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What To Do With An Orchid After It Blooms

If you want to encourage your orchid plant to bloom again, cut the stem back to the base of the plant. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the blooms for as long as possible, you can leave them on until the flowers fall off naturally.

Orchids are beautiful houseplants, but knowing what to do with them after they have bloomed can be tricky. There are three options:

  1. Do nothing and allow the bloom to fall off on its own.

  2. Snip the bloom off at the node, which is the point where the bloom attaches to the stem.

  3. Cut the flower stems all the way back to the base of the plant. 

These plants are inexpensive to purchase at your local nursery or grocery store and, with proper orchid care, your orchid could bloom multiple times each year!

Cutting the stem back can encourage an orchid to rebloom.

Do Orchid Blooms Fall Off, Or Do You Have To Cut Them Off?

Once the orchid has bloomed, the orchid flower will usually fall off on its own. 

It is worth noting that if the orchid stem appears to be brown, withered, and dying, cutting back the old spike to the base of the plant is the best decision as it will stimulate new growth.

How To Care For An Orchid While Blooming

It's important to take good care of your orchids, especially when they're blooming.

  • Keep orchids out of direct sunlight. Bright, indirect light is best. Leaves will be a bright green color if they're getting enough light.

  • Water orchids twice a week during bloom season. Research your orchid type as watering needs vary. For a slow watering technique, drop three ice cubes into the pot, but do not drop them directly on the orchid’s leaves.

  • Use orchid fertilizer weekly to maintain beautiful blooms.

Orchid fertilizer during the growing season can encourage reblooming.

How Long Does an Orchid Bloom?

Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis orchids) have flower spikes that last 3-5 months with proper care. They typically grow new flower spikes yearly, getting bigger and more beautiful.

How Long Does It Take For An Orchid To Rebloom?

After the last flower has bloomed, the orchid goes through a resting period or dormancy stage. This is necessary for the plant to replace nutrients used during bloom.

With proper plant care, you may see new flower buds as soon as six months later.

How To Get An Orchid To Rebloom

To facilitate new blooms, follow these care tips:

  • Pruning: Snip the flower spike to about three inches high using clean gardening shears.

  • Repotting: When repotting an orchid, use a loose, airy potting mix like sphagnum moss or chunky orchid bark that faciliates plenty of air circulation around the root system. Since most orchids are epiphytes, they don't need potting soil.

  • Choosing a Pot: The best orchid pot is either terra cotta or a plastic grow pot with many drainage holes to prevent root rot and other problems.

  • Fertilizer: When not in bloom, an orchid can be fertilized monthly. A water soluble 20-20-20 mix is a good choice for home growers.

  • Sunlight: Bright, indirect sunlight (eastern window) is best for these indoor plants.

  • Humidity: Orchids thrive in 40-70% humidity. If you are not naturally maintaining this in your home, consider adding a humidifier to the room where your orchids are living.

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