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If you have ever seen orchids in full bloom, you are sure to be in awe of its beauty. The vibrantly colored flowers are truly majestic and mesmerizing. No wonder a lot of gardeners and enthusiasts had fallen deeply in love with its charms.
To see them bloom right before your very eyes are what is most rewarding for us growers. Yet, growing orchids in an indoor garden can be quite a tricky thing too. Orchids are originally grown in the tropics. So, obviously your living room or grow tent is nowhere the same as its natural home.
Don’t lose hope though, my friend! You are just on the right page.
In this article, we will discuss effective ways on how to grow your orchids indoors. Moreover, we will also teach you some helpful tips to hasten the blooming of your precious flowers.
So, let’s cut the chase and get things started already!
When do orchids bloom?
First things first, if your goal is to speed up blooming, you have to know when do orchids usually bloom?
There are plenty of orchid varieties and each bloom at different seasons from one another. So, if you are smart enough to choose the right kinds, then you might just be lucky enough to have some orchids blooming all-year-round your space.
Here are the top three common orchid groups and their expected blooming seasons:
|Orchid Group||Species||Blooming Season|
|Lady’s Slipper orchids||Paphiopedilum multiple species and cultivated varieties||Blooms in winter and lasts until spring|
|Cattleya orchids||Cattleya, Laelia, Rhyncholaelia, Sophronitis, and hybrids||Blooms in winter and lasts until late spring|
|Moth orchids||Doritis and Phalaenopsis||Blooms in winter and lasts until late spring or early summer|
How to speed up the blooming phase of orchids?
Okay, you already know when orchids typically bloom. But, is there any way to make it bloom earlier? Hell yes, my friend!
If you can’t wait any longer to see your orchids bloom, there are several methods you can try to stimulate it’s blooming earlier than usual.
Orchids may originate in the tropics. But, this doesn’t automatically qualify them as hydrophilic plants. In fact, overwatering is one common reason why orchids don’t bloom out.
Lucky you for reading this article sooner. ‘Coz other’s mistakes shouldn’t have to be yours too, you know!
So, there are actually three methods you can apply when watering your indoor orchids.
Method #1: Submersion
The main point here is to let the roots of the orchid get soaked with water for a few minutes. That way it gets evenly hydrated but not for an extended period of time. Thus, preventing it from getting overwhelmed with water.
To do this, your orchids should be placed in a container along with your potting medium of choice. You will need another container from which your pot will be submerged. It should be large enough to accommodate the size of the pot.
Fill the large container with distilled water. If you don’t have distilled water on hand, you can simply boil tap water and let it totally cool down before using it.
Once, you already have the bowl filled with water, submerge the pot into it for about 10 to 15 minutes. Let the pot soak fully. After that, remove the pot from the water and let it drain for 5 minutes or so.
Doing this method ensures your roots and potting medium will get sufficient amounts of water. This should be enough to keep them well hydrated for several days. That said, it is not advisable to do this method on a daily basis. Rather, it is safer to practice submersion once a week.
Method #2: Ice Cube Technique
Using ice cubes on your plants may sound a bit odd for some. But let me tell you, you’re missing a lot of good things from this technique.
Apart from hydration, the ice cube method can also halt the occurrence of root rotting. Moreover, this also helps them to better absorb moisture and nutrients.
To do this, you need small to medium-sized ice cubes. Place them on top of the bark or the potting medium. Make sure to place the ice cubes under the leaves and never ever directly on top. So, as the ice melts, it is slowly watering your plants too. That’s it!
Method #3: Watering Can
In cases where methods 1 and 2 are not possible, like in very large pots, then the traditional watering can is a good alternative. Although it isn’t the best method, it is still good enough to keep your orchids hydrated.
The important thing here is to regulate the amount of water you pour in your pot. Remember, your main concern here is the heightened risk of overwatering. Thus, make sure to always aim at the potting soil and never let the leaves drench. Otherwise, this can lead to root rotting and eventual death of your orchids.
Same with submersion, it is advisable to use distilled or boiled and cooled water. Pour about a quarter of a glass every week. This may differ though depending on the season and the location of your placement. Adjust accordingly as needed.
As as quick guide, here are some of the most popular orchid varieties’ water preferences:
|Orchid Variety||Watering Tips|
Just like any other plant, a good balance of humidity also plays a significant role in blooming orchids. Some growers think it is quite a complicated matter, but actually it isn’t.
In an indoor garden, one of the best ways to promote humidity in your grow space is through misting. This method is super easy and inexpensive too. Furthermore, it gives you good control over the amount of moisture you apply to your orchids.
All you need is a basic fine-mist spray bottle. The finer the nozzle, the better it is for your plants. Mist your plants once or twice regularly. But, you may need to spray up to 4 times a day depending on how dry the area is.
Even though it seems you are giving minimal water, it is still possible to overdo misting. To avoid that, make sure to always inspect the condition of the orchid before attempting to spray. Otherwise, it may again lead to root rotting and eventual death.
In general, orchids are sensitive to light. Thus, it is important not to expose it to direct sunlight. Extreme lighting can easily burn your plant and damage its leaves. A room with good amounts of indirect or filtered light is ideal for most types of orchids.
Although, various species of orchids have different light requirements too. So, it is best to check for its individual needs to provide the most suitable type of grow light for your cultivar.
Don’t be scared to prune your orchids once in a while. Intentional cutting of certain plant parts is actually more beneficial if done correctly. Letting go of unnecessary portions redirects the focus on growing healthier roots and leaves instead. Thus, giving the orchids greater chances to bloom.
The important thing to note here is to know when is the right time to prune your orchids. Pruning should be done during autumn where the plants are in its hibernation phase. That way, you are least likely disrupting its active growth and development.
It is also essential for you to sanitize your pruning tools before and after every use. This will prevent cross-contamination of diseases should there be any. Simple washing with soap and water should suffice. Or, you could also soak your tools in 70% Isopropyl alcohol for thorough disinfection.
Of course, you cannot just prune anywhere. Here are some of the areas that you should only consider pruning:
- Cut down brown and unhealthy spikes from the base.
- Trim healthy stems one inch above the lowest node.
- For double-spike orchids, cut one spike down to the base while the other spike is trimmed an inch above the lowest node.
- Always cut at a diagonal angle to increase surface area for better water intake.
You see, growing orchids in an indoor setting may require some special tricks. But, now that you know how to provide the care it needs, there are better chances for you to bloom orchids at an earlier time. That also means you can get to enjoy its beauty sooner too.