Phalaenopsis orchids are cheap to buy and their flowers last for many weeks. Once the flowers have finally faded, it’s tempting to discard your plant, but with a few simple tricks it’s possible to make your orchid flower again, not only in a few months’ time, but for many years to come.
Watch Alan Titchmarsh’s video guide to caring for phalaenopsis orchids.
Here’s are some simple steps to getting your orchid to flower again.
Wait until the flowers have dropped off
Once your orchid has flowered, you will be left with a flower spike from which most of the flowers have dropped. Don’t be tempted to cut it right down to the base.
Cut back the stem to the nearest bud
Instead, once all the flowers have fallen, cut off the stem to just above a visible joint (node). This should stimulate the production of another flower stem over the next few months.
Alternatively, cut the spent flower spike down to the base
If no shoot appears, and the original stem turns straw-coloured, remove it at the base. The plant should eventually produce a new, strong flower spike.
Overwatering is the most common reason that orchids die. If your moth orchid has a transparent pot, look at the roots. Don’t water if they are green – wait until they look silvery. Allow water to drain out the bottom of the pot – don’t allow the plant to stand in water.
Put it in a warm, bright spot
Orchids like bright but indirect light – too much direct sunlight will scorch the leaves. A spot near and east- or west-facing window is ideal. Orchids appreciate high humidity, so you could stand your plant on a tray of moist pebbles – the roots absorb moisture from the atmosphere.
Still no flowers?
This might be due to the following reasons:
- Lack of light
- Not enough food
- Temperature fluctuations
- The plant may need repotting