Orchids have a reputation for possessing long-lasting flowers.
As a matter of fact, there are orchid species blooming for as long as four months. This is the case for the phalaenopsis orchids, which not only blooms twice a year but whose flowers can last anywhere from 60 to 120 days. This is probably why it’s dubbed as one of the least demanding orchids to take care of, as many orchid growers would tell you.
What Is Orchid Dormancy?
However, as all orchid lovers and growers dread, there will come a time when your precious orchids just stop blooming. If this happens, fret not. Your orchid is not dead at all; it’s only dormant or at rest.
According to orchid growing experts, this period of dormancy happens to orchids when temperatures drop come winter months. Dormancy in orchids may last anywhere from six to nine months.
An orchid that becomes dormant may look all green and healthy sans the flowers. Unfortunately, in some cases, the leaves of your beloved orchid plant may appear dried-up and dead, which is an unpleasant sight to any orchid lover.
But orchid dormancy shouldn’t be a big of a deal really. It’s normal and even heathy.Your orchid plant is just hibernating to prepare for flower display when spring and summer time comes.
What Types Of Orchids Go Through Dormancy
Phalaenopsis or moth orchids and Paphiopedilum varieties do not officially go through a period dormancy. Although some phalaenopsis orchid growers will tell you that their plants just stop flowering at some point, they’ll be quick to add, too, that they don’t look dead and still grow new leaves. Just be patient with your phalaenopsis. Keep watering and feeding it, but perhaps at a lesser frequency.
On the other hand, some types of dendrobium orchids, cymbidium orchids, Catasetums, Clowesias, Habenaria, and their hybrids reportedly go through a regular period of dormancy during winter.
How To Take Care Of Dormant Orchids?
Reduce the frequency of your watering when your orchids are dormant. Instead of a full-on watering session, switch to heavy misting every five to 10 days. This way, you don’t drench your orchid’s potting material and drown or rot the roots as a result.
Fertilizer for your orchids during this period is unnecessary, too.
Tips To Make Your Orchids Bloom Again
Whether your orchid plant has gone through a long state of dormancy or is just taking a break for the winter, here are some techniques you can do to encourage it to flower again and again.
- Light – Move your orchid plant to a brighter spot in the house or office. Some orchids cannot tolerate direct and intense sunlight, so it’s best to put your orchid plant near a window with a sheer curtain.
- Temperature –Different orchids require different temperature levels to trigger blooming. 70 to 85 degree Fahrenheit in the morning and 55 to 65 degree Fahrenheit at night is an ideal spectrum if you’re trying to rebloom cattleya orchids, phalaenopsis orchids, or oncidium orchids.
For more tips on how to maintain your orchids, check out our Orchid Care Page.