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Thread: What should I do with orchid plants after they have bloomed?

  1. #1
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    What should I do with orchid plants after they have bloomed?

    I've been watering them regularly and they are very healthy-looking. Has anyone been successful in getting them to bloom again? I hate to throw out healthy plants, but they are just taking up space.

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    Mine almost always rebloom, downside, they only bloom once a year. Mine start making shoots around the end of January, bloom March or April for 3 to 4 months. Hubs built me a shelf about 10 inches of the floor below a south facing picture window. Water once a week. Some people use 3-4 icecubes in the pot.

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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I was given one almost 2 years ago, it was in bloom. The instructions that came with it said to make sure it had good airflow, and don't overwater. It's in my kitchen window facing east. I water only when it's dry, but I let it sit for several hours in water to let the moss soak. It did bloom again on its own in the spring, and I was pleased to see the blooms lasted for quite a long time.

    Long story short, I don't know what I did to get it to bloom again, sorry!

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    They don't seem to like being disturbed much, and seem to survive quite happily on benevolent neglect. I dust the leaves, don't let them dry out, but don't let them sit in water (mine are in orchid compost which honestly seems to just be chunks of bark) and have them in a relatively shady window (and trust me, over here, the skies are mostly lightly overcast, so there's not a lot of light ) and they seem to happily occasionally grow a new leaf, but regularly put up flower spikes. It doesn't happen quickly, just in their own sweet time. I have two in bloom just now, each with two spikes of at least eight flowers (one has twelve, and is still budding out from the tip).
    With orchids I think the best advice is "Patience"

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    I'm not sure if life is passing me by or trying to run me over !

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    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    i put mine on the pourch during dec-jan because someone told me they need a cold spell before they can bloom. I don't know if it works because my pet raccoon decided to use it for a chew toy, i'll try with another this year,

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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy View Post
    i put mine on the pourch during dec-jan because someone told me they need a cold spell before they can bloom. I don't know if it works because my pet raccoon decided to use it for a chew toy, i'll try with another this year,
    Mine bloom all yr long so I'm sure they don't need the cold spell. I keep them in front of a window that is indirect sunlight. In summer I put them outside where they have mostly if not all shade. its the extra light that makes them bloom. There is feed just for them too. When a stock stops blooming it'll start dying off and before it reaches the bottom of the plant you should cut the stalk off so that it doesn't kill the root too. I don't water all the time because they don't like a lot of water. I just learned about the ice cubes this past yr. In Hi they bloom it the trees where someone has nessled them in the branch. These are my favorite flowers along with tulips and Christmas/Easter cactuses. They do need cold to make them really grow. My cactus I move to the outside in the shade as soon as no sign of frost still exist and ignore them all yr. I normally bring them in before frost but after a little cold weather, around here that's usually late Oct, early Nov
    Judy

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Guess I need more patience. The weather here in WI is so fickle I can't really put them outside anymore. We seem to get changes of 40 degrees in one direction or another without much warning. I hadn't thought to give them fertilizer, so will start doing that and see what happens in the spring.

    Any suggestions about which fertilizer to use?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Three Dog Night's Avatar
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    I have orchids growing at home and work. They are in south facing windows and don't seem to mind the sun in the afternoon. I have had several rebloom and have one at home that has been in bloom for about 3 months; several at both work and home are populating new plants at top of flower stem. I have been able to replant and get these to grow on their own. Don't know what I have done to make them grow but it's been working. The ones at work I spray with a mister a couple of times a week and the ones at home I will water and they sit on a gravel bed for mostiture from below (they are not sitting in the water) and I let all of them dry out between watering. When I tried the ice cube method it seemed to damage/freeze the roots so just mist or water now.

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    Any suggestions about which fertilizer to use?
    There is one just for orchids but if you can't find that use one for blooming plants but don't be heavy handed. Like herbs, they don't like a lot of water or alot of foof. Good luck.
    Judy

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    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Yes! Benevolent neglect! I carefully tended mine for 5 years after the first bloom. Nothing! Then I sort of ignored them. Watered only rarely. Suddenly they all bloom every year!! And the blooms last for months!
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    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    Mine are in a SE window, one blooms for me every year and has just now put on a bloom shoot. One I pampered for three years before it bloomed again and it was a beauty. One I lost and two haven't bloomed in two years. I heard a expert say some will never bloom again while others will bloom again for you. I guess it is a toss up on what you have. If my two don't bloom for me this year I will put them outside next summer and if that does not work I will throw them away.

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    Perhaps some plant food? I can cause my Christmas cacti to bloom most any time, by letting then really dry out and then watering w plant food mixed in.

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    My aunt said to treat them like African Violets.
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    I was given an orchid for my birthday last year (big one) It bloomed beautifully for more than four months. I watered it once a week with 1/4 cup of water, quite regularly. Then it just sat there all summer (watered not quite so regularly). I noticed the new flower stalks when they were already 6 inches high. Then I cut off the old stalks. The first new flower opened on Monday. There are seven or eight buds on each stalk.
    I give it ice cubes now. They don't freeze the roots. It seems the new stalks came after I started using the ice cubes.
    I have it in a north window now.
    I think the plant food should be special orchid fertilizer, but I don't have any of that yet. You use that once a year. The friend who gave me the orchid said she would give me some of her fertilizer, but she hasn't yet.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

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    Senior Member AlvaStitcher's Avatar
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    I live in Florida and keep my orchids outside all year. Some on trees, some hanging on a trellis. I have to be careful that they don't dry out during our slower rain months. Fertilize once a month with orchid fertilizer and they grow well. Right now I have 6 dendrobiums (sp?) in flower spike I love growing them and need to cut off starters from some and get them potted. Waiting for screen enclosure to go up here (we recently moved into a new house and are putting up a pool enclosure (minus the pool) for landscaping. I love working with plants and luckily so does my husband.

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    Benign Neglect. If I knew what I was doing I'm sure it would have died years ago. It's above the kitchen sink, water it a little when I think about it. It does have good light. Never fed it and it has bloomed for the last 4 or 5 years - usually about the time we think it is dead and we should throw it out.

  17. #17
    Super Member 1screech's Avatar
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    They will reblooms year after year. If you have a tree, you can put them under the tree and leave them alone. They have to be brought in in very cold weather.

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    I am sorry for this, but when I read your question, all I could do was think -- just keep it around and watch it die! That has been my experience one too many times. Now I have quit buying them, much as I love them, cause I can't keep them alive. **sigh**
    "Accomplishment is a consequence of effort" -- Michael Crichton

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    Super Member Blue Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg View Post
    Any suggestions about which fertilizer to use?
    There is one just for orchids but if you can't find that use one for blooming plants but don't be heavy handed. Like herbs, they don't like a lot of water or alot of foof. Good luck.
    Try Orchid Food Plant Food by Schultz. My son gave a plant for Mother's day about 10 years ago and It has bloomed every year, one year it seemed to be in continuous bloom. I read that if you give it a SMALL amount of plant food each time you water it, it will bloom more than once a year. It also likes humidity so I keep them by the kitchen sink. I now have 3 plants from the mother plant. I read that you can add ice cubes to water it, but I have always watered my orchids with warm water with about 1/16 of a teaspoon of plant food. It is an easy plant to grow.
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    Senior Member Barbshobbies's Avatar
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    It`s the waiting & neglect I don`t like, mine are in east window, look awful most of the time, but as long as there is life I can`t toss anything out. I do make a gallon jug of water with an 1/8th of a teaspoon of orchard fertilizer, and only water them when really dry. Some of mine are really getting old , and still bloom beautifully!

  21. #21
    Super Member juneayerza's Avatar
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    Do you know what kind of orchid it is?
    June

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