How to Re-Bloom Orchids From the Orchid Whisperer
I posted (boasted) on Facebook about my success in re-growing my orchids after the untimely passing of their initial blooms, and there was a surge of requests to explain how I did this.
So here my friends is one of my many instructional blogs on how I re-grow my orchids. These techniques worked for me, but are by no means guaranteed for all of you.
First things first: I used to have orchids around my home in various locations. I was using them for decoration. It seems that they knew this and objected to being used in this way. They would die rather quickly and that would be that.
Since I love orchids so much, and wanted all of my inert pots of leaves to re-bloom, I started reading up on them.
I discovered that they thrive in high indirect sun. So I chose a long table by my sunniest window to give all of my ones currently in bloom, and my dormant ones, a permanent place – a home base. They do not like to be moved around, so this is where they stay permanently, even after they bloom. People may object to this part, but I have a little orchid party going on in this section of my home, and other plants elsewhere.
The second most important thing that I have done is that I re-pot all of my orchids once they come home to me. Most were gifts, and a few I bought. They always need a larger pot, and they sell orchid soil, which is just a bunch of wood chips and a bit of soil which when you plant them in a pot of this gives the roots lots of air and room to grow. So carefully re-pot in a larger pot with these wood chips sold as orchid soil.
Next is watering. There is a lot of debate about this one, but my success has come with my preferred method of watering. I put one to two ice cubes (depending on the size of the plant) in the pot once a week. The ice cube melts and drips just a bit of water into the pot slowly. They do not like a lot of water and over-watering kills them faster than anything.
Last is what happens after the blooms die off. I cut the stems (which are still very much alive) to about three quarters leaving lots of orchid stem SEAMS for them to re-bloom from. Before I learned this trick, I waited too long, let the whole stem die and cut the entire stem off. The leaves still looked healthy so I kept the plant, but it takes YEARS for a new stem to bloom from these. However, do not lose hope if that is all you have, because this one pictured, decided to build a new stem from scratch after being dormant for a long while. This one has taken a few years, but it is happily making a comeback with a whole new stem. This is a first for me. Here it is. (Oops I need to polish those leaves too, but it gives you an idea of how old this one is.)
Most of my new re-growth comes from the seams of stems cut back a bit as you can see from the photos here.
See the one above coming out of the seam? They usually come in sideways, like the one below too:
About the leaves: If your leaves are wrinkly and withered, you have root rot, and you will not get a re-bloom. Throw it out and start all over again. Root rot is common with over-watering or over-crowding the roots. If your leaves are shiny and rubbery looking, you have good roots and you can hope for re-blooms by keeping in high indirect sunlight (through a window) and using the ice cube trick.
I have so much activity going on in my orchid space of my den, that I know I have finally become the orchid whisperer. Prior to this I had the opposite of a green thumb. These tricks worked for me, and I have re-blooms all the time now, though I am still delighted each time it happens. Until they re-bloom, I never remember what color orchid they were or what size flower they had so the re-blooms are always a surprise in that department, and it never fails to delight me.
Send me a note if these work for you and Good Luck!