Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.
Do you have a stubborn orchid that refuses to grow a new flower spike? You may even have a Phalaenopsis orchid that appears very healthy, except it just refuses to flower!
Keep reading to find out 1 little known secret to “force” your moth orchid to grow a brand new flower spike. It is easier than you’d think!
HOW TO MAKE AN ORCHID GROW A NEW SPIKE
I’ve been growing orchids for a very long time, and I know that this works because I have used this “trick” many times over the years.
I will have to say there are some Phalaenopsis orchids that bloom reliably every year, and others that don’t.
Plants are individuals just like people, and some plants are…well…a little stubborn and need a little coaxing.
Assuming your growing conditions (namely light and watering) are ideal and you have a healthy plant, if your plant is not blooming, trying giving it a drop in night temperature.
I will give a summary of at the end of this post on growing conditions for these plants, but let me describe how you can achieve the necessary drop in temperature that will often quickly result in a new flower spike on your Phalaenopsis orchid!
In many cases, it is difficult to achieve a temperature drop at night inside our homes. Homes are becoming more and more energy efficient and insulated, and temperatures can often be pretty steady throughout all times of day and night.
How can you achieve a temperature drop at night? Here are some options.
PLACE YOUR ORCHIDS OUTSIDE
If your weather permits, place your orchids outside in the shade and let Mother Nature do the work for you.
Having a drop in temperature at night for a few weeks will often cause your plant to bloom.
All it takes is a few weeks of night time temperatures in the 55F to 60F range or so (give or take a couple degrees).
You’ll want to keep an eye on the weather and make sure it doesn’t get too cold.
If there is any risk of going below 50F, bring your plants indoors.
Here are a few of my Phalaenopsis orchids summering outdoors.
Not only will the drop in temperature trigger blooming, but your plants will also benefit from increased air circulation, better light, and rainwater which is so wonderful for them!
PLACE YOUR ORCHIDS IN A COOL LOCATION IN YOUR HOME
If you don’t have an outdoor location, or if you don’t want to place any plants outdoors, you can still manage a temperature drop indoors during the night time.
Many years ago while I was living in a different house, we had single paned windows in our basement. Since they were old, single paned windows, they were not very well insulated, so I used this opportunity to my benefit.
I had a couple orchids that were being stubborn and not blooming. I simply placed them right on that windowsill in the Autumn for a few weeks, and lo and behold, new flower spikes started to form!
Typically Phalaenopsis orchids will start to grow new flower spikes in late fall through late winter. Blooming is possible in other seasons as well.
After I noticed the flower spikes forming, I placed them back in their original growing location.
Another option is to place your plants in a location in your home where you can open your windows at night to cool the room where they are growing.
Of course you still need to follow a good care routine, especially when light and watering is concerned or your plant likely will not bloom.
Without enough light, your plant will not bloom.
Ensuring that your orchid has the appropriate growing conditions is vital for blooming as well so don’t ignore this. I’ve created an infographic below as a quick reference guide to help you out.
Of course, when new growth starts to happen, how do you know if you have new roots vs. a bloom spike?
Fortunately I’ve write a post so that you can tell the difference between orchid roots and orchid flower spikes! Photos included!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on how to make an orchid grow a new spike.
If you try this temperature drop trick, please comment below. I’d love to hear your successes. It’s worked me for, so I’m confident that it will work for you too!