Reblooming Phalaenopsis Orchid

Phalaenopsis in early bud stage

Phalaenopsis in early bud stage

Phalaenopsis in full bloom

Phalaenopsis in full bloom

My mother-in-law has a real knack for getting her Phalaenopsis (also called Moth Orchid) to rebloom. All of her plants were gifts, and if the plant is in an orchid media (not sphagnum moss) she does not repot them. After they finish blooming, she moves them to a window with bright–but not direct–light and grows them on a tray of rock. When she waters them, she puts them in a sink of water and lets them soak for about 30 minutes weekly. This time of the year, you can see the new bloom stalks emerging. A great friend of mine told me when you see the bloom stalks, it is a good time to fertilize them, and this will promote bigger blooms. Professionals might get plants to rebloom differently, and I welcome their comments, but this has worked for her for many years.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

6 thoughts on “Reblooming Phalaenopsis Orchid

  1. Hey John. Thanks for disseminating info on re- blooming orchids rather than throwing away perfectly good plants. The general rule is to allow the plant to rest for a period of 6-8 weeks after flowering, no fertilizing, and exposing them to very cool night time temperatures. I always recommended placing the plants outside in the shade during the summer months and bringing them inside around Thanksgiving. The initiation of new growth indicates the plant is ready to grow and reflower. This is when regular fertilizing and consistent watering becomes critical. I have found many of the orchids available respond beautifully to this treatment. Of course there are exceptions but it never hurts to try.

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  3. Hello John,
    I love your description of how your mother-in-law got her orchids to re-bloom. It reminded me of my aunts Gladys and Robbie. Gladys could grow anything, anywhere in her house. Aunt Robbie was known as the “Violet Lady” and had dozens of violets blooming in front of every window, table, and countertop. Neither of them were really plant “experts,” but they both took the time to find the right spot to make a plant grow and bloom. Re-blooming Phalaenopsis is really a matter of nighttime temperatures. In the wild where most Phals originate, flowering is triggered by a 15 -20 degree drop in temperatures caused by seasonal rains. As your mother-in-law has discovered, this is easy to replicate at home. Window temperatures often fluctuate as much as 20 degrees over the course of a fall or winter day. After about two weeks of temp swing, move the Phal to a warm, bright spot and you’ll soon see a flower spike forming.

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