Posted by Bonnie Townsend on April 20, 2002 at 15:42:03:
In Reply to: orchids bloom? posted by newbie on April 09, 2002 at 17:19:55:
: I always have the same problem. I receive beautiful orchids that are in full bloom but once those die, I can never get the plant to produce anymore orchids. Does anyone have any advice? Are there sites dedicated to this subject?
I have several phalenopsis orchids, and most bloom regularly for me. I live near Philadelphia now, but I have lived in Texas and in the deep south. Here, I can put the orchids outside, under a shady tree, out of direct sunlight, which would burn the leaves. I fertilize every couple of weeks during the summer. In September, when the nights start to go down into the 60's, is when the orchids will start to set buds. A few nights in the mid-50's almost gaurantees a bloom. If the temperature gets much above 90 in the daytime, bring the flowers inside until it cools off. If the temps at night drop below 53, bring them inside.
After the flowers on your plants fall off, cut back the flowering stem to just above a node on the same stem. There should be a good-sized bump there, indicating a dormant bud. Cutting the stem back just to above a node should stimulate the node to bud out, and this will become another flowering stem. Sometimes a lower node will develope instead. No matter. You should get another flowerstalk out of it. But to induce it to produce another new flower stalk, follow the advice outlined above. It works for me. In fact, many kinds of orchids require a drop in temperature at night, to induce flowering. Paphiopedilums also require this, at least the warm-growing kinds do. They have heavily mottled leaves.
If you use your search engine, you should be able to come up with some sort of national orchid society, and they could tell you if there are any local chapters in your area, plus answer horticulture questions for you.
Hope this helps. Happy growing!