dish under the orchid.
- Watch the roots to know when it is necessary to water. If they are whitish they need water, but if they are green do not water them, the orchids can not stand the excess of water.
- The orchid pots : There is a kind of myth about the roots of orchids, which should be in transparent pots.
It is true that part of the photosynthesis is done through the roots, but if they were covered they would do it through the leaves.
The fact that the roots are in a transparent pot, serves to observe their roots and determine if they need to be watered.
We can have our orchid in a plastic pot to observe the roots, and then use a decorative pot to put it inside.
- Orchids are transplanted every two years or so, when their roots have grown so much that they need more space and also when the substrate has deteriorated. Cut out all damaged roots.
- Once the flowering is finished, you can proceed to the pruning of the floral wand. If you prune above a knot, you can have a second flowering in the year, but the flowers will be much smaller.
How long does it take for an orchid to bloom?
In the tropical climates where the orchids come from, they can bloom two or three times a year , that is, have a flowering every four to eight months.
Outside their natural habitat, orchids bloom once a year coinciding with spring.
The time of flowering of orchids can vary a lot. It depends on the environment where the plant, is and the species or hybrid in question.
For example, growers of the Phalaenopsis orchid can lower the temperature of the area where it is to deceive the plants and believe that it is the fall of flowers and adjust a flowering peak accordingly. In short, a plant that is blooming when purchased will adapt to its environment and establish its own flowering cycle based on its new home. As an example, an orchid that is blooming when purchased in the fall can bloom every winter.
Some orchids can bloom several times a year. Others will bloom successively, one bloom after another. The species Psychopsis and Phalaenopsis usually flourish practically all year round.
Why does not my orchid flower?
Many people receive as an gift an orchid with a splendid flowering but, after time, the plant seems willing to not throw flowers again despite having been careful and in good condition, with green and healthy leaves.
What can be the
Orchids have life cycles like all living organisms. After a period of flowering usually follows another of certain vegetative rest. However, the one that will flourish after a while will depend on some factors that we must know.
There are several reasons why your orchid may be refusing to bloom, and they have to do with the care you are providing.
As with all plants, orchids need a vegetative period , in which they replenish the force for a new flowering.
In tropical areas, orchids can bloom two or three times a year, remember that in our latitudes we should expect a single flowering.
Here are some tips for an orchid to bloom again:
During the spring the days lengthen and the orchids receive more hours of light. These changes in lighting are necessary to end the vegetative process , and stimulate flowering. I have noticed that any light suffices. It is not necessary sunlight exposure.
If it receives
little light, the plant will not develop new flowers.
Especially in spring is when the plant should receive more light and for longer as the days lengthen. This is a key element for floral stimulation and, therefore, we must ensure that the plant is in a place that without direct sunlight, receives good natural lighting. It is also in spring when the conditions of temperature change that act as a stimulant of flowering occur, as we shall see later.
There are orchids like the Phalaenopsis that can bloom more than once a year if they have the ideal conditions. However, the most common in most of the most common species that we have at home (phalaenopsis, oncidiums, dendrobiums, etc.), do it once a year, beginning the process of producing the floral rods coinciding with the change of season ( end of winter in early spring).
In the case of phalaenopsis we will need to stimulate flowering around a minimum of 10,000 – 12,000 lux. If we have this light, the orchid will also notice the lengthening of hours of sunlight during the spring, which is an essential element for its proper flowering.
As a rule, Phalaenopsis orchids prefer indirect and bright light, enough to project a shadow.
This pattern works quite well, especially when the orchids are blooming.
But here is the secret, once the orchid finishes blooming, it needs energy to produce another flower rod. Just at the moment when the rod will start to develop (late autumn, early winter), daylight begins to be scarcer in the northern hemisphere. Then what to do?
The easiest solution is to move your orchid to a place where the sun gives you a few hours in the morning directly or in the afternoon.
This will ensure that the plant gets enough energy to make a stick with many flower buds.
You have to introduce this light gradually, for a week or so.
If you think “more sun, better”, think twice.
Other changes necessary to begin flowering, is that there are favorable temperature changes between day and night.
The differences between night and daytime temperatures must be between 50°F and 55ºF, for most orchids.
Warm days, cool nights for a quick flowering of orchids:
Almost everything that orchid growers do is an attempt to recreate the natural habitat of the orchid. For most orchids their correct growth range coincides with a temperature suitable for people. However, a drop in temperature at night is typical in rainforests. Phalaenopsis orchids, in particular, initiate a blooming spike in response to a month of cold temperatures at night, which mimics the climatic conditions in Southeast Asia at the beginning of its rainy season.
At home, you have two options:
In early fall, keep your orchid near a window open at night (but do not leave it exposed to temperatures below 50° F for long ) , or you can keep the air conditioning low during the day and raise it at night.
It is one of the critical elements in flowering and that people usually do not know about. The orchids need to start the flowering cycle a temperature change between day and night of about fifty degrees Fahrenheit º C. The ideal temperatures in most species would be about 50-55 º F. at night minimum and about 68 to 77º F. Maximum for the day. This temperature difference is one of the main factors for the stimulation of flowering. They should be avoided, along with temperatures lower than 50 ºF. and above 90º F. The orchids, originating mostly from climates and tropical environments, will not tolerate temperatures below or above the levels indicated, so we must take appropriate measures.
Nutrients and Fertilizers
Although orchids do not need large amounts of nutrients, via fertilizers, it is always agood idea to fertilize at the end of winter, when the most active period of orchids begins. Use only fertilizers formulated for orchids.
Like all living beings, orchids need nutrients to develop . If the plant does not receive sufficient fertilizer when the active period begins (after the dormant period, usually at the end of winter, the beginning of spring), the plant will not develop floral buds or these will not develop sufficiently. Use only special fertilizers for orchids and follow the instructions of the product.
We also recommend the use (at the beginning of the vegetative period) of bioactivators of flowering (available in stores and in Amazon) . These are products that usually contain a complex of amino acids and vitamins (B1, B2, B12, B6, K3, etc.) and are applied in the form of vaporization on the leaves and stems, never on the flowers if they are already present.
Orchids can not absorb as much fertilizer as plants that grow in the soil or in a pot, because of their roots.
If they receive too much fertilizer too often they can die (remember, there are not many nutrients in those tree branches.)
So memorize these words “weekly, in small quantity”.
Once a week, take any orchid fertilizer you have and use half the recommended dose when watering your orchids.
In winter, shorten the fertilizer once a month, and from time to time, wash excess fertilizer salts that have accumulated to irrigate the orchids.
It can happen that some attacks by fungi or insects can truncate the flowering. We must be alert to the appearance of any type of plague.
Finally, if the orchid does not flower, it may also be due to suffering from some disease. Examine your plant and try to find symptoms of the presence of fungi, insects or others.
Visit omy article about Diseases for more detailed information.
The flowers of my orchid are withering
At the end of the bloom, after about two months,
it is normal for the orchid flowers to wilt and fall.
We can attribute this process to natural causes, if we observe that it is progressive and that the flowers that begin to wither are the ones that have been open the longest, following those that were opened later.
However, other less natural causes can be given, such as a rise in temperature, that we have changed the orchid from place and now receive direct sun, excess or lack of moisture, an excess of fertilizer, that the orchid is in a current of air or in an environment with little aeration and rarefied.
What to do when an orchid loses its flowers Once the orchids bloom, many people do not know what to do.
Some are waiting for a new flowering, as it happens with many of the garden plants, but the truth is that it is not very common outside of tropical climates.
In the majority of the orchids, once the flowering is finished, the pruning of the floral rods will proceed .
The Phalaenopsis can offer us a second flowering, if
the floral rod has generated a knot.
It can also lead to a keiki, which is a promise of a new orchid.
In these cases you can cut over the knot and hope for the best.
If the floral rod becomes yellowish, we can not expect anything else, it is best to cut it close to its source.
How to achieve a rapid flowering of orchids
In a world too hectic to have the
“patience of a gardener” with experience, many people wonder
how they can achieve a quick flowering of their orchids.
Magic formulas do not exist, nature has its own process and “except” that we reproduce very faithfully the environmental conditions of the tropics, we must wait a whole year for our orchids to flower again.
What advice would you give for a good flowering? Well, the same as a moment ago I repeated the question Why my orchid does not bloom ?, The keys are in the lighting, temperature, fertilizer, that the plant does not suffer any disease and to add one more point, the conditions of adequate environmental humidity.
Differentiate a new floral stem from a new root:
Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate when the plant (especially in the case of Phalaenopsis) is producing a new root or a floral stick. Both at the beginning appear at the base of the stem in the form of a protuberance that progressively grows. Normally, they can be differentiated in that if it is a root it usually takes a uniform green color in its tip (growth zone) and gray in the rest (when they are dry or before watering) being its smooth texture. If they are roots they will tend to tilt downwards, although many of them, if they manage to find a support (see following photograph) can use it as a guide and grow upwards.
For its part, the floral rods always have a consistent color that varies from light green to dark brown (depending on the color of the flower), its growth is vertical (always up) and we will observe that its texture is not smooth as in the root but will produce small bumps regularly (like knots). Some of these knots then generate the different branches.
Special Prevention During Spring
Normally it is in spring when the plant begins the activity of generating the flowers from the different floral rods. It is an active period in which the plant is also more susceptible to attack by bacteria, insects and fungi. A high temperature, excess humidity and poor ventilation are the ideal combination for us to start having problems.
Apart from correcting these environmental factors, we can carry out other preventive tasks such as spraying our plants with natural phytosanitary products. In the following link we have some of them.
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.