Orchids are beautiful and exotic, but they can also be frustrating if you're trying to grow them. One of the most common problems people have with orchid growing is that their plants won't bloom. It's very disappointing when your plant doesn't produce flowers because it's such a rare event.
If you love orchids, this guide will help you get the most out of your investment in these stunning plants. Even if it hasn't flowered for years, there are still things that can be done to encourage blooming. Orchids are one of those flowers that require very specific care, so they don't wilt and die on you before they even get a chance to bloom. Below are reasons orchids won’t bloom.
If you want your orchid to rebloom, try moving it near a brighter location. Orchids need at least 12 hours of bright light so they can survive and grow. You should learn how to care for your orchids indoors so they can grow well and bloom.
To ensure they get enough sun, there are different places to put them in the house, but the ideal place is by a window to get good sunlight exposure. It will also help if you rotate them once in a while so that all sides get enough light. Move your orchid to a place where it gets a few hours of direct morning and afternoon sun.
This will ensure the plant gets enough energy to make a spike with lots of flower buds. Dendrobium orchids and cymbidium orchids are also orchid varieties that require bright light and not direct sun. Lack of sufficient light is one of the reasons why orchids fail to bloom, so if you plant indoor orchids, you may try to grow light to achieve flowers.
Getting Too Much Light
If you're trying to grow your orchid in direct sunlight, it may die. However, too much shade can also be a cause of failure orchid bloom. Indirect light or morning sun is best for most orchids, and if the light is bright where you live, go ahead and put your plant in direct sunlight. Avoid excess sunlight for the best-blooming orchids.
If you also place your orchid in full sun, you'll see severe symptoms such as sunburned leaves, and an overabundance of artificial light can also suppress blooming. In addition to cooler nighttime temperatures, the shortening days of autumn can signal an orchid to form buds.
If you're keeping an orchid indoors, in a room where the light stays 24 hours a day, then your orchid is missing an important natural cue. If you're using artificial light, then use a timer to simulate the cycle of natural daylight and darkness.
Overwatering is most often the cause of orchids' failure to bloom. Just like humans, orchids need oxygen to survive. Excess water displaces oxygen in the potting media, starving roots and suppressing blooms. Most orchids need to dry out between watering, and you should allow them to have wet feet by allowing water to saturate in the root zone.
Orchids growing in the right kind of potting mix will rarely suffer from overwatering. Signs of overwatering include roots turning brown, while wrinkled leaves can be a sign of too little water or too much water. Don't wait to see a pot of muddy mix and a dying orchid; instead, give your orchid adequate care while it's in bloom and out of orchid bloom.
Orchids like to be warm and relatively dry during the day, but they require a drop in temperature at night. Orchid flowers need bud building overnight temperatures (under 10 degrees Celsius). For example, Paphiopedilum orchids need temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees during the day and 50 to 60 degrees at night. Warm temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius will encourage buds to form on your orchid flower spikes.
Cooler conditions can prevent your plant from forming buds. It is possible to have too much of a good thing if the temperature stays above 25 degrees Celsius during the day and night, as your plant will stop flowering. Try to expose your orchids to nighttime temperatures 10 degrees cooler than daytime temperatures for two weeks at the start of the orchid's growing season.
Orchids Need Proper Nutrition
If you fertilize your plant too much, the excess nutrients can build up in the potting media and cause your orchid to bloom. You also need to feed your orchid well during its flowering season. Give it a regular fertilizer that has trace elements, which will help promote bud formation. But also be careful because too much fertilizer can stop your plant from blooming.
Of course, orchids are not heavy feeders, but an orchid living in the sterile inorganic potting mix may need a nutrient boost for its best performance. The best fertilizer to use is a urea-free fertilizer that provides nitrogen even in the absence of microorganism activity common in rich garden soils.
Moth orchids, in particular, initiate blooming spikes in response to a month and cool nighttime temperatures. At home, you have two options to encourage blooming. These options include keeping your orchid near a bright window at night in the early fall, keeping air-conditioning low during the day, and turning it up at night.
Roots Need Attention
Most orchid growers find it tricky when it comes to repotting orchids. When your orchid media begins to break down, the orchid roots can suffocate from lack of oxygen. In addition, some orchids will resent having their root zone disturbed, and they'll refuse to bloom for six months to a year after repotting.
In order to determine whether your orchid needs to be repotted, evaluate the root system and not foliage. If you see the orchid roots turning brown and the planting material resembling garden soil in its density.
Also, if you see more than two roots creeping over the edge of the pot, it may be time to repot. You can also divide your orchid plant to maintain blooming vigor.
Know Each Season of Your Orchid Variety
Each orchid type has a time of the year when it will naturally bloom. It may not be the same season that the orchid was blooming when purchased since nurseries can force orchids to bloom off-cycle. Many orchids bloom in the fall, winter, and spring.
Knowing the season that your orchid bloom will save you the frustrations of waiting for it to bloom. For example, Phalaenopsis orchid grows new leaves in the summer and early fall and sets a bloom spike in the late fall. Most Phalaenopsis orchids are known for blooming off-season for many reasons, but many will follow this pattern.
After you've identified your orchid, make sure you learn about its blooming cycle. Vanda orchids, for example, bloom two to three times a year, with each bloom cycle lasting up to six weeks. On the other hand, popular cattleya and cymbidium orchids only bloom once a year, but they're very easy to maintain, making them popular choices for novice growers.
Underwatering is one of the most common reasons orchid plants won't bloom. The best way to avoid this problem is to water your orchid regularly, but don't over-water it. Water generously during spring and summer season but taper off as fall starts to set in. Stop watering altogether when winter begins because this will help your orchid properly rest.
You can test the moisture of your orchid's medium by pushing your finger into it. If you feel any moisture, hold off on watering until the surface is dry. Remember not to water again until the top layer is dry because this will cause overwatering and root rot.
To prevent underwatering, mix water with some water-soluble fertilizer at the same strength you'd normally use when feeding your orchid. Water generously, but ensure that excess water drains away from the plant's roots before drying up.
Cut Spent Flower Spikes for a Stronger lant
After your moth orchid has finished blooming, snip off the flower spike. An orchid needs to rest after flowering to build up its energy, so don't fertilize your orchid for at least a month after it blooms.
After this waiting period, you can feed your orchid with a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer once every three weeks to keep it happy and healthy. Note that some orchid species and hybrids rebloom on old spikes. You can also contact the American orchid society or contact your seller to get a replacement or refund.
FAQS on Reasons Why Orchids Won't Bloom and How to Fix Them
How long does it take an orchid to rebloom?
Phalaenopsis orchids take a month or several months to rebloom, while most varieties bloom annually.
Why is the orchid not flowering?
If your orchid is not flowering, improper light exposure, incorrect potting media, and overwatering are the most common reasons.
Why did my Phalaenopsis stop blooming?
Phalaenopsis stopped blooming because of root rot which can be caused by too much water or cold conditions.
Final Thought on Reasons on Why Orchids Won't Bloom and How to Fix Them
If you perform all these steps religiously, your orchid might begin blooming again in no time and you’ll love your gardening skills. Orchids are blooming plants, and as such, they require a lot of attention. However, by following the basic care tips above, you should have no trouble keeping your orchid blooming.