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Sunday, October 17, 2010

How to make a Phalaenopsis Orchid Bloom

How do you make an orchid bloom? That's what I asked myself years ago after visiting a friend's shop and he gave me this fuchsia Phalaenopsis Orchid after it had stopped blooming.

He held up the plant which consisted of a few leaves and a single, long, empty branch where the flowers had once been and asked, "Hey do you want this?" If I didn't take it I was afraid he would throw it away. Sure, I replied. LOL first I forgot it at the restaurant I had dinner at that night but remembered and went back for it before heading home that evening.

I took the plant home, set it in my kitchen window (where it received filtered light), and began watering it periodically by taking the entire pot and soaking it in a large bowl of water. In the past 5 years since he gave it to me it's bloomed each year. For my effort I'm rewarded with these gorgeous blossoms that last for several weeks.

Then two years ago another friend gave me this little white orchid plant as a thank you gift for helping him at a bridal show. This year it bloomed again.

Like my first orchid I never mist the plant and only soak the entire pot in water until the roots plump up and look bright green. This can take a couple of hours. I do this once every other week or so. The leaves don't always look great, sometimes they aren't super shiny, but the plants have been happy enough to continue blooming so I figure I must be doing something right.

I should study up and see if I should be feeding them any type of fertilizer or something but for now I did repot both with fresh bark this summer when they stopped blooming. Next year we'll see if they bloom again. I hope so because they really are quite beautiful when they do.

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