If you’re an avid grower of houseplants and you’ve got any of these beautiful blossoms in your home, you might be wondering do orchids rebloom? After all, the flowers are most of the enjoyment of these extraordinary plants, so you’re bound to want to know if they will come again after they have finished.
Orchids will rebloom, but it takes time for them to regather the nutrients that they have expended in the flowering process, and they often turn dormant for several months before they will produce more flowers. Good care will be needed to encourage new flowering.
When your orchid has finished blooming, it will turn dormant for a while, and this is the period that the plant uses to recover the energy it expended while producing and maintaining flowers.
You might think that the plant is dead during this period, but it isn’t. It is just resting and it will, after time, regrow and start to flower once more.
However, a dormancy period can last for months at a time, often between six and nine, which is a frustratingly long period if you’re eagerly waiting for new growth and more beautiful flowers. Even after that time, you may find your plant seems slow and does not produce new blossoms straight away.
So, what can you do to care for your plant, encourage new growth, and help it to flower again as soon as possible without harming it?
Care During Dormancy
Once your plant has turned dormant, you need to change your approach to its care routine. Many plants like to be left alone while they are dormant, and you have to slow down on the watering and fertilizing. However, this is not the case with orchids.
Orchids are resting because they have used up a lot of their energy, not because the weather is cold. You can help them to replenish this energy, and it should encourage them to come out of dormancy more quickly if you do.
So, what should you do? The first thing is to keep fertilizing them regularly. You should use a balanced fertilizer once a week or once a month (check what your specific type of orchid prefers).
You may want to set yourself reminders so that you do this regularly, as it is easy to forget about a dormant plant and forgo fertilizing. Lots of food in its soil will encourage the orchid to wake up and flower again more quickly
Next, put your orchid somewhere cool with indirect sunlight. It ideally wants to be kept between 55 and 65° F, and you need to make sure there is no direct sun falling on it; this could damage new growth when it starts.
Water the plant occasionally (but not on the weeks that you have fertilized), and watch for a flower spike emerging. When the spike starts, support it after it reaches about five inches tall, and keep watering and fertilizing the plant frequently (but don’t make it too soggy or it will rot).
Soon enough, the spike should be tall enough for the plant to flower again.
Care While Flowering
It’s important not to stop tending to your orchid just because it has rewarded your efforts with a flower. You want to maintain that hard-won bloom for as long as possible, and this involves continued care and attention. Orchids are high-maintenance plants!
You need to keep regularly watering and fertilizing your orchid and make sure that it doesn’t get too much light during this time. While most plants enjoy a lot of sun when they are flowering, orchids still prefer indirect light.
In the wild, orchids usually grow on trees beneath a canopy, and therefore direct light is very rare and they can’t cope with it. If your orchid’s leaves start to show black tips, it’s probably getting too much sun and it needs to be moved to a new spot before it gets stressed and damaged further.
Will A Flower Rebloom On An Old Spike?
This depends on the kind of orchid that you have. Some will do so, and others will not, so it’s a good idea to research your specific variety. However, it is possible to encourage most kinds of orchids to use an old flower spike to produce a new bloom.
You will need to cut the spike to encourage a second flower to grow. If your orchid has a single spike, you should locate the lowest bloom, and then find a node beneath this. Cut the spike about an inch above the node, and the orchid may produce another flower.
If your orchid has two spikes, you should do the same thing, but also cut the second spike off at the base of the plant. This will encourage the remaining spike to produce another flower where it has been cut.
Always use a sharp, sterile blade to cut orchids. This will give you a clean cut and ensure you don’t transfer disease to the plant when you cut it.
What Prevents An Orchid From Flowering?
Orchids are fussy, delicate plants, and you may have already tried the above suggestions with no success, so let’s explore what might be preventing your orchid from producing the flowers you are hoping to see.
Wrong Amount Of Light
Firstly, your orchid may be suffering from too much or too little light. This is often a delicate balance and you might spend some time trying to find the perfect spot for your plant. Try windows that face west or east, as these will get minimal direct sunlight, but should still be bright enough for your orchid.
If you are struggling, consider taking your plant away from the windows and using a grow light instead. This should provide sufficient light without burning your orchid, and you can control exactly how much light the plant gets.
Secondly, the temperature may be wrong. If your plant is either too hot or too cold, or the temperature is fluctuating rapidly, it is unlikely to fare very well, and it won’t flower readily because it will be too stressed by its current conditions.
Try to move your plant somewhere cooler when it turns dormant, and never expose it to very hot or very cold conditions. Orchids like steady temperatures between 65 and 75° F (except when they are dormant, at which point they prefer cooler temperatures). You need to find a spot that provides this stability.
Cramped Potting Conditions
Thirdly, your plant may need repotting. It is easy not to notice that an orchid needs repotting because they are spindly plants that don’t grow huge amounts of leaves, but you should pay attention to your orchid’s roots.
If the roots are growing out of the pot or starting to turn brown, the plant needs a new pot. You should be very gentle when moving it to a new container. Make sure it has plenty of suitable growing medium and minimize the damage to its roots as much as you can.
The container needs to have very good drainage holes, as orchids suffer from being over-watered and their roots will rot quickly if they don’t dry out between waterings.
Too Little Fertilizer
A hungry orchid won’t have the energy to put into flowering properly, so if your orchid is not getting enough nutrients from its growing conditions, it won’t grow well and certainly won’t flower. You need to fertilize an orchid regularly to encourage good flowering and keep the plant balanced and happy.
Follow the guide given with the plant, or research the specific requirements of your orchid online, as different varieties prefer different fertilizing approaches, and there is no one-size-fits-all method.
Over Or Under-watering
If you water your plant too little or too much, it will fail to flower. Orchids are very sensitive to this. Because they often grow on the branches of trees in rainforests, they are used to humid environments, but not used to having soggy roots.
This means that they like plenty of water to be available, but they don’t like their roots to stay wet. Often, people struggle to get the balance of water correct and end up either drowning or dehydrating their orchids. Drowning is much more common, so be careful.
An orchid that has too much or too little water will not flower well, so you will have to get this balance right to encourage your orchid to rebloom.
Although indoor conditions mean that you can get an orchid to flower at any time of year, they generally are happier to flower in the fall. To get blossoms in another season, you will have to work hard and ensure that all the other conditions are perfect.
Orchids do rebloom, yes. However, you will have to deal with a long dormancy period in between flowerings, and even once this is complete, you will need to ensure that your plant has the best possible conditions to encourage it to grow a new flower spike.
If you want the flower spike to bloom more than once, you may be able to achieve this by cutting the dead flower off, but this won’t always be successful.