Posted by: marinvit | June, 2009

After Bloom Care for Orchids

Contrary to the common belief that orchid plants are very difficult to maintain, growing orchids is fun and easy, provided that we take care of the plant properly. There are certain tips for growing orchids; the plant should be provided with necessary conditions like, optimum light, water, humidity, temperature and plant nutrients. As the orchid plant is native to tropical climates, you may face problems while planting them in colder regions. However, problems can be overcome, if you understand the basic plant growth factors and requirements.

orchid_Montreal garden
There should be proper water drainage, as the roots will decay in waterlogged soil. You can remove the dead scales and leaves regularly. Like other flowering plants, orchids have two major stages, viz., the quiet period and the blooming period. In the former case, the plants grow leaves and stores maximum energy for the blooming period. Thus, after the quiet period, the orchids bloom, which may last for about 6 – 8 weeks. It is of immense pleasure to see the orchids bloom. One of the major query regarding orchid plants is the after bloom care. Many are not aware about the caring tips to make the orchid bloom routinely.

After Bloom Care for Orchids

After the orchids have bloomed, you can either retain the flowering stalk or spike for some time or cut it at the base. If you opt for keeping the spike, the plants should be fed regularly as you did before. There are chances of developing a new spike from the former one. It is to be noted that spike developed in this way will not be of the same quality as the original bloom.

If there is no sprouting of new spikes, then the old spike will turn brown and eventually die. In such a case, you can cut the old spike near to the base of the plant by using a sharp knife or scissor. By cutting the stalk at the near base, the plants are allowed to save energy for the next blooming cycle. This way, the size and color of the next bloom can be retained. While cutting, make sure that you do not nick the main stem and/or other plant parts. Check for disease development in the cut portion; you can use mild fungicides in case of any diseases.

Another after bloom care tip is maintaining the root system; this can be achieved by careful evaluation of the roots. There is no doubt that a healthy root system is always necessary for proper growing and flowering of the plant. The best way is to unpot the plant and remove brown or black roots (if any). You should retain healthy roots, that are either white or green in color.

For repotting, prepare a healthy soil mixture by including organic compost and place the orchid plant. In case there are long external roots, you can either trim them or tuck them inside the soil. Do not expose the repotted orchid plants to direct sunlight, at least for a few weeks until the plants are settled. Continue to feed and maintain the orchid plants; based on the growing conditions, the plants will develop new spikes within the next 6 – 9 months.

Orchids can be grown as a part of outdoor as well as indoor gardening; many hobbyist prefer to grow them in greenhouses and container gardens. Since orchids are slow-growing plants, one should be very patient and follow proper orchid care tips. For better results, you can repot the orchid plants after every blooming cycle.

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