- Tidy up your orchids
- Look out for new growths
- Inspect and treat any signs of pests and disease
- Stake or train stray growths or spikes for a better display
- Change your watering and fertilizing schedule
- Repot your orchids with new growths if necessary
It’s that time of the year again, when warm sunshine begins to filter through your windows and the bleakness and cold of winter days is receding. Your orchids are out of their winter slumber (slowdown) and have resumed growth with renewed vigour. Sheaths and buds are filling out and preparing for a beautiful bloom display in spring.
While your orchids are busy preparing for the blooming season, you, as a care provider, play a significant role in ensuring that your orchid blooms are healthy and live up to your expectations.
Listed below are six ways in which you can achieve a better bloom cycle for your orchids, by getting them ready for the blooming season.
- Tidy up your orchids
First and foremost, you need to tidy up your orchids for a better bloom season. Dried growths and sheaths, old bloom spikes and leaves need to be cut off at the base. Leaves need to be cleaned up and made free of any dust or spots. This will help your orchid absorb light better for photosynthesis and also breathe better.
Moreover, tidying up your orchids will discourage pest infestations and reduce the risk of fungal and bacterial infections.
Providing these optimal conditions will help the orchid become healthy and put forth beautiful, flawless blooms.
2. Look out for new growths
With active growth resuming in your orchids, you will notice new growths in your orchids, whether they are new pseudobulbs, new spikes or roots.
At this stage, utmost care needs to be taken so that the new growths are unharmed by pests, do not rot due to retention of water and do not suffer mechanical damage while handling. After all, these are the ones that will help your orchids bloom in the coming season or next.
To learn more about taking care of new growths, check out my post on 7 Care tips for the NEW GROWTHS on your orchid.
3. Inspect and treat any signs of pests and disease
This is one of the most important preparatory steps for the bloom season. You need to scrutinize the leaves, buds, pseudobulbs and roots for sign of pest infestations as well as bacterial and fungal infections.
This could range from visible signs of spider mite, snail, scale and mealy bug infestations and disease such as crown and stem rot, root rot, mould infection, black rot, brown rot, fusarium and viral attacks. Any of these issues could lead to unhealthy growth, bud blast, deformed flowers or stunted growth, leading to a low quality bloom cycle. In severe cases, the plant, altogether, skips the bloom cycle, which would be most undesirable.
Once the issue is identified, you then need to take immediate remedial action so that the bloom cycle does not get affected. To learn more about these pest infestations and diseases and their treatment, check out my post on How to SAVE YOUR ORCHID from pests and diseases.
4. Stake or train stray growths or spikes for a better display
As much as you are looking forward to the blooms from your orchids, awkwardly positioned blooms can leave you disappointed when you finally appraise the fruits of your labour. Second, these spikes could come in the way when you are watering and fertilizing your plants, could knock down other pots or the flower spikes could get damaged while handling.
When the blooms open up, the orchids become top heavy and can tip the pot, if it is small and light weight. You need to anticipate this and place the orchid in a heavier and sturdier pot so that the plant doesn’t tip over. I get my ceramic pots from Amazon. You can check them out here.
To prevent any mishaps and to get a beautiful display, you need to gradually train stray spikes by staking them with clips or tying them up with twine. This will enhance the display and make it compact, thereby protecting the spike from potential damage.
5. Change your watering and fertilizing schedule
During winters, your orchids reach near dormant conditions and show little signs of growth or no growth at all. In keeping with this change, the orchids’ requirements for water and essential nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and trace elements decrease substantially. So accordingly, you need to reduce watering and fertilizer application.
In the case of winter-resting orchids such as the Dendrobium nobiles, catasetums and several others, you need to stop watering and fertilizing them when winter sets in, or water them sparingly once in a while to ensure they don’t get dehydrated.
With the cold temperatures replaced by warmer ones by mid-February, your orchids will begin showing signs of active growth. You will notice new shoots and root tips emerging. This is the time you begin watering and fertilizing the orchids regularly.
6. Right time to repot your orchids
If you are planning to repot your orchid, then now is the right time to do it since new growths have started popping out. The reason for this logic is that your new growths will soon put out new roots that will hold the plant firmly in the medium and provide it with nutrition for its growth.
Do not wait for the new roots to grow before potting. These new roots are delicate and could suffer damage easily if you decide to repot it after the roots appear. Losing these new roots would be a setback for the plant, and the new growths would show stunted growth. This in turn would lead to a low quality bloom cycle or entirely skip it, which would be most disappointing.
For more details on what type of media to use for repotting your orchids, read my post on Everything you wanted to know about ORGANIC MEDIA for growing orchids.
Going through this checklist and taking action at this juncture will help you prepare for the blooming season. You can look forward to a beautiful bloom display and derive maximum satisfaction from it. After all, this pit stop will help you reach the destination of your orchid growing journey without any eventualities.
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Please leave a comment in the comment box for feedback, any query and particular topic that you want me to wite about. I shall definitely get back to you on it.
Till then, happy growing!