My luck with orchids has definitely been mixed. Some of my plants rebloom regularly, while others can't be coaxed to flower again no matter what I do. This particular orchid, seen here, was a gift from my mom three years ago, and it has rebloomed a stunning eight times in three years. As Flora Grubb told me when I visited her garden center, if an orchid seems to like where it is, just leave it be. Sometimes a little benign neglect helps, rather than hinders, their growing process.
That said, there are a few tricks and tips that can help get your orchids on the right track, and may encourage them to rebloom.
- Get steamy. Orchids like humidity. To replicate the feel of a hot house, try placing them in a saucer of pebbles that are kept moist. However, avoid misting the actual petals — this will shorten the length of the bloom.
- Let the sunshine in. Orchids love sunlight. One caveat: different varieties love different types of sunlight. So do a little research on your particular orchid, and then let it get its Vitamin D according to its needs. When in doubt, try placing orchids behind a sheer curtain, which will prevent them from getting burnt from direct sunlight, but still provide enough light to bloom.
- The highs, the lows. Orchids require a day and nighttime temperature variance of about 10 to 15 degrees in order to produce long-lasting blooms. To artificially create these conditions, make sure to turn down your thermostat at night.
- A tall drink of water. Water your orchids early in the day, so they can dry out over the course of the day or evening. Distilled water is better, and rainwater best, but if you use tap water, make sure that it is lukewarm as opposed to cold, which can damage the plant.
- Feed me, Seymour. Orchids will grow and bloom more prolifically if they are fed an orchid food, such as TerraCycle's Orchid Plant Food. Make sure to follow instructions exactly when using an orchid feeder, and always water thoroughly before feeding.
Do you have other great tips for growing orchids? Share them in the comments!