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Orchids: Making Them Re-Bloom

Here is How it is Done


A popular question – “How can I make my orchids re-bloom?” … not nearly as complicated as you might think. The most widely accessible and easiest orchids for home culture are the moth orchids, or Phalaenopsis, but some slipper orchids like the Paphiopedilums and the miniature Cattleya are also quite suitable as choices.



Cattleya Orchid



The Phalaenopsis likes human temperatures and don’t seem to have extreme light needs. So a bright spot with just enough light to keep the leaves from burning and in good health is fine. What they do need to re-bloom is a distinctive drop in nighttime temperatures round October. About 10-15 degrees lower than daytime is ideal, meaning an overnight temp in the 50s for at least that month.


So here are my steps:

  1. When the last flower drops, cut your flower spike halfway down the stem using a sterile nipper.

  2. After cutting the stem, seal the cut with melted candle wax or cinnamon powder to prevent bacterial infection.

  3. A re-bloom will probably occur if you continue to care properly for your orchid. Make sure the nighttime temperatures are about 10-15 degrees cooler, and then return the orchid to its usual place in the morning.

  4. The re-bloom should flourish for up to 3 to 4 months.


Of course each genus of orchid has different requirements for re-blooming. Most commercial varieties are very simple to re-bloom. Phalaenopsis, Zygopetalum and Odontoglossum require only slight changes in temperature to initiate blooming. Others, such as Oncidium and Dendrobium bloom on mature new growth and require a change of fertilizer to a phosphorus-rich, blossom-booster formula such as 20-20-20.


As we have pointed out many times before – know the species of your particular orchid and follow instructions for keeping it happy; this includes re-blooming rules.


Esther Smith, author

I thought re-blooming an orchid was going to be a tricky issue, but in the end it was no more than the nuisance of moving it before bedtime, and returning it after breakfast.

For more information on orchids: