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How to Make an Orchid Grow A New Spike-1 Little Known Secret

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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!

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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.

how-to-make-orchids-bloom

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.

how-to-get-orchids-to-bloom

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.

moth-orchid-care-infographic

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!

Looking to purchase a special orchid? One of my favorite and most convenient one-stop-shops to buy practically any plant is Etsy. Check out the Phalaenopsis orchid selection (link to Etsy) today!

Wendy

Thursday 14th of April 2022

Your new book arrived two weeks ago and I'm really enjoying it. Much to my surprise, I was not watering correctly. I'm not taking my time and watering them in the kitchen sink. Why do you put your orchids in a clear plastic pot? I have mine in a ceramic pot with an attached saucer and it's a real pain to drain the water out. Thinking of going your route. I honestly don't think I've seen the clear pots in the stores, but I have seen the saucers.

Raffaele

Friday 15th of April 2022

Hi Wendy! I'm glad you're enjoying my book! Clear pots are handy because you can inspect the root system and root health. They're not required, but they can help! orchidsupply.com carries them :-)

Lyn

Wednesday 30th of March 2022

Only today I came across your website ... which I love so far. Incidentally, I am from the tropical zone of the Caribbean. I have only just started growing (about two years), and finding out about, orchids (fancy that!!). Unfortunately, on my island, the consensus is "orchids are troublesome to grow!" I then mention that it is a tropical plant, and quite easy. Thankfully, I am surrounded by a few orchid growing friends, and getting to know more of who are growers, and trading tips. My Phalaenopsis of almost two years has recently produced a spike and is about to bloom any day now. Most of my orchids are Dendrobiums which are sending out multitudes of keikis!! I keep all my orchids on the Eastern side of my porch (wind, rain & some sun abound), and my chosen medium are organic charcoal and small pebbles, or naturally broken up "sea rocks" (shells and coral bits), I water mostly every morning (rains permitting), and fertilise once a week, by soaking in a weak fertiliser solution. There are times when I need to hold back on watering and fertilising due to inclement weather. So far, I have lost an entire morning reading your website on orchid care - including comments and your helpful answers. I have learnt a quite a bit more ... and find ... so far, that I am on the right path to orchid care and attention. Now, to get back to an orchid I have in I.C.U. It is a bit dehydrated, and is currently soaking in a weak tea solution (this method has worked for me before with a dehydrated Phal), and needs to be re-located. I have subscribed to your website.

Wendy

Thursday 14th of April 2022

@Raffaele, Is there a good place to buy orchids? Mine came from Home Depot. I'm also your neighbor in Indiana!!!

Raffaele

Thursday 31st of March 2022

Hi Lyn! Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I'm so happy that you enjoy my website! And what a dream to live in the tropics! It's always been a fantasy of mine to live in a tropical climate (but I'm stuck in Ohio! hahahaha. I am getting a greenhouse soon though so I'm super excited about that!). Good luck with all your orchids!

Judy

Monday 28th of March 2022

Great info on your website! I have been a serious orchid grower for about 2 years and have had great success in reblooming with phalaenopsis, lady slipper, pansy, and cattleya varieties. Even got a keiki on one of my extremely healthy phalaenopsis orchids! Any tips for encouraging an orchid to generate multiple flower spikes???

Raffaele

Monday 28th of March 2022

Glad you enjoyed Judy! I don't have any specific tips for that. I feel like a lot of it can be genetic, and sometimes you may get lucky!

Dan C.

Sunday 29th of August 2021

I have seen this pothos method of propagation elsewhere. I had always taken end cutting before. I tried the single node method and it's great. This method results in many plants and enables me to have hanging baskets full of pothos for each summer. I'm going to try it on a heartleaf philo also next spring. I think it should work equally as well!