Houseplant experts share how to ‘encourage’ orchids to ‘re-bloom’

Alan Titchmarsh details method for keeping orchids flowering

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The moth orchid is one of the simplest houseplants to grow and is favoured by many for their long blooming periods. However, there is a common misconception about orchids, which is that once they lose their flowers, they cannot bloom again. However, with one easy job, owners can get their houseplant to bloom again.

Experts at Baby Bio® told “Orchids have wonderfully delicate houseplants that have been firm favourites in households for years thanks to their beautiful blooms which can last for months.

“Yet, it’s no secret that they have specific requirements and therefore must be treated carefully, a reputation which has caused many plant enthusiasts to be wary of owning an orchid. The key to orchid care is all in the environment.”

Typically, an orchid will bloom once a year, and when it does flower, beautiful flowers usually remain in bloom for six to 10 weeks.

However, if cared for properly, owners may be able to get a repeat bloom, although this can be challenging.

Once the flowers have faded and dropped, it can be tempting to discard the plant, thinking it won’t flower again.

However, it is possible to get an orchid to bloom again, as long as they are pruned as soon as the flowers drop.

It is important to trim away any dead leaves, tissue or roots, being sure to cut diagonally. 

For unhealthy brown spikes, cut all the way back to the base of the plant, otherwise trim one inch above the node.

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The plant pros added: “Most orchid owners will admit that getting their plants to repeat bloom can be extremely difficult.

“Their nutritional needs are unique and need fertilising both when in bloom and dormant.

“We recommend using an orchid feed like Baby Bio® Orchid Feed with every water for the brightest blooms.

“Once your plant’s flowers have fallen, you can encourage it to re-bloom the following season by pruning the whole flower stem and continuing to care for it as usual while it lies dormant.

“Remember there are many species of orchids, so each should be treated according to its requirements.

“We recommend the phalaenopsis moth orchid variety for beginners!”

In their natural habitat, orchids either grow on trees, known as epiphytic, or grow on rocks, meaning they are lithophytic. 

They usually grow high up in the rainforest treetops on rough bark rather than on the ground in soil, meaning owners need to try and replicate this environment.

The houseplant experts added: “As such, orchid owners should try to mimic this environment.

“Always pot these plants in specific bark-based orchid compost which promotes creation to the roots and drainage to prevent the plant from becoming waterlogged.

“Orchids get most of their moisture from the air and therefore prefer high humidity, so mist the foliage and aerial roots daily or place the plant next to a tray of wet pebbles to increase air humidity. 

“Consider planting them in rooms that are naturally more humid.” This includes rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen where there is more humidity in the air.

The houseplants’ roots can easily rot if left in wet compost, so it is important to make sure the soil has dried between watering.

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