Orchids are some of the most popular flower purchases from not only garden centers, but supermarkets as well. They are a perfect gift to grab on the go for your loved ones and are beautiful in bloom. However, what do you do when they have stopped blooming and seem as if they will be dormant forever?
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Karen Thurber adds, "Orchids thrive in a humid environment. To raise the humidity, place 1 inch of pebbles in a tray and add a half inch of water. Place the orchids on the tray in bright, indirect, sunlight."
A Test to Make Sure There's Still Hope
The first test to make sure that your orchids will bloom again is to determine if the remaining leaves look healthy. If they are still green and firm to the touch, your orchids will most likely be seeing some new blooms in the future. If they have began to turn yellow and aren’t quite as green as when they first bloomed, or if they have a rubbery texture, you might not be completely out of luck, but they will take a little more work to revive.
If They're Green
If the plant leaves still seem to look healthy, simply cut the very tip of the stem where the orchid used to bloom. This should ensure that the flower will have the energy to bring you new flowers in the future. Also, remember that orchids are one of the slowest growing flowers, so it is important to be patient and confident that if you have green leaves, you will have blossoms in the future. Do not water too much and keep them out of hot temperatures for the time being. It will stimulate growth to be out of the heat and in the shade.
If They're Turning Yellow
It is not the end of the world if your orchid's leaves have turned a spongy yellow color and texture. Instead of cutting the stem at the tip where the flower was before, cut father down without damaging the leaves or other healthy looking parts of the plant. Place the pot outside if the temperature is not too hot, and be sure to keep them out of direct sun. Soak the bark in the pot and allow it to completely drain without sitting in the water for too long, as orchids are very susceptible to root rot. Only do this procedure once every week and a half and never add more water until it’s apparent that the bark in the pot has become relatively dry.
Fertilize for Added Success
If you have followed all recommendations but still don't see results, add a little organic fertilizer to the watering routine. With enough drainage, even commercial non-organic fertilizers should not burn roots and give just enough nutrients to help them along.
TIP: Karen suggests, "If using general house plant fertilizer dilute to half-strength."
Remember to keep away from direct sunlight for long periods of time and never over water the roots and the bark. That being said, they still need to be in an area where they will receive natural light as well.
Again, remember that these flowers generally bloom in the fall and may take up to a year after the first blossom to appear again.
TIP: Karen recommends, "After flowering orchids have a period of slowed growth; reduce watering, and fertilizing, until new growth appears."