How to extend the flowering of orchids?


The magnificent flowers of orchids want to admire endlessly. These are real royal soloists who, outside the flowering period, look rather inconspicuous. The time when soaring flowers open and gradually reach a peak of decorativeness, so you want to stretch it longer. There is only one way to increase the flowering time of any orchid - to provide it with the right conditions and thorough care.

Phalaenopsis orchids in flower pots

Extending the flowering time of an orchid, increasing the period during which a plant pleases with its flowers is as complex a task as stimulating or controlling the flowering of orchids in general. It is possible to achieve the appearance of buds, and then their opening, only with proper care.

At the slightest deviation in conditions or a mistake in watering, even the most hardy and unpretentious of orchids can surprise with unpleasant manifestations. Falling of buds, drying out of buds and even peduncles, opening flowers for just a few days, quick opening of all buds and the same quick fading - these are just a few troubles awaiting fans of indoor orchids.

Regulation of the duration of flowering is one of the most important means of controlling the flowering process of all orchids. The laying of the buds and the flowering itself directly depend on the conditions of care, the change of which can be used in order to stretch the pleasure for a maximum period.

Two main factors that allow you to control the flowering time of any orchid:

  1. air temperature in two values ​​- night and day indicators;
  2. daylight hours.

"Control" the duration of flowering orchids in the same way as when controlling the timing of flowering. Increasing the length of daylight and controlling temperatures at night allows not only to stimulate and delay flowering until the desired time, to stop or start the development of buds in the case, but even to accelerate or slow down their bloom.

But all the other components of orchid care have an effect on the duration of flowering. It is possible to achieve that the plants bloom for a long time and surprise with the resistance of flowers, only with sufficient diligence and careful monitoring of all possible parameters of the growing conditions.

The process of controlling the duration of flowering and its artificial stretching can begin from the moment the buds in the covers appear and can be continued until the last flower in the inflorescences opens.

Cattleya Orchid

The problem of shortened or inferior flowering can occur with any orchid - and with hybrids, and with luxurious species plants. Usually, a special increase in the duration of flowering is indicated in relation to phalaenopsis, but all orchids can be “forced” to bloom more beautifully and longer if the right conditions are created for them. Subject to all the recommendations for the flowering period, phalaenopsis and vanda can literally bloom for almost the entire year, and the remaining orchids - from 2 to 6 months. Any shorter flowering period indicates problems with containment or care.

Light abundance is the key to the continued flowering of any orchid

Long daylight hours are one of the main reasons for the start of the flowering process in orchids and the main condition for its normal course. Any reduction in daylight and a lack of intensity or duration of lighting leads to problems with blooming beauties.

Lack of light at the stage of flowering orchids leads to unpleasant phenomena:

  • withering and drying of unblown buds;
  • the opening of flowers for a very short time, their premature wilting;
  • dropping flowers one by one.

The minimum daylight hours for orchids is 10-12 hours. Even for hybrids blooming in winter without a twelve-hour day, it will be difficult to achieve a long and full flowering. A ten-hour day allows orchids to bloom, but in this case, usually the general flowering period is greatly shortened. In the cold season, daylight hours increase with illumination. If it is not possible to illuminate the entire plant, then it will be organized at least for the tips of peduncles.

It is worth paying attention to the quality of lighting. Diffused light is one of the conditions for the best resistance of flowers. When exposed to direct sunlight or on a bright sunny window sill, blooming orchids will bloom much faster. After blooming all the flowers, the need for light is reduced and plants can be moved even at partial shade. Avoiding intense lighting, providing a high-quality diffuse content mode, it is possible to increase the flowering time by several days for each flower.

Orchid bloom

Temperature correction and use of temperature changes

Slowing down the blooming of buds allows you to adjust the flowering time or stretch the process of blooming flowers for several weeks longer. At a normal night temperature of 18 degrees, orchids open buds in covers in a short time, approximately two weeks less than at a temperature of 12 to 15 degrees.

Lowering the night temperature allows you to slow down the development of buds and increase the overall flowering time. For well-developed buds, the slowdown when the temperature drops is also 1-2 weeks. When choosing such conditions of low temperatures, it is worth considering the preferences and capabilities of specific orchids. After all, for example, phalaenopsis does not like cooling below 18 degrees.

The basis for the proper blooming of orchid flowers and their long-lasting beauty is the difference between day and night temperatures. The difference between the indicators during the flowering period should be from 4 to 6 degrees. Without falling night temperatures, it will be very difficult to achieve prolonged flowering.

Even more important is the temperature at the flowering stage, when the first or all flowers bloomed in the orchid. Heat for any blooming orchid is contraindicated even in the afternoon. The orchid is kept in restrained warm or cool conditions.

Other factors directly affect the speed of blooming of flowers in the orchid and the duration of the flowering period. During the adjustment of flowering with the help of night temperatures and lighting, one should not forget about such components of care:

Fresh air

Access to fresh air, good ventilation (especially for orchids grown in florariums or shop windows). Blooming orchids should be protected from drafts, even if flowering occurs in the warm season, but ventilation should be regular.

Air humidity

Humidity, which should be maintained at the optimal level for a particular type of orchid (dry air evens out the positive effects of low temperatures). The minimum standards are considered to be 60%. Humidity can be increased in any convenient way - fine spraying or installing any humidifiers. As an additional measure to increase the flowering time, spraying the tips of peduncles is sometimes recommended, which stimulates the development of new buds, but it is better to experiment with such measures only on phalaenopsis.

Watering orchids

Watering, which should create stable conditions and prevent the roots from drying out completely during the entire flowering period, but be extremely careful. Any increase in humidity, even slight overmoistening, affects buds, including those beginning to blossom. At this time, too frequent and too plentiful watering is contraindicated. Most orchids bloom longer if they are slightly dried during flowering, reduce the level of humidity (and, accordingly, reduce the duration of flowering with heavy watering). Watering during flowering should be insufficient rather than excessive.

Read our detailed material: How to water an orchid at home?

Top dressing

Top dressing. Standard recommendations for orchid cultivation say that top dressing should be carried out with a frequency optimal for each type of orchid, fertilizers with the correct ratio of macronutrients. But in fact, it is in top dressing that lies the main reason for the short flowering period of the most common indoor orchids. Fertilizing causes a sharp wilting of all flowers and stimulates the processes of active vegetation, respectively, even the most “fresh” flowers can close literally in one day. From the period of budding to the end of flowering, dressing for any orchid should not be done. Phalaenopsis demonstrates a particular sensitivity to top dressing at the stage of even budding. For orchids, in the recommendations for the cultivation of which there is a mandatory top dressing during flowering, it is worth using special fertilizer mixtures with a high content of potassium, but in low concentration.

How to extend the flowering of orchids

Do not forget that, like any other flowering houseplant, an orchid is sensitive to changing the place of cultivation. It is advisable not to transfer plants or even move them on the same windowsill, providing stable conditions and leveling stress factors. The maximum movement that any flowering orchid can withstand is the required minimum of movement during watering. But the plant immediately after it should be put not just in the same place, but fully observing the location of the peduncle and leaves in relation to the light source. Even a slight shift by a few centimeters will change the illumination, and orchid-sensitive buds of orchids (and even blossoming flowers) will immediately respond to changes by deterioration of flowering. Sensitivity to rotation of the orchid is lost 4-7 days after the bloom of all flowers in parallel with an improvement in resistance to reducing the duration of daylight hours.