As the last bloom falls from my orchid I find myself asking the important question, “Will my orchid bloom again?” How do you know what to look for and is there anything you can do to encourage another flower?
This lovely little miniature orchid was an impulse by from a visit to Home Depot. I am a sucker for all of the things near the checkout line, so a display of small orchids for $6.99 wasn’t even worth fighting.
Large or small, you can get an orchid bloom again. I find that most orchid flowers last 3-4 months in our house if they were purchased in good condition with a several of the balloon-like blooms yet to open. What a deal these orchids are compared to cut flowers!
Along the stem of the orchid you can see small white lines that circle the green stem. These are called “nodes” and it is at this point the plant is able to produce new growth or where flowers were previously attached. It is worth noting that the stem must be green for your orchid to bloom again on this stem. If it is brown go ahead and cut it off at the base and wait for the next bloom stem in 6-9 months.
The arrows on this image show where the nodes are at along this stem.
Some folks will recommend to cut the orchid bloom stalk in half to encourage new flowers but I don’t find that is necessary. Almost without fail, the new bloom stem will develop at the third node from the base of the plant. See the little nub on the image below? That is where a new stem is starting to grow and new orchid blooms will develop. It will take 4-6 weeks for this to mature and flower buds begin to form, but it is worth the wait. In my experience this secondary flower stem is usually smaller than the first, but always a joy to see.
At this point just continue to maintain your orchid in the same manner as before. If there is already a stake on your old orchid bloom go ahead and leave that there to help support the new flowers that are forming.