Very often it happens that your beautiful orchid has beautiful, leathery leaves and good roots, but you can’t wait to see it bloom. This is due to the vitality of such an “organ” of the plant as the flower stalk.
How important is blooming?
The flower stalk is the most important part of the orchid. Some florists call it the “heart” of the plant. It is the one that provides all the beauty of the orchid, as flowers are produced on it. The flower is the means by which the plant attracts insects for its pollination, that is, for the continuation of the species. As proof of this, it is on the flower stalks that the offspring appear, which can then easily be rooted to produce a new plant.
As long as the flower stalk is growing, the plant should never be replanted!
Why doesn’t the orchid produce a flower stalk?
Let us list the main reasons that hinder this process:
This is a tropical plant that likes a well humidified room. But not when the shoot development process is taking place. During this period, the air humidity should be at 50-60%, and sometimes 30-40%. But in no case should the indicators reach the 70-80% mark. Otherwise, either the flower stalks will not appear at all, or they will start to turn yellow and wilt during development.
It should be plenty of light all the time. Ideally, light should fall on the orchid for 10-12 hours a day. If you can’t do this naturally, ask for artificial light. Use phytolamps for this purpose.
Many inexperienced flower growers, trying to please the fastidious beauty, water her too actively and abundantly. But this should not be done. Especially at the time of the release of the uppermost leaves, because with them the flower stems are usually thrown out. It’s also worth reducing the frequency of moisture in the soil during the resting period so that the plant realizes that it has come to rest and it’s time to gain strength for a new flowering.
If you continue to water the orchid in the same way as when it was flowering, it will not realize that it is time to rest and will not be able to recover for a new flowering season.
Do not forget that the optimum temperature for Phalaenopsis, as well as for other species, is 64,4-75,2°F. Try to keep the ambient temperature within these limits. And pay particular attention to the differences in the daily temperature, which should vary between 41°F and 44,6°F.
How to force the release of the arrow – step by step instructions
If the plant has not had a new flower stalk for six months after the last flowering, you don’t need to worry about it. But if it’s been more than six months and still no shoots, it’s worth taking action.
- First, assess the overall condition of the flower. Carefully inspect its roots for rotten and sore roots. And then touch the leaf plates to the touch: they should be tight and green in color without a yellow tint.
- Next, provide the plant with twelve hours of light. But it should not be direct sunlight, which will burn the leaf plates. It is better to choose a place with a lot of diffused light. The eastern or southeastern window of your house will work great for this.
- In hot seasons, it’s best to shade the orchid from the searing sun with protective foil.
But many florists recommend reducing the amount of light along with lowering the temperature. You can do this by placing the vase with the orchid in a dark, cool place. In this way you will create a stressful situation for the plant, which will give an impetus to activate the dormant flower and start its new growth.
- Change the watering regime if it is not normal. Better yet, take your flower into a drought. Do not moisten the soil for at least ten days and then immerse it in standing water at room temperature for about fifteen minutes. Then let the water run off and return the pot with the phalaenopsis to its place. Going forward, water the flower only after the condensation on the walls of the vase has passed.
The best watering option is considered a shower. This way both the underground and air roots are moistened, the leaves are sprayed, and the water will not stagnate. Another criterion by which you can judge that it is time to water the orchid is the weight of the pot. It should be quite light. Sometimes a break between waterings can be as long as three weeks – this is normal.
- Worry about a comfortable temperature. It should be 68-71,6°F during the day and 60,8-64,4°F at night. If the room is too warm, the orchid will only build up foliage mass and will not produce arrows. To stimulate the appearance of flower stems you can lower the night temperature by another couple of degrees. After this manipulation you will see how the orchid will produce a shoot.
What is allowed and what is prohibited during flowering
If you manage to get your orchids to bloom, or at least to release arrows, don’t think that now you can just admire the tropical flower and do nothing. Make sure to follow our tips to make sure the blooms last as long as possible:
- Remove wilted flowers in time,
- Tie up the shoots so they don’t break,
- Make sure you get plenty of daylight.
It is also worth knowing what not to do with an orchid during the budding and flowering period.
- The pot should not be moved from place to place. In nature, flowers always grow in the same place, so any relocation is stressful for them. If it is necessary to temporarily move the pot, try to put it back in place so that it is in the same position.
- The flowers should not be sprayed. Drops of water left on the flowers for a long time can provoke the appearance of spots, as well as dropping the buds. In addition, droplets can drip from the leaves into the axils or core of the rosette, causing rotting. Use only a sprayer, which can produce what is called water dust, and spray the plant from afar.
- Do not change the keeping conditions drastically. When transported from the store, the orchid is under a great deal of stress. This can cause it to drop its already formed buds or flowers.
- Do not place the pot next to a fruit basket or a wilting bouquet. Ripe fruit releases ethylene, which promotes rapid bud maturation and flower aging. Therefore, such proximity can cause the orchid to bloom rapidly or drop its flowers and buds. A vase left next to a wilting bouquet has a similar result.
- No fertilizer should be applied. After the appearance of the flower stalk, fertilizer is usually no longer applied. If they do, in accordance with the instructions, but no more than 2 times a week. However, once the first flower has opened (or better yet, before that moment), fertilising should be discontinued completely. Otherwise, it can interrupt flowering and cause the plant to drop its buds.
Caring for an orchid after blooming
When an orchid has stopped blooming, don’t be in a hurry to cut off the flower stems. First of all, the dormant buds may awaken after a while. Secondly, there is a growing tip on the flower stalk. If it remains green, there is a good chance that it will continue to grow and new buds will appear. This can happen during flowering or 1-3 months after the flowers have fallen. There is also a chance that the tip of the flower stalk will never grow.
If the tip is blackened, yellowed or shrunken, the flower stalk can be removed – completely or just the part where the flowers were (in a place just above the last dormant bud). Many florists leave all flower stalks, as this makes it easier to achieve a repeat flowering, as each bud can form a lateral flower stalk or a offspring. But if you leave the old flower stalks behind, you are stunting the development of new ones. But the orchid that has bloomed on a new arrow is much more decorative than if the buds appear on a side shoot.
A common question is whether a blooming orchid can be transplanted. It is best not to do this, as the orchid will again be stressed at this time. Transplanting should be postponed until the plant has fully bloomed. After placing the epiphyte in a new pot, leave it without watering for a while. This will allow the plant to acclimatize more quickly and will prevent the roots damaged during transplanting from rotting.
In order to avoid problems with the development of flower stems and the flowering of the orchid, try to follow these recommendations as much as possible. This will help you to achieve the longest and most frequent blooming period possible. The important thing to remember here is that everything needs to be in moderation, such as fertilizer and soil moisture.
Orchid is a plant that likes stability. So if you’ve chosen for him any one particular place and position to light, then try to make sure that your chosen position was constant and did not change. Because this kind of stress will not do your exotic beauty any good.
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