Why Isn’t My Orchid Blooming?

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Orchids, with their exotic flowers in spectacular shapes and colors, have been bred and hybridized for generations so that these very particular plants grow happily in our homes. These beautiful plants occur naturally across the globe, with the greatest variety from tropical Asia, where rainforest conditions give way to drenching rain cycles and drying out periods.

Orchids can be epiphytic, growing on trees or rocks and absorbing nutrients from rain and the air, or terrestrial, growing from the ground. Many of the popular varieties we find in stores and garden centers are epiphytes. So, mirroring their tropical rainforest canopy climate becomes the gardener’s rewarding challenge.

The reward is the orchid’s lovely flowers and lengthy bloom time, as they bloom for up to eight weeks (and some for months!). While they generally flower only once a year – like many plants – the extended bloom time is unusual and certainly worth the wait. Plus, some easy-care types, like phalaenopsis, can rebloom in optimum growing conditions.

If your orchid isn’t blooming, don’t give up. A healthy plant can live for years, even decades, blooming year after year. A few cultural conditions are primary to healthy growing and initiating blooms. Make slow changes to the growing environment and look for signs of improvement.