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How long do orchid blooms last? Find out the answer in this informative post, and I will also share tips on what you can do to help them last even longer! Orchid blooms can last a long time, and if you give your plant the right conditions, you can encourage the flowers to last even longer.
I will also give you a bonus tip on purchasing the right plant so you can ensure you can maximize the time that your plant blooms.
I’ve been growing Phalaenopsis orchids, commonly known as Moth Orchids, for many years and have learned quite a bit from experience on how to maximize the beauty of these plants inside the home.
Moth orchid flowers naturally last a long time, but there are 5 things that you can do to ensure that you maximize the life of the flowers, including a bonus tip that I have at the end of this post.
In my experience, each individual moth orchid flower will last at least 6-8 weeks, if not longer, if you keep good growing conditions. Results can of course vary since the growing environments in our homes (as well as care routines!) vary.
The beauty of moth orchids though is that each plant produces quite a few flowers and they don’t all open at once, so this staggered blooming will help your plant potentially bloom for 3-4 months, if not longer!
Besides the plant’s predisposition to having long lasting flowers, here are 5 environmental conditions that are important in order to help your flowers last even longer.
HOW LONG DO ORCHID BLOOMS LAST? TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SUCCESS
Phalaenopsis orchids are native to tropical and subtropical Asia and also northeast Australia. These are warm growing plants, and attention to proper temperatures must be maintained.
In the average home, temperature issues shouldn’t be a concern, but try and maintain growing temperatures in the range of 60-85°F (16-24°C) for best results to help prolong the life of your flowers.
One note on temperature though…if your plant has not bloomed (even if your plant is receiving enough light), give it night time temperatures around 55°F (13°C) to 60°F (16°C) or so for a few weeks at night in the Autumn to help trigger blooming.
It works like a charm! You can accomplish this by moving your plants outdoors in the shade when night time temperatures naturally drop, or even in front of a cooler window that isn’t particularly well insulated.
Here are some DON’Ts:
- Avoid temperatures much below 55°F (13°C) or it will harm your plant and its flowers.
- Avoid very hot temperatures above 85°F (24°C) or so, and by all means don’t keep a flowering plant inside of a vehicle where conditions quickly overheat. This will cause the flowers to wilt.
- Avoid situating your plant directly near heating or cooling vents where the air blows directly on the plant. This will shorten the lifespan of your plant’s flowers.
If you’re purchasing an orchid during cold weather, the act of simply carrying your plant outside from the store to your car can sometimes be enough to cause orchid bud blast where the unopened buds can dry up and fall off.
Learn all about why bud blast occurs so you can prevent it.
2. TOO LITTLE LIGHT
Placing your plant in an area with too little light will greatly reduce your orchid’s ability to photosynthesize (make food for itself), and thus, this will reduce the lifespan of your flowers.
Indoors, I like to recommend eastern or western facing windows as ideal growing locations for your plants.
3. TOO MUCH DIRECT SUN
Although your orchid can take a few hours of direct sun indoors, avoid placing your plant in areas where it will received too much direct sun.
You don’t want your plant to sit in sun all day (such as in an unobstructed southern window if you live in the northern hemisphere, or in front of an unobstructed northern window if you live in the southern hemisphere).
Also avoid mid-day sun, which is quite strong, as this will reduce the lifespan on your orchid flowers.
Avoid low humidity if you can as this can also reduce the lifespan on your orchid flowers.
Try and keep humidity above 40% in your home for best results. The best way to increase humidity is to get a good humidifier.
Misting, although great for aerial roots for your orchids, will not increase the humidity of the air.
5. WATERING PRACTICES
Watering practices make a huge impact on the amount of time that your orchid flowers will last.
Phalenopsis orchids, since they lack water storage organs called pseudobulbs that many other orchids have, do not tolerate going completely dry.
If your orchid is planted in sphagnum moss, this will take a lot longer to dry out than if it’s planted in orchid bark, so you need to feel your medium and adjust your watering accordingly.
At the same time, you do not want your plant to sit in water as orchid roots can very quickly experience rotting. In nature, they grow as epiphytes on tree branches, so they experience wonderful drainage and do not tolerate sitting in water for extended periods of time.
If your roots rot, you’re essentially dehydrating your plant (similar to allowing your potting medium to dry out) because the plant has no way to take up water since the roots are gone. This will quickly cause your flowers to suffer and wilt.
You’ll also want to avoid cold and hot water when watering your orchids. Use water that is room temperature or luke warm to water your orchids.
Be sure not to miss my blog posts on how to water orchids. And by all means, do not use ice to water your orchids!
BONUS PRO TIP TO HELP YOUR FLOWER LAST LONGER
If you’re buying an orchid at the store, here is a very important tip to help choose a plant so that it can maximize the length of time that your flowers are open.
If you can, always buy an orchid whose flowers are not all completely open.
Phalaenopsis orchids buds start opening where the lowest buds are, and slowly will open up gradually until the buds at the tip of the flower spike open.
You’ll ideally want to choose a plant where only the bottom flower are open, and there are a few unopened flower buds.
If you purchase a plant that has all the flower buds open, you don’t know how long they’ve been open. They could already be near the end of their lifespan.
And did you know that you can encourage your orchid to rebloom right away, even after all the flowers fall off? Check out my post on what to do with orchids after blooming and also watering orchids after blooming.
RELATED RESOURCES FOR ORCHID CARE
I wrote a very simple, easily digestible, short eBook called Moth Orchid Mastery. It contains all the essentials of moth orchid care with zero fluff.
In this quick read, you will gain all the information that you need to be able to successfully keep your moth orchid thriving and alive.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on how long orchid flowers last. Do you have any moth orchids? Comment below. I’d love to hear!
Wednesday 18th of January 2023
Thank you for your clear explanations. I have an orchid that has 3 spikes with many buds on them. The buds have been on the spikes for a few weeks. They don’t seem to progress to blooming. Our house is usually 70 to 73 degrees daytime, and 66 to 69 degrees at night. I am afraid the buds will eventually give up and drop off. Would it help to put the plant in a room that gets warmer? Or? Also, another orchid has wrinkly leaves that have been wrinkly for many months, but they don’t turn yellow or drop off. Two newer leaves at the top have not yet wrinkled. The plan is not dry—many of the roots in the pot are yellow. Root rot? Thank you for any suggestions you may have.
Sunday 22nd of January 2023
Hi Cheryl! Is your plant that has 3 spikes getting enough light? The temperatures that you mentioned should be just fine. If you do have a warmer room though, it should only help things. Is that plant right by a window? As far as the other plant with wrinkly leaves, I'll refer you to this article. See if you can apply anything from this post: https://www.ohiotropics.com/2022/11/17/wrinkled-orchid-leaves/