If you have you purchased orchids with beautiful blooms, but the blooms are now gone, follow these easy steps to make them rebloom to their former glory.
Water: The easiest way to kill your orchids, and most other houseplants, is to overwater them. The best way to water orchids is to take the pot to a sink, pour approximately 1/2 cup of water into the pot and then let ALL of the water drain out. Do this every 7 to 10 days, letting the soil dry out in between waterings. Of course, this means your orchids should be in a pot that drains well.
Light: Another important requirement of orchids is the amount of sunlight they receive. Direct sunlight is too harsh and will burn them, but too little sunlight will prevent them from flowering well. Orchids prefer sunlight (not directly) from a south-facing window in the winter months, and an east or northwest exposure in the summer months.
Temperature: Preferred temperatures vary between types of orchids. Read the labels on the ones you purchase to ensure optimal temperatures for your orchids. None of them like temperatures below 60 degrees F though and none like to be near cold air drafts. If you do not know whether your orchid is a cool, warm or intermediate type, keeping it between 65 and 80 degrees F should work.
Food: Keep in mind that the rest periods in between blooms allow for the plants to restore their energy levels. After the blooms have faded and fallen off, wait until the stalk has completely turned brown before cutting it off at the point where it meets the plant. Food is important though to keep your orchids blooming their best. There are commercial products available for orchid food which contains a higher phosphate (the middle number) level than nitrogen (first number) and potash (third number) for optimal blooms. Feed your orchids every second watering while in bloom, otherwise once a month.
Hopefully the tips above will help you keep your orchids looking great. If you have put off buying them because you thought they were too difficult or fussy, give them a try. They cannot be beat for their spectacular blooms!
pictures courtesy of Wikimedia commons.