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Phalaenopsis Orchids

Q.Phalaenopsis orchids

Zone Folsom, Pa 19033 | Peggy Kirkpatrick added on November 15, 2018 | Answered

I can not get my orchids to form buds or bloom. In the summer, I gave all of them fresh medium and fertilizer. I water them weekly with tepid water and they sit in a northwest window. I hope you can help. Thanks

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 17, 2018

These will not bear flowers naturally in the summer. The amount of total pitch black darkness must come to or exceed 12 hours per day for these to set flower. This is called photoperiodism, and is common in many plants. This one just happens to be a "short day flowering" plant.

The way I initiate orchid flowering is with synthetic lighting on a timer. 12 hours on and 12 hours off equally. This will for blooming. You will also want to let them dry out a little more than usual during this time. You should be feeding with an orchid fertilizer quite frequently. You can water into the roots, or spray on the entire plant including roots, which is recommended.

Just mix orchid fertilizer at 1/4 strength into water and spray every two weeks.

With these methods combined, you will soon have flowers, but just make sure that there is NO light at all during darkness, or flowers will not set properly.

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