Orchid won't bloom

debsmess(8/S. Oregon)March 18, 2010

Hi all, this is my first post to this forum. My daughter received an orchid as a gift 2 years ago. We do not know what type it is other than it was purchased at the local Safeway store and had beautiful white flowers. She did not take very good care of it and almost killed the plant completely. I rescued it and put it in the kitchen window. After about a year with only it's orginal 2 leaves it started to send out lots of new leaves and now has 7 along with many new roots. It looks very healthy but it still has not bloomed. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do?

Thanks,

Debbi

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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

Right. First of all it is very important to know what kind of orchid it is, because there are over 3,000 different types and they all require different conditions! I'm going to make a wild guess and suggest that your orchid is a Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis). Does it have a pair of thick, heavy, dark green leaves, not much else ? If it is, all you need to do is be patient, these are some of the slowest orchids to reflower. Just keep it very warm and water it occasionally with a very little high potassium (tomato) fertilizer and make sure it has a couple of hours a day of gentle sunlight.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 11:28PM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

It sounds like you have been successful at getting it back to health. Congratulations, many people don't get that far.

If the leaves are wide and alternate right and left, it is indeed a moth orchid (or Phal, as we like to say). There are many, many crosses but they are all more or less the same as far as care goes. Since you have more than 5 leaves it is likely to be one of another group of hybrids, but that doesn't mater all that much.

The number one reason a plant that is otherwise healthy does not bloom is light. It needs more. Even six inches closer to a window will make a lot of difference.

What direction does your window face? Phal's hate direct sunlight, they burn easily. But an east window usually has more gentle morning light that it can handle.

Feed the plant lightly. About 1/4 of what the directions say.

Good luck. Let is know about your progress.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 8:10AM
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debsmess(8/S. Oregon)

Thanks for the information. I will agree that it probably is a moth orchid by your discriptions. The Kitchen window faces West but only gets a little sun as the house is on the east side of a mountain. I grow african violets in the window and they love it. I can move the plants around to let the orchid get a little more light. Another question, could I possibly move it outdoors for the summer? I have a densly shaded front yard that only gets about 2 - 3 hours of early morning sun

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 1:56PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

It has to be light...I tell you, I have been trying for years with these things, and until I installed a skylight, I could never get mine to reflower....Good luck..:-)

Mike:-)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 3:33PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Light is the answer. You can move it outside this spring and summer. Just make sure it drains well or it can get too wet.

Jane

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:00PM
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smwboxer

I'm not so sure she's talking about a phal. No many phals are capable of growing 7 new leaves in a year.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 9:43AM
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jimfromnaples

I have had a similar problem with a Vandy. Had it for over 2 years and it hasn't bloomed, but has been producing new leaves and otherwise appears very healthy. It on my lanai and gets 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day. I don't think its light as there are a couple of other vandys hanging in the same basic place that are prolific bloomers. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 12:42PM
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tommyr_gw

It's either a light and/or fertilizer issue. Increase both if you're not feeding it regularly.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 7:02PM
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debsmess(8/S. Oregon)

Thanks everyone. I have moved the orchid to receive more light. I will post a picture of it tomorrow (if I can figure out how). I did read that phals need cool night temperatures in the fall to set a flower spike, my home does tend to stay pretty constant between 65-70 fall thru spring any thoughts?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 11:58PM
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highjack(z6 KY)

A phal needs a temperature deferential, not a cool down. On a sunny day all homes warm up and then the temp drops at night - this is the only deferential a phal requires.

Your house temps are great, give it some morning sun and it will eventually bloom.

Brooke

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 6:50AM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

It is probably a Doritaenopsis, but I didn't want to be confusing and the care is more or less the same. Much more Phal culture information.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 12:24PM
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debsmess(8/S. Oregon)

Here are some photos of my orchid if any of you can identify I would greatly appreciate it. I will also be looking for a location that it would receive more light. Again thank you all for your feedback.

Debbi

The leaves with the damage are the original leaves all others are new in the last year.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 6:31PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

The mystery of why your plant had so many leaves is solved! You have two plants growing. They look healthy, roots look good, one appears to be getting more light - size of leaf and color is lighter. Whether you separate them is up to you. I would leave them, increase light and hopefully you will get spikes this fall.

I see you live in Oregon, it is possible the plants are not receiving enough light and you might want to supplement with a CFL bulb to increase your chance of spiking. Your plants should be making new leaves and roots over summer and with a temp drop in Sept. you should see spikes beginning.

Jane

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:48PM
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highjack(z6 KY)

Congratulations you have a basal keiki. It is an identical replica of the original plant and the blooms will be the same. I agree with Jane, I never divide a basal keiki off, the display when they bloom is outstanding.

Moving it closer to the east window or a summer outside is ideal. Keep your fingers crossed, it could be a summer bloomer. As the light increases and temps rise it could produce a spike now.

Brooke

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 6:27AM
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smwboxer

Agreed, do not remove and give the plant more light. Also, try giving the plant a drop in temps at night. This will encourage it to spike.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 10:55AM
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debsmess(8/S. Oregon)

Again, thanks everyone for your responses. I plan on moving it outside when the weather is agreeable. I will be patient and when it flowers(keeping the faith) I will post photos.

Debbi

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 3:22PM
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phalnellie(z6TN)

I'm a novice with orchids but I had a phal to rebloom shortly after the blooms fell off. I didn't cut the stems as they were still green. It's in my bedroom very little nature light, so I have a daylight bulb in a lamp which it sits under. Shortly after giving it the extra light...it rebudded and I've enjoyed a second set of blooms. I'm hoping that it continues to do well. So try the lighting and temp difference...you will probably be rewarded with lots of blooms. Looking forward to pictures as I've never seen a double phal before now. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 11:23PM
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sharlieo

JimFromNaples...
It happens from time to time w/Vandas.. Add epsom salt & fert weekly. I water every few days too. I even put bloom booster every other week. It's best to start this now. Since we are finally having nicer weather here in FL.
Good Luck.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 3:09PM
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