Orchids are one of my favourite flowers. I love their exquisite, intricate flowers, and they last for SO LONG compared to other flowering plants and especially compared to cut flowers. They are also the gift that keeps on giving, as they rebloom over and over again. Homes aren’t homes without plants and flowers, and orchids are a great way to add style to, and accessorise your interior design. So if your buds keep falling off, or your orchid just won’t rebloom, then read on for tips and advice on orchid care, how to rebloom orchids, and how to tell the difference between a root and a spike.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I threw away my first orchid (which was a gift) after it had flowered, not realising it could rebloom, which a friend retrospectively informed me of. So the next couple of orchids I bought, I kept after the flowers had died and shoved them in my laundry room, but alas whilst the leaves remained and looked fairly healthy, a year or so passed and they hadn’t rebloomed. I purchased a few more orchids during this time and although the flowers seemed ok, any buds mainly dropped off. It was then I started researching how to care for and rebloom orchids, and currently have lots of success with them. So I thought I’d share my tips with you. As an alternative to the real thing, check out my post on an orchid artificial flower arrangement.
(I’ve included some affiliate links in this post, shown with an asterisk (*). If you click on them and make a purchase, I get a bit of money in my back pocket, to help towards future creations to share with you on my blog.)
How To Water & Feed An Orchid
Keep in-leaf orchids (i.e. not in bloom) in a west facing window.
Water once a week – run the tap on a fast flow with warm water. Put your orchid under the tap and give it a good shower. (imagine a rainforest shower). Some might say you should use rainwater or distilled water and technically yes, you should, but I’ve had no problems (lots of success in fact) with just using tap water. So experiment and see what works for you.
After watering, feed with an *Orchid Growth Fertiliser, and Orchid *Ultra Plus Fertiliser on alternate weeks (i.e one week with the growth food, then the next week with the ultra plus), following the instructions on the bottles. Let the water drain before putting the orchid back on its dish/in its pot.
Tip – NEVER let an orchid sit in water. They grow on trees in their natural rainforest environment so their roots do not sit in soil or water.
For orchids that are in bloom, do exactly the same as above, except replace the growth food with *in bloom food. Start using this as soon as the buds look plump through to the last flower. You can display in bloom orchids wherever you wish in your home as long as it’s not in direct sunlight or in the dark (but try not to move them around too much as they don’t like this).
Ok, you got me-this looks like it’s in direct sunlight. 😳 It seems to be doing fine anyway.
Keep up this orchid care routine and you should soon be rewarded with repeated spikes and blooms from your orchids. If they’re only producing new leaves and or roots, don’t give up. This shows that your orchids are healthy and happy and will soon be shooting spikes.
How To Tell The Difference Between An Orchid Root & Spike
It’s a bit difficult to tell at first, but you’ll soon have no problem telling the difference between a root and a spike. A root has a smooth rounded tip and tends to grow downwards.
A spike has a pointed tip and tends to grow upwards.
You can also tell a spike, as when it grows a bit more it looks like a mitten (see below).
Displaying orchids in your home is a great way to add style to your interior and with so many varieties and colours available, the sky’s the limit!
Tip – Beware of blue or green orchids (or any bright colours that seem unnatural). You may find that they’ve been dyed, and when they rebloom, they’ll come back as white.
Orchid Stem Support
When your stem gets to a certain length, don’t forget to support it. I like to twist my stems around the support and hold them in place with a ribbon.
Be gentle though and train them gradually. I recently accidentally broke a spike off when trying to support it, as it insisted on growing outwards :(. It didn’t give up though and proceeded to grow again! If you look at the pic of the orchids in the west facing window, you’ll see it on the right. I’m having to tease it upwards gradually, by resting my pineapple ornament against it, and moving it daily.
When your orchid has finished flowering, cut the stem as close to the base as you can, or alternatively, you can cut the stem just above a healthy node. Orchids sometimes produce new spikes from a node, but mostly (in my experience) they come from the base, above one of the leaves. You can see three nodes in the above picture, one below the ribbon and 2 above (before the flower). Then continue your orchid care, and wait for your next spike!
A couple of my orchids rewarded me with multiple spikes, coming from the main stem recently.
You can see the main stem, and then four other spikes coming off it.
This is it in bloom.
And below is the second one.
This orchid now has around 30 flowers/buds! 🙂
Get yourself an orchid collection of different colours and markings. I purposely don’t keep track of which is which, so it’s a nice surprise when the first bud opens!