Taking care of indoor orchids is a rewarding hobby since they are extremely beautiful. Although they’re quite hard to look after sometimes, when you get it right the rewards are that much sweeter. But, there’s nothing worse than wondering whether or not your efforts have worked.
So, when do orchids bloom indoors? Since there are various species of orchids, you can experience (almost) year-round orchid heaven if you’re clever about which ones you buy. But typically, they will bloom during winter. However, the summer season isn’t great for orchids since they tend to prefer lower temperatures. Although, if you have a particularly cold room (or live in a different climate) you might be lucky enough to experience continuous flowerings.
Here are some examples of when different varieties bloom:
- The Cattleya variety group blooms in winter and usually lasts until late spring.
- Lady’s slipper blooms in winter and lasts until spring.
- The moth orchids flower in winter and last until late spring/early summer.
Watering Your Indoor Orchids
It’s true that orchids are found in tropical rainforests however this doesn’t mean they need lots of water. Many orchid owners tend to overwater them and then wonder why their plants aren’t blooming, or why they’re dying so young. Don’t worry, you won’t be one of those people since you’ve stumbled upon us (you lucky thing, you)!
Method One: Submerge
Your orchid should sit in a clear container that contains soil, bark or some kind of potting medium. This can sit in a holding pot that goes with your interior design. Alternatively, you can make the clear container a feature but most owners tend to prefer it hidden.
To submerge your orchid, use distilled water. If you don’t have access to this, boil some tap water and let it cool down before use. Then, just fill the clear container and holding pot to completely submerge the roots.
Leave it to soak for around 10 to 15 minutes before removing the orchid from the water. Once you’ve taken it out, you’ll need to let it drain for roughly 5 minutes (maybe a bit longer).
After this, make sure you discard any leftover water from your holding pot and place your orchid back in its home.
As we said earlier, orchids don’t need much water. With that in mind, you shouldn’t be doing this every day as this will really harm your plant! Instead, submerging it once a week is best practice.
Method Two: Use Ice Cubes
This is a pretty interesting method and one you’ve probably never heard about.
Using ice cubes (small to medium-sized ones from a tray) brings many benefits to your plant. They will stop the root rotting, make your life far easier, and improve absorption. Not to mention that you’ll never have to worry about overwatering ever again!
So, how and when should you water your beautiful orchids with ice cubes? Once a week, place an ice cube on top of the bark or soil. Make sure you’re not putting it directly on the leaves; instead, aim for under them. Plus, ensure there isn’t any standing water in the holding pot before you do this so you can tip it away with no hassle.
Method Three: Pour
If you’re a coffee lover, you might be an expert at the circular pour. Whilst this method isn’t the best, there will be times or certain circumstances when submerging or using ice cubes just can’t be done. Enter the pouring method.
For orchids in large pots or placed somewhere they can’t be removed from, using a watering can is fine. Keep in mind though that some big pots do not have drainage holes.
Be really careful when you’re watering this way. If your orchid is constantly standing in water, its roots will rot and the plant with eventually die. Moreover, aim underneath the leaves since dredging them will cause rotting as well.
Having said all this, don’t be too scared to try it out! If you do get a bit of water in the leaves, just find a towel and gently dab any droplets away.
Since overwatering is a pretty big risk here, aim for pouring ¼ glass into the pot every week. This will change depending on the season and whereabouts your plant is sitting.
Remember, All Orchids Are Different. We mentioned earlier that there are a variety of orchid species. This doesn’t just affect their bloom time, it also affects how much water they need! We’ll have a gander at the most popular varieties and take a look at their watering preferences. Ready? Let’s go!
Vanda Orchid: These guys need quite a lot of water. They should always be damp. Bear in mind that overwatering is still a concern here.
Cymbidium Orchid: This type requires evenly moist soil. When we say moist we do not mean wet.
Dendrobium Orchid: When these ones are growing, they need evenly moist soil. However, when they’re not growing, you’ll need to allow them to have a dry period between each watering session.
Phalaenopsis Orchid: Regardless of whether they’re growing or not, these guys need short dry spells between each watering session.
Control The Humidity
All flowers ideally want to be in their natural habitat so we plant lovers need to do our best to recreate it for them. Orchids are no different. In fact, it’s really the only way you’re going to achieve their seasonal bloom we talked about.
Try not to stress about it. We promise that it’s easier than it sounds.
Misting is the easiest way to give your orchid the right humidity levels it needs to thrive. All you need to do is spray your plant regularly (ensuring you’re using a fine-mist spray bottle). Two times a day (for the aerial roots) is a good routine to get into. However, depending on how dry your location is, you might need to do it 3 or even 4 times a day.
If you’re worried about overwatering with the spray bottle, gently touch your orchid to feel how much moisture is present. Having said this, you’re more likely to not mist enough instead of over misting. You need to look out for leaves turning brown at the tips, twisted flowers, falling buds and/or stunted to growth. If you notice these symptoms, mist more! And if you notice any mould growing or signs of rot, mist less!
Control The Light
Another crucial aspect to ensuring you’ll get to experience your orchid’s full charm and beauty is the lighting. Whilst each orchid species is different, there are some basic guidelines to follow. But always check the label when you purchase one to see its individual light preferences.
Direct Sunlight is a Huge No-No.
Sometimes, just a few hours of direct sunlight can cause your orchid to become sunburnt. It happens that quickly so you must be careful! Ideally, you should put your orchid in a room that remains at the same temperature all day, is free from drafts, and can get a good amount of indirect sunlight.
Prune Them to Bloom Them
To keep your orchid flowering year on year, you’ll need to make sure you prune them in the autumn (i.e. their hibernation period). People often get quite scared about this but, like with everything, it’s easy when you know how.
You will need to make sure you clean your tools before you do this. Using soap and hot water should suffice but for non-coated ones, you’ll have to use a flame (either from a stone, lighter or bunsen burner).
Once everything is ready, you can start to prune:
- Always cut unhealthy spikes (the brown ones) back to the base.
- For green ones, you’ll need to trim an inch above the lowest flower bloom node.
- For orchids with double spikes, you will be required to cut one spike at the base and the other an inch above the lowest flower bloom.
- Remember to cut down diagonally.
Pruning your orchid will allow it to focus its energy on reblooming (in other words, on making strong leaves and roots). We know it can be daunting cutting away into your plant but we promise that it will do more good than harm.
The Bottom Line
As long as you follow our top tips and tricks for caring for your orchid, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t bloom on time! It’s all just a matter of patience and a bit of tender loving care to see these beauties looking happy and healthy. Trust us, orchid rearing is amazingly rewarding!