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Please Help Me With My Moth Orchid. It Was In…

lili Asked

Please help me with my moth orchid. It was in bloom for 10 weeks; now all the flowers are gone and one of the two orchids is dying out. How can I get them to bloom again?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Lili: There are many species of orchids, although Phalaenopsis orchids, commonly known as moth orchids, are the ones we typically see sold in garden centers and florists. Available in several colors, they are quite stunning while they are in bloom. There are different opinions about what should be done with the stem after your orchid has finished blooming. Some say that with older plants you can cut the shoot back halfway just above one of the nodes and the orchid can potentially produce secondary flowers. The chance of this happening is rare and the flowers will not be as large or last as long as the first ones did. The more common practice is to remove the stem all the way down to the base of the plant. Leaving an inch or so is fine. This will allow your orchid to concentrate all of its energy on the roots, foliage, and producing a new stem that will eventually bloom again. It is a process that usually takes three to four months. If the plant is healthy and happy, it can bloom up a couple times each year with the blooms lasting for several weeks. For now, continue to keep your orchid in a space where it will receive bright filtered light. A south-facing window is ideal. We do not want to allow the orchid to completely dry out, so depending on the temperature and humidity of your home your orchid should be watered about once per week. Continue to feed your plant with your favorite water-soluble orchid fertilizer once a month. Using a half-strength dose of food is fine. It is always better to underwater and feed than to overwater or to overfeed your orchid. It should be repotted every two years with a good quality bark-based orchid medium.

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