Five tips to get your orchid to re-bloom

February 25, 2010 4:24:59 PM PST
Plus, the three biggest mistakes people make with orchids.


  1. Try to provide the right growing conditions for the specific type of orchid you have. This doesn't mean putting the plant in the garage next to a window. There are warm growing and cool growing orchids, orchids that like lots of light, and ones that prefer less light. So find out which type of orchid you have, and treat it accordingly.

  2. Most often, people do not give the plants enough light in order for the plants to bloom. A southern exposure where the plants receive sunlight for most of the day is ideal. If it prefers bright light, situate it close to the window, and if it prefers less light, move it farther away from the window.

  3. Water the plants properly. In general, once per week watering is sufficient for Phalaenopsis, Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, and Cymbidiums. Odontoglossums, Oncidiums, Masdevallias, and Miltonias do not like to dry out, and should be watered twice per week (every 5 days). Know which plant you have and water it accordingly.

  4. Fertilize your orchids regularly using a balance fertilizer every two weeks during the spring, summer and fall, and once per month in the winter. A 20-20-20 or 20-10-10 fertilizer used throughout the year works best without the need to use a "grow fertilizer' or a "bloom fertilizer". Most people have a number of plants all in different stages of growth. It is too difficult to know when to give each plant the right formula, while using a balance formula provides all the necessary elements the plant needs to grow and flower.

  5. Repot your orchids every two years. When you purchase an orchid, it has probably been in its pot for one year. After two years in the same pot, the potting medium will decompose and begin to stay too wet. When this happens, the plants roots tend to rot and the plant goes into decline. By repotting the orchid with new fir bark or sphagnum moss, the plant will increase in size rather than get decline in health.
  1. Overwatering or underwatering their orchids. When to water is the most difficult part of growing orchids. When you do water, give the plant plenty of water, not just a little bit.

  2. Most people do not give the plants enough light. Without enough light, the plant will not make enough growth to support flowers.

  3. Improper repotting. As important as it is to repot your orchid, it is equally important to it correctly and at the right time. The best time to repot your orchid is shortly after it blooms. That way, the plant has a full growing season to re-establish itself and be strong enough to flower.

Fort Mason Center, San Francisco CA
February 26-28, 2010
Call 415.665.2468 or visit

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