I’ve been posting photos on Facebook of my orchids in bloom, and since enough people asked me how I get them to flower, I’m doing a quick post about re-blooming phalaenopsis at home.
In truth, I don’t think there is any special trick. They seem to thrive on the kind of benign neglect I dish out
If there is a small secret, it’s probably letting them have a summer vacation out side. I find a very shady spot after all threat of frost is past, and drop them there- no sun, but access to rain water is a good thing (sun will scorch the leaves super fast and that will kill them). I let them stay there until I bring everything in come the Fall, and before frost of course since they’re not fond of cool temperatures. If there is a particularly dry period of time I’ll shoot them with the hose while I’m watering the rest of the garden, and if I’m walking around with a watering can of fertilizer I’ll give them a dousing (and that’s only if I remember). Also, I rarely repot them unless they get knocked over. They’re epiphytes and really don’t need soil. I used to tie them to trees when we lived in Miami and they were happy as could be.
Once they’re in the house I set them in a kitchen window that does get some sun and they start to push bloom spikes between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I probably give them a little more care once they’re in the house because of the change in humidity. I live on the east coast of the U.S. and we are quite humid all summer which they love. Bringing them into a dry, winter home is a bit much so I give them a bath in the sink about once a month and then spray them with a cheap mister once or twice a week, focussing on the roots. My kids love to do it too so that spares me the effort frequently.
I have other orchids (imports from Miami) that I can not get to re-bloom, but they dutifully grow and are happy. A couple are big enough that I can divide, so I might try my ‘benign neglect’ technique on them this summer.
And that’s it. No great secret. Almost all of the phalaenopsis are from Home Depot or the grocery store. A couple I brought north with me thanks to my ever patient husband. They’re not a big investment and they’re pretty when they’re not in bloom too. Definitely worth a try even if you have a black thumb!
Thanks as always for reading EG!