Orchids are an incredibly popular family of flowering plants that can be found in different parts of the globe.
People grow orchids at home or in their gardens, and they are generally loved by all because of their colorful and fragrant appeal.
The orchid family consists of a wide variety of different flowers that are incredibly versatile, and could add a beautiful touch of color in any setting that they are placed in.
There are currently about 28,000 different species that are accepted as orchids, and as you can imagine, the distribution of this family is quite large.
People love growing orchids at home because the plant is incredibly easy to grow, and doesn’t require a lot in the way of care either.
If you have an orchid plant in your house, you don’t have to worry too much about it. As long as you provide basic care to your plant, it’s going to grow up all fine and dandy.
But, many people want the orchid blooms to last as long as possible, because after all, who doesn’t like flowers in their house or their garden? However, you need to understand that orchids need proper care if they are going to bloom.
They are exotic flowers and look incredibly beautiful. They have been associated with virility, fertility, and sexuality for many centuries.
You need to understand that how long your orchid lasts depends primarily on how well you care for it. The blossom is definitely the most beautiful part of having orchids, and you will obviously want to make sure that it lasts as long as you can make it.
Unfortunately for most people, that isn’t the case. Their orchids usually bloom for a month or so, before wilting and dying completely. So, let’s get a better understanding of an orchid’s lifespan.
How Long Does an Orchid Live?
First, let’s talk about how long an orchid really lives.
The lifespan of the orchid primarily depends on the type of orchid that you have, and the quality of care that the plant receives.
Ideally, the orchid flowers are going to last you between two to three months. However, this is just one of several flowering periods in the life cycle of the orchid.
Once the initial bloom is over, the plant goes in what is known as its resting period.
The flowers are going to fall off, and many people who buy orchids for the first time think that the plant is dying, and they tend to get rid of the plant, thinking that it’s dead.
However, what they don’t realize is that the plant is simply restoring its energy.
Orchids tend to expend a great deal of energy when they bloom, and they need time to recuperate and recover before they can enter their next flowering phase.
So, to put it simply, an orchid is capable of living for many years as long as you care for it, and you don’t even need to worry about it dying anytime soon, especially if you care for it.
Keeping the Orchids Healthy
Orchids need a suitable environment to be able to thrive properly, so if you want the blooms to last long, you need to create a positive environment when you bring them home.
You need to keep the orchids in an area where they are going to get a considerable amount of bright sunlight.
However, make sure that the plant does not get direct sunlight, as that could be harmful to the plant.
You also need to be careful about the temperature when you keep the plant inside, so it’s best to ensure that you place it in an area where it’s not exposed to any drafts. Avoid keeping it near open doors or windows.
Now, if your orchid blooms are not lasting as long as they should, there could be quite a few reasons for that.
It could be due to lighting, the spread of the roots, the amount of water your plant receives, or virtually anything else.
If you want to ensure that the blooms last you a long while, here are the best practices that you need to follow.
How Do You Make the Blooms Last Longer?
There are several things that you can do to make the orchid blooms last much longer. In the following few paragraphs, we will talk about the key factors involved in orchid blooms, and what you can do to ensure that they bloom properly.
One of the most common reasons why orchids fail to bloom, or do not bloom for a longer period is due to the insufficient amount of light that they receive.
There are some varieties of orchids that are quite happy with filtered light, but then there are other varieties that need a bit more light. Some might be completely happy to sit on a windowsill, but others won’t.
For instance, the Dendrobium, the Oncidium, and the Cattleya are all orchid species that need to be exposed to supplementary grow lights. In some cases, they might even need to be kept outdoors to get enough light. Light is an essential requirement for the orchids to bloom.
Keep in mind that these plants are not like tomato plants; they are not able to handle the full sun. Ideally, the best thing that you can do is provide them some dappled shade, so it’s best to keep them in such positions.
It might seem like keeping the plants in windowsills is a good idea, but it’s actually not.
As the orchid is exposed to more and more light, they are going to turn a lighter shade of green.
When the orchids develop a very light shade of green, it’s a clear indication that the plant is getting too much light.
On the other hand, if the plant turns a darker shade of green, usually forest green, it’s a sign that the plant is not getting enough light. Regulating the balance is very important.
One of the first things that you need to do is figure out how much light your orchids require. If your orchids require large amounts of light, you might want to consider putting them in a vanda basket, and hang them from a tree branch.
The high levels of humidity, along with the regular watering will allow the orchids to grow vigorously and have beautiful blossoms. In fact, there have been cases where Dendrobiums have rebloomed because they got this treatment.
If the roots of the orchid are good, you are going to be treated to wonderful blooms.
Orchids are deceptive plants, so the leaves might look gorgeous, but the roots are likely to be in serious trouble. In most cases, the root trouble is generally caused because the plants are not repotted properly, or because they are not watered properly.
Like all living things, orchids need oxygen to survive. The plant will smother if it doesn’t get an adequate amount of oxygen.
Conventional media cannot be used when potting the plants. Even the best orchid mix is going to break down over the passage of time, and you are going to have to replace it.
Many people are usually fearful of the repotting process, and end up leaving the orchids in the same mix for a longer period of time. Ultimately, the health of the orchid is going to suffer.
When it comes to selecting an orchid mix, there’s no reason for you to compromise. Remember, the quality and freshness plays an incredibly important role, so you need to factor those in when making a selection.
If you haven’t repotted your orchids in a fresh orchid mix, you will be surprised at the difference it can make.
The highest quality ingredients leave a strong impact and once you see that, you will never be going back to the conventional store brands with their poor quality mixes.
You should repot the orchids if you see some clear signs that the plant is struggling, such as drooping leaves or failure to grow properly.
Water is an essential requirement for all kinds of plants, and orchids are no exception.
If you are going to make orchids bloom and last longer, you have to make sure that you provide them with adequate amounts of water.
In most cases, the orchids need to be watered every other week. When the soil begins to dry, you should know that the plant is in need of watering.
The best way to water the orchids is to take them out of their container, and then place them in a grower’s pot. You can easily find grower’s pots made from plastic, and they are an excellent choice.
Once you place the plant in the pot, just keep it under a slow-running tap for around 10 to 15 seconds.
As you begin to water the plant, you should make sure that you wet all sides of the plant. However, you should prevent the leaves and the crown of the plant from getting wet.
Surprisingly, you can also use ice cubes to water your plants. Once you are done with the watering, you need to let it drip dry.
Leave it there for around 10 minutes to dry out. This will ensure that the plant isn’t sitting in the water for too long. Then, you can place it back in.
You should keep checking the soil after every few days, and when you feel that it’s getting dry again, you will have to repeat the whole process again.
Orchids generally grow in two different patterns: monopodial and sympodial.
As orchids begin to grow, they are going to send out a bloom spike from its stem. As the orchid continues to grow, you will see multiple bloom spikes.
When pruning the plants, you need to be careful that you do not end up cutting the bloom spikes.
Bloom spikes usually emanate from the base that lies on the underside of a leaf. You need to make sure that the plant receives an adequate amount of light and also gets enough water to ensure a full and healthy bloom.
The bloom spike will usually last for around seven to eight weeks, and in some cases, a bit more. There is a chance that the soil is going to get dry quite frequently, so you should check the soil more often.
The time of the season also plays an important role in the quality and the length of the bloom.
Remember, each type of orchid usually has a specific time in the year in which it blooms. Ideally, you should put labels on the plants so that you can track their bloom cycles.
Many orchids usually bloom once a year, but some are able to bloom two or three times a year.
Once the flowers are in bloom, they are generally going to last you for several weeks, or in some cases, they can also last just a few days. Don’t be disheartened when that happens, especially if you are following all of the steps given in this article.
There are quite a few types of orchids that are sensitive to temperature as well as light.
Some orchids that are temperature sensitive are usually triggered by the drop in the temperature as the fall approaches. This drop in the temperature is the cue that they need to bloom, and in some cases, they don’t get this cue, especially when they are planted in the house.
Ultimately, the plant is kept inside, especially one that is used to natural stimuli, it might not grow properly.
You might want to consider planting it outdoors so that they are able to get natural cues and grow properly.
The best thing to do is check the kind of orchid that you are buying first and then do your research about whether the orchid is going to do well inside your house.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.