How To Make Orchids Rebloom

Orchids will rebloom naturally when given the proper light, fertilizer, temperature, and water. If one of these conditions is not ideal for the species of orchid, you may encounter difficulties with getting your orchid to rebloom. Some species of orchids, many Phalaenopsis, require cold temperatures to trigger flowering, while other species, such as Vanda may require more light in its environment to induce a flower spike. Some species might respond well to additional or different fertilizer. When growing in an indoor environment we can manipulate light, fertilizer, and temperature to adjust the environmental conditions to mimic nature and to induce blooming. 

How to make orchids rebloom: Light

The proper amount of light needed to make orchids rebloom is determined by the species. Some orchids such as Phalaenopsis can perform well in relatively low light conditions, a general guide is bright shade to bright but indirect light. Some orchids such as Vanda and Cattleya prefer very bright conditions and that can play a factor in flowering. If the light conditions are not ideal, the orchid may not produce a flower spike. However, never place your orchids where they will be subject to direct hot sun, this will burn orchid leaves and may destroy your plant. Direct sun in the very early morning or late evening can be tolerated by some orchids, especially Vandas and Cattleyas, but it is best to err on the side of caution with the most orchids. Light can be manipulated by the placement of the orchid, the use of natural shade, such as placing an orchid in a window that is shaded by trees but that provides bright light, or the use of shades and curtains. In addition, supplemental indoor lighting can be provided by fluorescent or LED light fixtures and this can solve many lighting issues. Another component in lighting is the amount of time that the orchid is receiving light. This is something that can also be manipulated with indoor supplemental lighting. Depending on the species, some orchids will start producing a flower spike when the amount of daylight is increasing and some will start producing when daylight is decreasing.

How to make orchids rebloom: Fertilizer

Fertilizing on a regular basis with a fertilizer that is designed specifically for orchids is another very important component in how to make orchids rebloom. Orchids need calcium, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous as well as micro nutrients. When choosing a fertilizer look for a nitrate based Nitrogen source in addition to the other ingredients. Do not use ammonium or urea based nitrogen fertilizer on your orchids. A balanced (NPK) fertilizer designed for orchids and with micronutrients will suit most of your orchids needs.  Make sure to use rain-water, reverse osmosis, or distilled water when watering your orchids. If you are using an all purpose fertilizer on a weekly basis, use 1/4 of the recommended dosage which is usually a measurement that is usually provided assuming monthly feedings. For example if the recommended dosage is 2 tablespoons of fertilizer per gallon of water, then use 1/4 of that amount which would be about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons per gallon. Follow the navigation link above and click on the advanced fertilizing tab or click here to learn about more precise fertilizing technique

Kelp/Seaweed & Other Supplementation

Sometimes, you may be doing everything correctly for your orchid. It may be healthy, vibrant, perfectly fertilized, receiving the proper amount of light and the correct temperature, but it just won't send out a flower spike and rebloom. Many orchid growers have found that the addition of some kelp or seaweed extract to their fertilizing routine has in many cases made the world of difference. Many times, this simple addition of kelp/seaweed to the fertilizing schedule has resulted in spectacular improvement of plants often resulting in new growth and the production of flower spikes. Another supplementation which some growers like to use and report good results with is the addition of some Superthrive essential vitamin solution on an occasional basis, two to four times a yearly.

How to make orchids rebloom: Temperature

Temperature is another factor to consider when learning about how to make orchids rebloom. Many Phalaenopsis are winter bloomers and start flower production in response to lower temperatures and decreasing daylight. Most Phalaenopsis needs temperatures to drop to somewhere between 52 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit (11 to 14 degrees Celcius) at night in order for flower production to be induced. Depending on where you live and the environmental conditions of where your orchids are kept, this is something that may need to be adjusted by heating or air conditioning in order to get your orchids to begin the process of flowering.

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How to make orchids rebloom:Water

One last note, and sometimes an overlooked detail, is the type of water that you are using to water/fertilize your orchids. Becoming familiar with a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter is highly recommended, as is knowing the type of water that you are using. This can play a vital role in how your orchids absorb the nutrients that you are feeding it. For simplicity's sake the three best sources of water are rainwater, distilled water, and reverse osmosis water.  Hard water from a tap source is high in total dissolved solids and this will significantly impact the ability of your plants to receive nutrients and also may result in damaging the roots of your orchids. Soft tap water may be safer to use when watering, but it is highly recommended to use one of the aforementioned ideal sources of water for the best results. 

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