When it comes to orchids, phalaenopsis (moth orchids) are among the most easy to grow. Blooms can last for several months and you can get them to rebloom without a lot of effort. Well, some folks can. I haven’t had such good luck with getting another bloom, and I have the shelf of non-blooming phalaenopsis to prove it. Frankly, I’m a little bit embarrassed.
In an effort to succeed in getting rebloom, I checked in with our orchid expert at Gardner’s Supply, Anita Nadeau. She helps customers in the conservatory at our Williston, VT, store (Check out the slideshow, below). Here are her tips for getting your phalaenopsis to rebloom:
Pay attention to watering and humidity. If you neglect your orchid, it will not reward you with blooms. The plants are growing in a free-draining blend of fir bark, so you need to water regularly. Avoid letting the plant dry out between waterings. Most homes are quite dry during the winter, but you can increase the humidity by setting the orchid pots on a tray of pebbles or a special humidity grid. Make sure the pots are not sitting in the water; they should be just above it.
Fertilize regularly. A fertilizing routine is just as important as a watering routine. Anita recommends fertilizing once a month at full-strength or every week at quarter-strength. For an organic option, consider Orchid Fertilizer from Terracycle. It’s a ready-to-use liquid that’s made from worm castings.
Make sure plants get enough light—but not too much. Anita says, “When a healthy orchid does not flower, it is usually due to not enough light.” Phalaenopsis thrive in bright light, but not direct sun. This means east- or west-facing windows are best. Orchids also thrive under full-spectrum lights.
Orchids in Bloom
A selection of orchids growing in our Vermont conservatory. To see the caption, click on the photo.