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So your Phalaenopsis, or Moth Orchid, has rewarded you with a beautiful display of flowers. But now your flowers have all wilted and fallen off. Do you water an orchid after the flowers fall off? What do you do with it now?
Keep reading to learn exactly what to do with your plant.
DO YOU WATER AN ORCHID AFTER THE FLOWERS FALL OFF?
The simple answer is YES! Unless you’ve purchased your plant as a disposable plant to throw out after it is done flowering (which many people do), you can nurture your plant so that it grows and blooms for years to come.
Here are some tips:
1. CONTINUE TO ROUTINELY WATER YOUR PLANT
I’ll get to what to do with your bloom spike shortly, but at this point, continue watering your plant like normal.
After your plant is done flowering, it should start to grow a new leaf, so just because flowering is finished, doesn’t mean that your plant is finished.
Moth orchids grow pretty slowly and usually only grow one or two new leaves per year and they don’t really have a “dormant” period.
Here are some watering tips:
Please do not use ice cubes to water.
Many people have killed their plants with this method and it makes no sense since these are tropical plants. To get into all the details, read my post on 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Water Orchids With Ice Cubes.
For orchids growing in sphagnum moss
If your orchid is growing in sphagnum moss, wait until the surface of the moss feels completely dry before watering.
Sphagnum moss can take a while to dry out indoors, especially if it is packed really tightly, which growers often do, unfortunately.
For orchids growing in a bark mix
If your plant is growing in a bark mix, this medium will dry out a lot more quickly than sphagnum moss, but is a safer medium to have your orchids grow in indoors.
I normally don’t tell people to follow a watering schedule, but you’d be pretty safe watering your bark-grown orchid once a week.
The reason is because this chunky mix is hard to “overwater” because of all the air. Root rot occurs not from staying moist, but because of the lack of oxygen that encourages anaerobic microbes.
For more information, I’ve written a detailed post on how to water orchids that you won’t want to miss.
2. Your plant will start to grow a new leaf
After flowering has occurred, keep watering your plant routinely, and it will start to grow a new leaf. Be sure to fertilize your plant as well during this time.
And if you give your plant good growing conditions, by the Autumn, most moth orchids will grow a new bloom spike.
Check out my blog post on how to make an orchid grow a new flower spike for more details.
3. Encourage your plant to rebloom off of the old spike
Don’t cut that old flower spike off yet! Even though all the flowers have fallen off, if your orchid spike hasn’t dried up, you can encourage it to rebloom off of the same spike.
Simply find where the bottom flower used to be, and cut the spike right below that point.
You would simply cut right where the tip of the scissors are in the photo above.
And if you look closely at the flower spike, you’ll see little nodes. In many cases, after you trim the spike like I described, you’ll often get a new side flower spike growing from one of those nodes.
That’s all folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and please comment with any questions. I’m happy to help.