The Q&A Archives: Orchid Not Flowering

Question: I purchased an orchid last spring that was in bloom, just gorgeous! The care instructions have been followed. Here we are in Spring again and I have watered and fertilized to the specifications and the orchid has not sprouted a bloom shoot, it did get a new leaf over the winter but no blooms, what can I do to encourage the orchid to bloom?

Answer: Orchids are an incredibly independent lot! But they are lovers of humidity and I find they won't flower without it. Have you tried setting the pot on top of pebbles with a shallow layer of water? As the water evaporates, it increases humidity around the plants. Don't let the pot/roots sit in the water, but just above it. Light daily misting can also help.

Also, since orchids are generally planted in something like bark, they need to be fertilized regularly for nutrients. My friend who has a greenhouse full of orchids recommends fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer each time you water, but use only 1/4 of the amount of fertilizer recommended on the container. Try to be patient. If the plant looks healthy, it will probably bloom again in time!

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