Orchids belong to the family Orchidaceae. Orchids are beautiful, elegant, rare, temperamental, like females, but we love them nonetheless! Those grown in pots have varying blooming times, which significantly depends on the species of orchids.
Orchids bloom just once a year. The peak blooming season for many types of orchids is during March. However, some varieties bloom over winter, summer, and fall. Under the right conditions, some species of orchids are known to bloom twice a year.
Having an orchid does not mean you get to watch the leaves grow daily. You have them for their beautiful, unusual blossoms. This article will clarify any questions you have on that rare, exquisite plant. Read on if you require further information on which season your orchids will flower.
Related: Are Orchids Poisonous?
Which Is The Best Season For Orchids To Bloom?
Orchids grown in nature are different from those that grow as houseplants in stores and nurseries. In nurseries, orchids are grown under controlled or forced environments. This speeds up the plants’ inherent natural cues to signal growth and blooming times.
Nurseries encourage orchids to bloom synthetically by controlling the light, temperature, and humidity. Under these forced conditions, orchids’ growth and flowering times change.
When outdoors, in nature, orchids will bloom once a year for an extended period of a few months. This is usually from fall through to early spring. Their call to bloom is typically the cooler fall temperatures. All plants, orchids included, have a built-in signal system to let them know when it’s time to bloom and when it’s time for active growth.
The active growth phase of orchids is usually from summer to fall. Over this time, orchids typically generate new leaves and roots. During this growth phase, orchids will store energy in preparation for new blossoms. Therefore, it is beneficial to feed your orchids with more nutrient-filled fertilizers during these times.
The call to nature signaling the growth phase is the warm summer months. This is no surprise since sunlight, through photosynthesis, is converted to food for plants.
When Is The Peak Blooming Season For Orchids?
The peak blooming season for most common indoor orchids is during March. March is the month usually when orchids are at their best and most showy! For some Cat hybrid orchids, the blooming time is from March to April.
Over this time, winter varieties of orchids are still blooming while the spring ones are preparing to bloom.
Moth Orchids blossoms peak during March and usually last over a good few months. However, the flowering times may differ depending on the weather conditions. Some hybrid moth orchids are known to flower in December for the holidays through to January.
There are some varieties of orchids that flower during winter as well. However, this is dependent on whether the temperatures can be maintained between 50-65 Degrees Fahrenheit (10-16 ℃).
The peak flowering season for orchid varieties such as the hybrid lady slipper is over the cooler climates. In comparison, the boat orchids are far gone into their blooming season between January and February. However, some care should be taken with these orchids as temperatures below 30 Deg F (-1℃) may cause damage to the plant.
Make sure these orchids are not left outdoors if you live in areas that experience harsh winter conditions.
Which Orchid Varieties Bloom During Summer And Fall?
With proper care and attention, specific varieties of orchids may bloom well into the summer and fall months. For example, Cymbidium gives beautiful summer flowers while Cycnoches’ large, fragrant blossoms fill the air.
Moving the orchid into a well-ventilated area is beneficial. Over the summer months, orchids native to high altitudes require shade. So, make sure to bring your indoor and outdoor orchids into a shady area. The humidity may also need to be adjusted. It helps to use a humidity tray; spritzing them now and again also helps control the humidity.
Odontocidium, Wilsonara, and Colmanara are varieties of orchids that bloom profusely over summer. They also prefer shady areas, so move them away from direct sunlight.
Dendrobium hybrids and Rhynchostele bictonensius prefer the slightly cooler temperatures of early fall. With the progression of fall, many orchids are preparing for winter blooms.
The Phalaenopsis, for example, may bloom a second time if correctly pruned. Using a sharp pair of pruners, cut off a stem, leaving two nodes on the stem just below where the first flower formed. If the orchid Gods bless you, you may get another flower within eight to twelve weeks!
What Should I Know About Orchids?
Orchids are not the easiest of houseplants to care for. Unlike other indoor plants, they cannot be left unattended and hope for the best. They require some of your time and attention to ensure the plant is healthy and provides you with those beautiful, rare flowers.
Here are a few helpful hints about your orchids.
- Orchids prefer less water over winter than during summer. You should know the orchid variety before you establish a watering system.
- Before re-potting an orchid, place the orchid into a pan of water for 10-15 minutes. Trim off old roots leaves and clean off the old potting mix around the plant.
- Planting a variety of orchids will ensure you have orchids blooming for most of the year.
- Orchids prefer cooler temperatures between 60-80 Fahrenheit (16-32℃) and 50% or lower humidity.
- Place the orchid close to an open window while the air-conditioning is running. This helps prevent problems with the leaves and flowers.
- A well-fertilized soil will nourish and prepare an orchid for blooming.
- To ensure the best results, use a water-soluble fertilizer that has been specially formulated for orchids.
How Do I Care For My Orchid?
You need to know when orchids are in season to determine the best time for them to flower and help with the orchid’s care.
Take, for example, the Cattleyas, a winter and summer-blooming orchid. You should re-pot this variety immediately after it blooms.
For Paphiopedilum, March is the ideal time for re-potting. These popular winter blooms complete their blooming cycle by this time and are ready for re-potting.
Orchids should be re-potted after each blooming because, by this time, the potting soil is broken down and no longer viable for a healthy plant. Like all indoor plants, Orchids outgrow their pots and need larger ones. Repotting will also help you find and remove any fungus and rot.
Have you ever heard of picky eaters? Your orchid is like a picky eater; it is very sensitive about potting soils. When selecting a potting mixture, choose one that retains water and offers good drainage.
Use sphagnum peat moss or wood chips. Peat moss offers good water retention. However, some care should be taken not to overwater. Wood chips are a good choice for those times between waterings to ensure the orchid does not dry out.
If you notice your orchids have buds that don’t bloom, instead they wither and dry, cut back on the fertilizer.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of An Orchid?
As a new orchid owner, you probably wonder whether your orchid will die once the flowers fall off. Orchids are pretty strong plants with long lifespans, and with the proper care and under the right conditions, they have been known to last between 20-25 years.
In fact, at the Singapore Botanical Gardens, a tiger orchid has been living and thriving in the exact spot for the last 154 years!
You may think your orchid has died after the first bloom, but during this period, known as the “resting phase,” the orchid stores food and energy reserves for the next blooming. So, do not throw your orchid away once the blossoms have fallen.