Once an orchid plant flowers, proper care should be taken so as to make sure that the plant blooms again, because every orchid genus needs different growth requirements for re-blooming.
The vanilla pods or essence we use for cooking actually comes from an orchid, Vanilla planifolia.
Contrary to the common belief that orchids are very difficult to maintain, growing them is fun and easy. There are certain tips for growing orchids; the plants should be provided with necessary conditions like, optimum light, water, humidity, temperature and nutrients. Since they are native to the tropical climates, you may face problems while planting them in colder regions. However, problems can be overcome, if you understand the basic plant growth factors and requirements.
After Bloom Care Tips for Orchids
After the orchids have bloomed, you can either retain the flowering stalks or spikes for some time, or cut them at the base. If you want to keep them, the plants should be fed regularly as you did before. There are chances of developing new spikes from the previous stalks.
It is to be noted that flowering stalks developed in this way will not be of the same quality as the original blooms. In other words, the flowers will be slightly smaller and the number will be lesser as compared to the first blooms.
If there is no sprouting of new spikes, then the old spikes will turn brown and eventually die. In such a case, you can cut the old spikes near to the base of the plants by using a sharp knife or scissor. While cutting, make sure you do not nick the main stems and/or other plant parts.
By cutting the stalks at the near base, the plants are allowed to save energy for the next blooming cycle. This way, you an ensure optimal size and vibrant color of the next blooms. Regularly check for disease development in the cut portion; you can use mild fungicides in case disease signs are present.
An after bloom care tip for orchid plants is maintaining healthy roots, which can be achieved by careful evaluation of the roots. There is no doubt that a healthy root system is necessary for proper growth and maximum bloom production of any flowering plant and orchids are no different. The best way is to unpot the plants and remove the brown or black roots (if any). You should retain maximum healthy roots, which are either white or green in color.
For repotting, prepare a healthy soil mixture by including organic compost. Fill it in an appropriate vase and place the orchid plant. In case there are long external roots, you can either trim them or tuck them inside the soil.
Do not expose the newly repotted plants to direct sunlight, at least for a few weeks, or until they are well-established. In the following days, continue to feed and maintain the orchid plants. Based on the growing conditions, the plants will develop new spikes within the next 6 – 9 months.
General Care Tips for Orchids
- For maintaining healthy orchid plants, there should be proper water drainage. They are epiphytes and roots will decay in waterlogged soil. You can remove the dead scales and leaves regularly.
- Like other flowering plants, orchids have two major stages, viz., the quiet period and the blooming period.
- In the former case, the plants develop leaves and store maximum energy for the blooming phase. Thus, after the quiet period, the orchids flower, which may last for about 6 – 8 weeks.
- Seeing the orchids bloom gives immense pleasure to the growers. But one of the major challenges is, caring for the orchid plants after flowering and inducing them to bloom again. Not many people know the caring instructions to make the orchids bloom in the next season.
Orchids can be grown as a part of outdoor gardening as well as indoor gardening. Many hobbyists prefer growing them in greenhouses and container gardens. Since orchids are slow-growing plants, one should be very patient and follow proper orchid care tips. For better results, you can repot the orchid plants after every blooming cycle.