Many of us have bought or received an orchid in a pot only to neglect it after the flowers have faded. Maybe you or someone you know can relate. When we grow orchids as houseplants, they typically bloom for a few weeks or months before the blooms fall off and they stop blooming.
If you are aware of these plants’ particular requirements, you can encourage them to generate new spikes and flowers. While we make every attempt to provide our indoor orchids with a proper habitat by maintaining stable temperatures, nutrition, water, and light, what works for most houseplants may not be sufficient to stimulate an orchid’s dormant period and encourage it to bloom again.
Fortunately, small changes can have a big impact. Even a slight change in the environment around the plant can encourage the development of a new spike and result in a more beautiful and plentiful display of blooms. We’re here to help you navigate this procedure! Are you prepared to see your orchid produce more beautiful flowers and discover how to encourage it to grow a new spike? The following subjects will be covered in this manual:
Provide the right conditions:
Providing the right conditions for your orchid is crucial to its overall health and the development of a new spike. Orchids thrive in bright but indirect sunlight, so placing them near a window with filtered light or using sheer curtains to diffuse the sunlight can be ideal.
Adequate ventilation is important to prevent stagnant air around the plant, so ensure proper air circulation in the room. Orchids are also sensitive to temperature, preferring a range of 60–80 °F (15–27 °C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night.
Avoid exposing them to draughts or extreme temperature fluctuations. Orchids require a humid environment, mimicking their natural tropical habitat. You can increase humidity by using a humidifier or placing the orchid on a tray filled with water and pebbles.
Additionally, avoid placing the orchid near heating or cooling vents, as this can lead to dryness. By creating the optimal conditions of light, temperature, ventilation, and humidity, you provide a favourable environment for your orchid to grow and potentially develop a new spike.
maintaining optimal temperature:
Maintaining an optimal temperature is crucial for the health and growth of your orchid, including the development of a new spike. Orchids generally prefer a temperature range of 60–80 °F (15–27 °C) during the day.
It’s important to avoid exposing them to extreme temperature fluctuations, as this can stress the plant and hinder spike production. Orchids also benefit from slightly cooler temperatures at night, which can simulate their natural environment.
Avoid placing your orchid near draughty areas or close to windows that might become excessively cold during the winter months. Conversely, keep them away from direct heat sources that can cause overheating.
By providing a stable and suitable temperature range, you create an environment that encourages your orchid to thrive, promotes healthy growth, and increases the chances of developing a new spike for beautiful blooms.
new spike is growing
Humidity is needed for spike growth.
Humidity requirements for spike growth can vary depending on the specific plant species. However, in general, spikes or flowering stems of plants often require slightly higher humidity levels compared to other parts of the plant. The elevated humidity helps maintain moisture around the developing flowers and promotes their healthy growth.
A common recommendation for humidity levels during spike growth is to maintain them between 50% and 70%. This range provides sufficient moisture without creating excessively damp conditions that could encourage fungal diseases or rot.
To increase humidity around plants and their spikes, you can employ several methods:
Grouping plants together: Placing plants close to each other creates a microclimate with higher humidity levels due to collective transpiration.
Misting: Regularly misting the air around the plants with water can temporarily increase humidity. However, avoid misting directly on the spikes or flowers to prevent damage or disease.
Pebble trays: Placing a tray filled with water and pebbles near the plants creates an area of increased humidity through evaporation.
Humidifiers: Using a room humidifier or a small humidifier near the plants can help maintain a consistent and controlled humidity level.
Greenhouse or terrarium: If you have access to a greenhouse or terrarium, these enclosed environments naturally maintain higher humidity levels.
Watering your orchid properly is essential for its overall health and the potential growth of a new spike. Orchids are unique plants that require a careful balance of moisture.
Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause dehydration and hinder spike development. When watering your orchid, it’s important to water thoroughly and allow excess water to drain away. To prevent shocking the plant, use water that is room temperature or lukewarm.
Tip: use Growth fertilizer for faster growth
Fertilising your orchid appropriately is an important aspect of promoting healthy growth and encouraging the development of a new spike. Compared to other indoor plants, orchids have unique nutrient needs.
Using a balanced orchid fertiliser specifically formulated for these plants is recommended. When fertilising, it’s crucial to follow the instructions on the package for proper dilution and application. Typically, orchids are fertilised about once a month during the growing season, which is usually in the spring and summer. During the dormant period, which is typically in the fall and winter, you can reduce or even stop fertilisation as the plant’s growth slows down.
Over-fertilisation can be detrimental to orchids, causing salt buildup in the potting medium and damaging the roots. Regular and proper fertilisation, in conjunction with adequate watering, light, and temperature, provides your orchid with the necessary nutrients to support its overall health and encourage the emergence of a new spike.
pruning and trimming
Pruning and trimming your orchid play a crucial role in promoting new spike growth and maintaining the overall health and appearance of the plant. After your orchid has finished blooming and the flowers have wilted, it’s important to prune the old spike properly.
Using clean and sterile pruning shears or scissors, carefully cut the spike just above a node or bud, leaving about an inch (2.5 cm) above it. This encourages the orchid to direct its energy towards developing a new spike rather than wasting it on the old one.
Additionally, trimming any dead or yellowing leaves and removing any dried or withered roots helps to maintain the plant’s vitality and prevent the spread of disease or pests. Regular pruning and trimming also help improve air circulation around the plant, reducing the risk of fungal or bacterial infections.
By maintaining a well-groomed and pruned orchid, you provide an optimal environment for new spike growth and ensure the overall health and aesthetics of the plant.
Patience is a key virtue when it comes to growing orchids and waiting for a new spike to emerge. Orchids have their own natural growth cycles, and the process of developing a new spike can take time. It’s important to remember that each orchid is unique and may have its own pace of growth.
Some orchids may produce spikes relatively quickly, while others may take several weeks or even months. During this waiting period, it’s crucial to provide consistent care and maintain optimal conditions for your orchid’s growth. Avoid the temptation to overwater, over-fertilise, or make any drastic changes to the plant’s environment out of impatience.
Orchids require a balance of patience and attentive care. Keep observing your orchid, providing it with the necessary light, temperature, watering, and fertilisation, and trust the natural growth process. With time and patience, you will eventually witness the reward of a new spike emerging and the beauty of blooming orchid flowers.
Can you save a broken orchid spike?
Yes, it is possible to save a broken orchid spike under certain circumstances. If the spike is only partially broken, you can try to stabilise it by gently tying it to a support or using orchid clips. Additionally, you can apply a rooting hormone or cinnamon powder to the broken part of the spike to encourage new growth. However, if the spike is severely damaged or completely severed, it may not be salvageable, and it’s best to remove it to prevent any potential infection.
Do orchids rebloom on old stems?
In general, orchids do not rebloom on old stems. Most orchids produce new flower spikes from the base of the plant or near the nodes on the existing stem. After an orchid has finished blooming, the old stem may wither or turn brown. It is usually recommended to trim or remove the old stem to redirect the plant’s energy towards producing new growth and flower spikes.
What should you do if your orchid sprouts leaves at the end of its spike?
If your orchid sprouts leaves at the end of its spike, it is an indication that the orchid is undergoing a growth phase. This can occur when the orchid is healthy and receiving proper care. You can allow the leaves to grow naturally and observe if any new flower spikes develop from the base of the plant. In the meantime, continue providing appropriate orchid care, including adequate light, water, and fertiliser, to support the plant’s overall health and encourage future blooms.
Do orchids bloom again on the same stem?
No, orchids generally do not bloom again on the same stem. Once an orchid has finished blooming, the flowers will eventually fade and wither away. It is common practise to trim or remove the old stem once the blooms have dropped. Orchids typically produce new flower spikes from the base of the plant or from nodes on the existing stem during subsequent blooming cycles. Removing the old stem allows the plant to focus its energy on developing new growth and producing fresh flower spikes for future blooms.