Reblooming is still the biggest problem for orchid growers and enthusiasts. There are certain times of the year that most orchids bloom. You can see when these times are in my book, Mastering Orchids in the flowering table.
There are three or four steps you can try to get your orchid to re-bloom.
1. One of the first things to look for is light. Without the proper lighting your orchid will not have new flowers. Light is the most important factor to help with this process. This is one of the first things to try. Remember in the winter the amount of light is lessened and this can have an effect.
2. Next is a change in temperatures. This is especially true for phalaenopsis orchids but does hold true for other genera of orchids. It is recommended that your temperatures vary about 10 – 15 degrees between day and night time. This is easier to do in the Northern climates.
It may be a simple as putting your plants outside when the weather gets cooler. This may need to be done in Southern climates.
3. After your orchid is finished blooming you should cut the spike back. You will notice little “bumps” on the spikes, these are called knuckles or more properly nodes. About 2 inches above the 3rd node from the bottom of the spike cut the rest of the spike off.
After you have done this the spike needs to be protected from disease. This is accomplished by using cinnamon powder or melted wax over the cut area. Cinnamon is should be used on any cut area.
4. If all else has failed there is one last trick to reblooming you can use. And that is to get the orchid into darkness. Yes, I said darkness. There are some experts who recommend this as a first step. I don’t. This may be true especially for cattleyas but can be done for all orchid genera.
To do this the plant needs darkness for at least 12 hours a day. This can be accomplished by putting it in a dark basement or putting a lightweight dark cloth over it.
These steps will get your orchid to produce more of those great looking blooms.