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how to make it flower

Posted by v1rtu0s1ty Zone 5a, Northern IL (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 23, 09 at 1:01

Good evening folks. My orchid's flowers dropped more than a month ago. How do I make them flower again?

I just water it deeply one time per week. I've been doing this for more than 4 months now. The leaves are all very healthy. It actually has one new leaf.

I've never put any fertilizer.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: how to make it flower

Sometimes an orchid needs a full year to reflower, sometimes it will go 2x a year, etc.

Often times, it seems peoples orchids in home do not flower because low light.

RE: how to make it flower

This is a Phaleanopsis?

RE: how to make it flower

  • Posted by donaldb 5B Worcester, MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 23, 09 at 9:00

What type of orchid is it. Depending on conditions I've had dendrobiums flower as many as three times in under a year. Phals a couple of times a year. It all depends on the conditions, temps, and fertilizers being used. Then again I have a couple of Phragmepediums that are perfectly healthy, that flowered only once and no matter what I flowers. Orchids are challenging and fun. Good Luck!

RE: how to make it flower

Firstly, Patience! We are not owed a flower every year or twice a year by every orchid! Treat the flower absolutely as a gift from nature, from god, from whatever good karma that exists in your life! :)

Secondly, I'd been told keeping the orchid a little dry would stimulate it to flowering - (works something like a genetic alarm system telling it to be productive??)

Third, fertilizing while keeping things dry instinctively sounds detrimental to some part of the plant somewhere along the way, as there'd be a buildup of fertilizer resulting in reverse osmosis (read tapla's soil treatise in the container gardening forum); I generally wash the plant thoroughly to clean off fertilzer residue from previous feeds, before a new feed - and as they say 'weakly, weekly', which I drag out to bimonthly or so - during winter even less.

But I am a novice, and you should be heartened by my story - I have an Oncidium which was doing well, had its share of leaf burn (too much light), black spots, gnats, but inspite of that, after 2 years of annual blooming it started blooming biannually, and growing new bulbs too; then either the nectar from the flowers or something else attracted a host of ants which was visible to me only after the roots were completely infested - I had to wash them out soak them in soap solutions, change the soil; it was in total shock and stagnated for a year or so, and then impatiently I divided them, and repotted the 2 parts - one a bit tightly in a smallish pot, the other in a largish 8" pot (salvaging some back bulbs too). For 2 years no action! Finally I moved both from their South-western window perch to a more shady north-eastern window standing over a shallow layer of pebbles and water. A week later (i.e. about 2 weeks ago), lo and behold I see a teeny growth in one of the sheaths! A flower stalk? Yes? No? Yes? No? YESSSS!!! Against all rules! - I'd added water, fertilizer, reduced light (because that is where the tub of pebbles could most comfortably be situated)! further its the more loosely packaged larger pot that is the one flowering! (They say orchids like tightly packed smaller pots! go figure!)

Which is why I say the flower is just a gift!

And the backbulbs - again a blessing - one of them has sprouted, roots galore, new leaves, and 2 baby bulbs poking out!!!

RE: how to make it flower

  • Posted by donaldb 5B Worcester, MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 23, 09 at 11:11

Very good greenfingernail.

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