Orchid Blooms: Why wont my orchid bloom?

My orchid won’t bloom. What is wrong?

Updated 12/11/17

Okay so you successfully repotted your orchid and it is the following season and your orchid will not bloom!! What is up with that? Most likely your orchid is out of balance in either light, roots, growth, season and/or natural stimuli. Here are a few reason why this may happen;

1. Maybe it’s light.

Hands down the most common reason that orchids fail to bloom is insufficient light. My Phalaenopsis orchids are usually happy with the filtered light in my windowsill but many other varieties need more light. Dendrobiums, Oncidiums, Cymbidiums and other types of orchids need much more light. They may need supplementary grow lights, which I don’t use personally…. I just put them in a brighter window. See my link on Orchid Light Requirements.

IMG_1473You can normally tell if your orchid is getting too much or too little light by looking at their leaves. This is an example of what a Phalaenopsis orchid leaf should look like with the correct amount of light. It should be shiny and bright green.



You may ask, “What will your orchid look like with too little light?” The leaves will be a dark forest green instead of bright green. Here is an example of this.




On the other hand unlike a tomato plant, they can’t handle full sun. A bright window has much more shade then if they were outside. Windowsill light is called “dappled light” and works well for most orchids.

You may ask, “What will your orchid look like with too much light?” The leaves will be a light yellow-green instead of a bright green. They can also get sunburned… Both are shown below. You can see the yellow leaf and the scorching on the other leaf, from too much sun (which looks like a big brown spot).

Orchids are also sensitive to household/artificial light in that they can have their natural cycle disrupted by leaving lights on, after dark, in our homes. As much as possible turn the lights off, at night, when your orchids are in your homes.

2. Maybe it’s the roots.

Orchids work in balance between their roots, leaves and blooms. If your roots are healthy you should get good blooms. Many times I have seen a gorgeous orchid with deceptively beautiful leaves and flowers but when I went to repot, I found a horrible root system. In this situation even though the leaves and flowers were pretty the plant would surely die (or would have really suffered) if not repotted.

Horrible root systems are typically linked to over watering and/or lack of repotting from a non draining pot. You orchid roots need A LOT of oxygen to survive and thrive. Without oxygen orchid roots will smother and die. It helps to have pots that you can clearly see their root system (shown below). Your orchid should have healthy green roots, as shown freshly watered below, on the right. In between watering they will look like the picture on the left a slight white/green which is also good.

Orchids are different from normal house plants in that you can’t plant an orchid in normal soil, they need unique orchid soil. I get all my soil/mix from rePotme. And even their mix, which I think is the best, will break down over time and will need to be replaced through repotting. Orchid mix will always need replacing because orchids need fresh mix to thrive. Orchids will not have enough energy to bloom if their roots are suffering. Remember its a balancing act!

3. Maybe it’s new growth.

There are two types of growth patterns for orchids; sympodial and monopodial.

Monopodial orchids; Phalaenopsis (which I have ALOT of) and Vanda are the most common. They grow off a single central stem with leaves on either side. Each leaf should be at least as big as the leaf before it. There should be at least one or two new leaves per year.

You should look for the next bloom spike on monopodial orchids from the base at the underside of a leaf (usually 2 or 3 leaves down from the newest leaf) and on the opposite side as the prior bloom spike.

In order to keep blooming over the years, monopodial orchids such as Phalaenopsis need to put on new leaves each year. Over time, as the orchid grows in size and strength it will send out a bloom spike on each side of the stem simultaneously.

Sympodial orchids; These orchids have multiple growths and should grow 1 or 2 new growths per year. A newly acquired orchid may have 4 or 5 stalks, most with leaves, with the bloom coming from the largest stalk. The “stalks,” on these orchids, are called “pseudobulbs.” If your orchid is thriving you should see a new pseudobulb emerge from the base of the previous pseudobulb near where the orchid bloomed. During the leaf and root growth period (not the bloom period), usually in summer, this new pseudobulb will ideally grow to be at least as big or bigger than the one that just bloomed. The next bloom spike will come from this new pseudobulb. You should be looking for your orchid to grow big, healthy new pseudobulbs because they will be the source of the next season’s bloom. Good light, fertilizer and water are also keys to healthy new growth. Over time, as the orchid grows in size and strength it will grow multiple pseudobulbs which can all spike at the same time creating an abundance of gorgeous flowers!

4. Maybe it’s the season.

Orchids naturally, bloom on their own schedule. Most likely it will not be the time of year it bloomed when you bought it because it was forced (off-cycle) into bloom at nurseries year round. You will find that most orchids grow new leaves and new roots during the summer, grow spikes in the fall and bloom in the winter through spring.

Most orchids will only bloom once a year but some bloom twice or more. Your blooms can last weeks or months while others can last only days. Some basic research about the type of orchid will identify what to expect. My Phalaenopsis orchids usually bloom once per year and their blooms can last for months. Once their flowers have fallen off they may have a couple of extra flowers emerge from the end of the bloom spike and bloom again but this has been rare for me. I also have Dendrobiums, Oncidiums and Cymbidiums – they usually bloom once or maybe twice per year with spectacular blooms that last a month or two.

5. Maybe it’s natural stimuli.

In nature, orchids have natural stimuli that indicate to the plant that the growth season is over and it’s time to bloom. The two main characters of natural season are a dip in temperature in the Fall and gray days resulting in lower light. Some orchids are temperature sensitive and some are light sensitive.

Orchids that are sensitive to temperature are triggered to bloom by the natural cooling that occurs in the fall. This drop in temperature signals to the orchid that the growth period (new roots and new leaves) is coming to an end and it is time to get ready to set a bloom spike, as shown below. If your like me, you grow your orchids inside where the temperature is fairly constant. If this is the case, orchids can be deprived of the natural cues and will be reluctant to bloom. You will need to trick your orchid into realizing its Fall by giving it temperatures in the 60’s for a brief period (1-2 weeks). You can do this by cracking a window near them. I found this very successful with my orchids.


Hope that Helps,


Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com with pictures of your orchid.

114 Comments on “Orchid Blooms: Why wont my orchid bloom?

  1. I found your article very helpful and that’s after reading a lot of more technical websites. Thank you for presenting the information I have found hard to get in such a succinct and user friendly way. I suspected that light was my biggest problem in not getting blooms on my orchids and your information has confirmed that. Could you give us more details about which orchids a temperature sensitive and which ones light sensitive?

  2. Hi Hannah……
    I thought you were quite informative and helpful and would like to ask a question if I may.
    I have 5 Pal plants and am having difficulties with 2 of them. I live in a home with skylights and thought these would work but am confused with 2 of my new ones. I don’t know if my bigger plant is very young or not.

  3. Hi
    My orchid had a good leaf growth which stopped with a dot in the centre but suddenly roots are growing

    Will my orchid bloom

    I am in India

    Plz advice

  4. Thank you so much for all this wonderful information!!! I would love your thoughts on my orchid. My aunt gave it to me in early summer. She had it for quite some time and it had not bloomed. I brought it home, repotted and placed outside under my carport. I fertilized with an African violet fertilizer that is similar to the orchid ones I have seen. It thrived–immediately put out a new leaf and has been making lots of new roots all summer. Now it is fall and I keep watching for a bloom spike but nothing yet. Soon I will have to bring it in as temps are dropping into the 40s at night. But still no bloom spike. Is there anything else I should do to encourage blooming?

  5. Neither of my phalaenopsis plants has grown a new leaf this year!! They have both flowered though. I only water once a week, never let them stand in water. Not kept on windowsill, but in a very bright room. Existing leaves are dark green. Why no new leaves I wonder?

  6. OK here’s what I hAve going on. I have a rescue (actually I have a few…) orchid that when I first save it grew probably 10 flowers. Two spikes off of one stalk wih gorgeous flowers. Now about a year after they finally fell off (they were there for maybe 5 or 6 months ) my plant has grown a new stem. It budded…. then stopped. This oNE bud bloomed into a massive flower and lasted a few weeks. It fell off the a new bud grew. And it’s currently opening. But still just one. Why is my orchid flowerING one bloom at a time? In all fairness I haven’t repotted it as I am silly and didn’t kow to do that. So now I will. Could that be the only problem or do you think there’s another reason. I always wait till it’s dry to water and I leave it to fully drain in the sink before I put it back on the window sill. I even have an orchid fertilizer I spray on after watering.
    Thanks for your help!

  7. Hi Hannah!
    Thank you so much for all of the Orchid advice & tips here!
    I have an Orchid that I received here at work in early September, that was already blooming. It was very beautiful, & enjoyable. However, I cut the stem back ( a little, but not all the way back) after all of the blooms had fallen off, & had read somewhere about putting cinnamon on the end to keep bacteria out, so I did that.
    That was probably sometime in either Oct. or Nov. Nothing has happened since then, except that a few of the roots have started to dry up like dead leaves, guessing I’m not watering it enough. The leaves still look healthy, and the stem is in good shape, aside from the end tip where I cut it back.
    Is there a possibility that I could revive this plant? Can I cut it back again, or will that shock the plant?

    Thanks so much,

    • Hi,

      I would cut the bloom stem back to the base..

      Cutting a stem back

      Make sure it’s potted in a singular pot (not two pots) with a drainage hole and only water when it’s VERY dry.

      No Drainage

      How to water

      Also make sure it’s near a natural light source…

      Light requirements



      • Hi Hannah,

        I did everything that you advised…
        cutting back the stem, re-potting, putting it in the window sill, & only watering it when it’s very dry.

        However, my orchid seems to be drying out very quickly, & maybe not retaining as much of it as it was before re-potting.
        The leaves have little white scratches on them that weren’t there before.
        The stem where I cut is turning a purple/red/brown, & becoming woody like it is dying.
        And it isn’t producing any new leaf growths.

        I know that when I re-potted the roots looked a bit sad, but I cut them back and everything as advised and put cinnamon on every one that I cut including the stem, but there were some wire like roots that looked like they were beyond repair. He looked really happy through, just after I had re-potted him, but that was short lived.

        Is this at the point of no return?

        Should I just go buy a new one, or is there still hope for my little fellow?

        Thanks so much,

      • Hi,

        There is always hope if it has leaves and roots. Most mix that an orchid has from a store is super packed in so it retains moisture for longer during transit. But this is also smothers the roots. It will dry out faster with your mix and that is fine.

        The stem will turn brown and die off and when it grows another one it will be from an entirely different spot.

        New leaves grow over time.

        Also repotting can shock an orchid and it may take some time to recoup.


      • Awesome!

        Thanks so much…hoping for the best 🙂

  8. My Phalaenopsis orchid started 2 new roots and then they just seemed to have stopped growing. My other Phalaenopsis started a new leaf and it stopped too at about 1 inch long. Any idea what might cause this?

    • Hi,

      Sometimes my orchids grow in spurts like this. As long as you don’t see them suffering (rot, fungus) etc then they should be fine. Have you tried an orchid fertilizer?


  9. I just repotted my phal orchid after about 5 years using a dark mix from repotme. It had started to grow a new stalk prior to repotting, maybe 4″ long or so. The stalk seems to be shriveling up. I followed my normal watering schedule of 3 ice cubes per week. I’m not sure how wet the mix should be – it’s also loosely packed. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Hi, my orchid are place beside window sill, leaves are darker green. Temperature in the house in day is about 20 degree and 19 in the night, it’s windy season. It’s should be in a blooming season but had yet to bloom. Should i shift it to somewhere with more sunlight or is there a need to add more humidity?

    • Hi Kate,

      Are they potted in pots with drainage holes? When was the last time the bloomed?

      Celsius or Fahrenheit?

      How much and how often do you water it?

      You can always send me a picture at myfirstorchid@gmail.com. If you do please copy questions to that email.


  11. Hi, I kidnaped an abused office orchid 2 years ago – it was nearly dead. Upon repotting I discovered the root system rotted away and the old soil infested with an insect. I have spent the last 2 years nursing this orchid back to health. It is now insect free, has nice healthy leaves, and is growing roots (It always had good aireal roots.)
    There has never been any sign of sending up a flower stem. Is there something more Ishould be doing or am I just impatient given its dire state when discovered?

  12. I bought a mini Orchid a few weeks ago, and thought I was doing well with it, watering it only once or twice a week (depending on how much water I gave it), or whenever the soil (it’s an orchid specific mix) looks dry.
    All seemed to be going well up until a few days ago. The stem fully appears to be shriveling up, going from it’s usual healthy green color to a yellowish red combination that makes me think of something water-starved.
    What confuses me is that the leaves show no indication of wilting or otherwise having something wrong with them, and a new leaf is even sprouting – is this something that just happens with Orchids, or have I done something wrong?

  13. Hi, my friend gave me a catalaya. That she has had for years. The only blooms on it were the first year she had it. I never have had an orchid. I have had it a year now. I2t looks like it is getting another leaf. I do not know how to get it to bloom. I give it a very diluted worm fertizer. It is in a large chuncky bark. I transplaned a year ago. I soak for about an hour a week. That is when it gets the worm juice. It gets wee drinks during the week. It is in a clay pot. South facing window, with blinds semi draw. I noticed today that I have two wrinkled leaves. Older ones. What can I do to get this plsnt to bloom

  14. I have 3 phalaenopsis orchids which are very healthy looking plants but will not flower. I have had them about 3 years and they were in flower when I got them. They just have lots of roots sprouting out and up the stem of the biggest one. I don’t know what to do. They have never been re potted, would this be the reason? They are in good light. Do hope you can help.

  15. Hi!
    I live in the Caribbean where we only have 2 seasons – wet and dry. I’ve been told all sorts of things about watering my orchids so I’m definitely just watering based on the way my roots look. 2 of my orchids aren’t in soil. I bought them as hanging plants so their roots are just tangled onto a sort of plastic crater. Their roots are white with a bit of brown at the moment. I was wondering if this was a sign of anything? They weren’t doing very well until I started watering them more regularly but the roots have not changed back to green.

  16. Hi Hannah,
    You mentioned buying potting medium from repotme.com but there are so many to choose from. Any suggestion for a beginner? Should the new pot be larger than the old pot and if so, by how much?
    Thanks! Stephanie

  17. I have what appears to be a healthy phal. It blooms a few times every year. But the leaves are dull,dark green and not producing any new growth. Is this normal for an older plant?

    • Hi,

      Is it near a natural light source? What is it potted in? Does it have drainage? How do you water it – how much and how often?


  18. Hi Hannah, I just found your website today while looking for articles on why my orchid has ‘tentacles’ and why one looked different….thanks to you I now know they are aerial roots! I DO have a spike 🙂
    Your web-site has so much valuable information, book marked it so I can check back as my orchids are growing. THANK YOU for this web-site!!

      • Hi Hannah, Hi there! I live in Massachusetts, and I’ve had my orchid plant in the window, but I’m wondering if it got too cold one night, because half way up the bloom shoot it seems to shriveling up! I also had the plant clip on it, but I didn’t think it was too tight. I have a picture of it, but couldn’t post it here for you. Any ideas of what it may be? Thank you!

  19. Thanks to your reader friendly blog, I regained my motivation to care for my orchids better again. I was surfing to search for information on oncidium and what to do with their old withering pseudobulbs. At a farmers’ market, I was told to just cut it off. However, surfing again, none of the blogs, videos, etc. say to discard them. I think I will keep them in the pot with the new shoots.
    Your information was the best that I ever came across. Thank you.

    • Gloria,

      Thank you so much!! What a sweet compliment! I don’t do new post a lot but I try to add information to the existing post as I find them.


  20. Given an orchid by my daughter who was given by her boyfriend to her. Felt sorry for it so after it’s flowering was done cut back spike and up came new one. Wow thought I was doing pretty good. Almost a year later has six buds that look good but no blooming !! Now first bud appears to be dying 😢 do finger test and when it seems dry water it and fertilize with commercial stuff. No drain in pot but afraid to repot it in its fragile state. Any ideas. Have been anticipating new flowers from buds and hope it doesn’t break my heart, thanks Terry

  21. Hi Hannah,

    I have an orchid which is very unusual looking. It has a root growing from the top of the stem of the plant. What shall I do and what does this mean.



  22. Hello,

    I bought My first Orchid two weeks back from Target. I had no clue about how to grow them or whatsoever., i just followed watering a minute every week., enough light through my kitchen window . My Orchid had 2 flowers and 6 buds., four buds bloomed halfway and withered 😦 they did not open up completely 😦 just withered half way 😦 😦

    I have four more buds and the already full bloomed two flowers which were there when i bought my orchid. Please help., i have been reading your post here which encouraged me to be patient with my orchid. Thank You.

    But i moved my Orchid from my Island kitchen to the Window Sil everyday attempting to save my orchid buds. I shall henceforth leave them in one place only. But is there anything else i could do to save my buds.? Please do let me know. Thank you so much 🙂


  23. Hello Hannah,

    I have an orchid that has green leaves and will not bloom. It’s been over a year since the last bloom. I’ve tried cutting down the stem and now it will not grow back, nor do I see any new ones growing. Suggestions? It is also in the same pot mixture that was bought from the store last year…

    • Hi,

      I would love to help!

      As stated above there are many reasons an orchid may not bloom. I have had ones that didn’t bloom for years.

      New potting mix may help to give it fresh new nutrients. Also make sure it potted in a pot with drainage holes. Water it correctly and place it near a window for natural shady sun. It may take time but it should eventually bloom.

      Note: If it is a Phalaenopsis orchid and you cut the stem back that is a good thing. The orchid blooms from a new stem.


      • Thanks Hanna! I tried putting it in the bathroom in an south facing window but it seems to me there is still not enough light. The only other place I tried is a west facing window and it looks like it’s too sunny there. Can I still keep it in the bathroom? Do you think I can leave it in the same pot (has a plastic clear pot w/draining holes that’s inside another plastic pot w/no draining). What mixture do you recommend? I’m just concerned bc there is no stem anymore, just leaves that keeps growing. I put a few ice cubes to water it every other week.

      • Hi,

        I can’t tell you for sure about the light because I don’t have a picture. If the leaves are hot to the touch then it’s too sunny. If they are turning super dark then it’s not getting enough light. I have a link on light requirements.


        The potting situation. It CAN NOT be left in the pot with no drainage. It has to be taken out and not placed back in. I have a link on the site on pots without drainage. It kills an orchid. You can leave it the pot with drainage but not the one without.


        Mix – I have a link on the blog on my favorite mix. I like moss. But you can use bark if you like.


        Stem – orchid stems die back. They should be cut back after that. When they rebloom the stem grows from an entirely different spot. This is normal.


        Watering your orchids with ice is not preferred. This is how I water…


        Hope that Helps,


      • Thanks for your posts! I’ve since repotted it with new mixture you recommended and left it in the clear plastic pot. I also cut off all dead roots saw that it only has 2 green roots left. Do you think it will eventually grow a spike?

      • Hi,

        It should eventually grow a spike but as of now if it only has 2 green roots left – it will probably concentrate on growing new roots. Healthy leaves and roots produce healthy spikes and blooms.


  24. Dead Hannah,
    Thank you very much for your knowledgable website. I have an Orchid Phal which I bought 4 months ago. It has 8 beautiful blooming flowers. Yesterday in the morning I got surprised by seeing 7 of them getting closed, looking like about to die. Is it normal what’s happening and what should I do? Shall I cut them off if yes,how? Thank you very much.

    • Hi,

      I would love to help. What it sounds like you have is called Bud Blast as explained here…


      Bud blast is tricky because it’s hard to tell why this happened. Many times when we get orchids into our homes they were mistreated before we got them. Mass production of orchids in green houses force them into bloom and then ship them to stores. The shipping process is taxing to orchids and then they are placed in grocery stores etc., that over or underwater them and give then zero natural light.

      Then we get them and think we have hurt an orchid because of all the stuff that happened to it before we got it.

      So this could be from before you got it or it could be something you are doing.

      Some questions:
      How do you water it? How often and how much?

      This is the proper way to water… https://myfirstorchid.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/hello-world/

      Is there a drainage hole at the bottom of your pot?

      This is why that is import…

      Is it placed near a window for natural light?

      Here are he light requirements for orchids…

      Hope that helps and let me know if you have further questions,


      • Dear Hannah,
        Thank you very much for your answer.All points that you have mentioned I was very careful with. My Orchid has very clean and healthy roots and leaves, but the strange was for me how the flowers died suddenly and all together. Can it be that the season of blooming has finished. If it so than what should I do in order to make them bloom again. Especially on the Internet there is a lot of ways how to do if by eg. cutting the stem or by expose the Orchid to the low temperature. So if you can please advise me what should I do to make it bloom again.

        Thank you a lot.

      • Hi Ahmed,

        I assumed you meant they had bud blast but if they had already bloomed and were just naturally dying like in this post below then their normal bloom cycle is done and they won’t bloom again till probably the fall.


        Is this what was happening? Had it already bloomed and the blooms were dying back? Or did the blooms never open?

        Either way you should cut the stem back at the base as shown here…


        And either way it won’t bloom until the natural cycle which is typically the fall. That is why people say to expose an orchid to fall temperatures because most people grow them in their homes and there is heat in our homes. When an orchid goes out of bloom it then focuses it’s energy on growing healthy roots and leaves in preparation for the next bloom season which doesn’t occur typically for months.

        Does that make sense?


  25. Hi Hannah

    I have just discovered your blog and have found it so helpful! I think orchids are beautiful but have never been able to keep them successfully – going to keep an eye out on your blog for your tips!

    Thank you so much for the information – it’s really clear and easy to understand.
    X Alex

  26. my phal hasn’t grown a spike in 5 years. admittedly, I only repotted it about two years ago for the first time. since then, it’s grown new roots (sometimes with black spots) and new leaves, but no spikes. It’s nestled in wood chips/bark in a ceramic pot with holes in a west-facing window (my only option). I water about once a week and fertilize every couple of months, but no dice. I live in southern California, so it’s fairly warm/sunny in my house year round.

    is there any hope for it to flower again? i’m on the verge of throwing the dang thing out.

    • Hi,

      I would love to help. I usually repot every two years so that is fine. If it’s growing new roots and new leaves then it’s healthy – this shows it has enough energy to do this. But it doesn’t have enough energy or the right “nature cues” for it to spike.

      Sometimes it needs to be a little bit colder for it to “know” to spike. I open a window near them in the fall for a tiny bit of a cooler temperature. This sometimes helps.

      Other then that I am think you are doing everything well. When you are watering it correctly, lightly fertilizing it and have it repotted in orchid mix then the only thing I can think of is a lighting (needs to be very near a window) and temperature issue.

      What are you thoughts?


      • thanks so much for your speedy response! it is quite possible it doesn’t get cool enough in my house at night (probably 70 degrees), and I don’t keep it directly near the window. perhaps I should open up my patio door and keep it right next to it.

        is it also possible i’m not fertilizing enough?

        here is a pic of my sad little orchid. lots of new roots. no spike.

      • Hi again,

        My home is around 70 degrees year round so I don’t think that is your problem. And my orchids bloomed with or without fertilizer. They have bigger blooms with fertilizer but I don’t think that is the issue either.

        Is it not by a window at all? If this is the case – we may have solved the problem right there. Orchids respond to nature cues in order to bloom. They need to have a few hours of natural sunlight a day. If they are far away from a window they don’t know to bloom because they are quite literally in the dark. Overhead lights in our homes don’t count.

        I would place it very near a window and see what happens.

        Hope that helped,


      • Hi Hannah,

        I’ve moved my orchid around my apartment to see how it reacts to different levels of light. I live in a bright, sunny apartment, so even if it’s not near the window it still gets a lot of light. Perhaps I will move it back right next to the window, so it directly gets even more light.

        How do the leaves look to you? Is the green too dark?

        Thanks so much for all of your help!

      • thanks hannah. I will keep you posted on how it goes. fingers crossed!

  27. Hi Hannah,

    First of all thanks for your immediate reply! Wow, how you manage helping lots of people. This shows me your passion for orchids and care for people as well :-).

    I’ve another question regarding orchid blooming. My orchid is the same one which you have it in this article’s title (first photo). I know in nature they produce normally 2 flowers but when I bought it, it had two spikes with several flowers. When blooming was over both spikes turned yellow and I cut them off. Within some weeks a new spike developed but it was smaller in size and not so thick last two spikes before. It has produced 2 lovely flowers. I wonder why it did not develop longer spike and produce more blooms? I am happy to see it blooming but only 2 flowers make me sad as well LOL I don’t know what I am doing wrong.

    Thanks for guidance. I am totally ignorant you can see that :-/


    • Hi,

      The picture above is of a Phalaenopsis orchid which produces anywhere from one to a few spikes (mine only produce one) and they can have many many blooms – not just two.

      Many times when you cut the spikes off it will not rebloom for another year. So if yours shot up another spike so quickly that is 1. Unusual and 2. Shows your orchid is quite healthy.

      Is that what happened? If so you shouldn’t be concerned at all. Your orchid probably had just a small amount of energy left and produced a third spike (in a short amount of time) which is good. It was small because it had just given a lot of energy to produce the two large ones.

      Does that make sense,


    • Thanks Hannah, I am totally ignorant on this subject but your logic does make a sense. This plant is has 8 healthy green leaves, one new root and spike. Now I understand that why it gave only 2 flowers. As long as it is healthy, I am happy too 🙂

  28. I have a Phalaenopsis orchid I bought at least five years ago in Hawaii from an orchid greenhouse. I had a lady from our local orchid society help me repot it probably two years ago because it had NEVER bloomed. I have a second Phalaenopsis sitting next to it that I bought at Walmart and it blooms every year.

    My Hawaii orchid looks very healthy, has pretty, lage green leaves and many, many air roots as well as roots in the see-through pot. Any ideas as to why my orchid won’t bloom?

    • Hi,

      I would love to help! Unfortunately orchids can be pesky like this. I had an orchid that didn’t bloom for three years (while other orchids of mine bloom regularly) and I currently have a few that haven’t bloomed in 4 years!! I take in a lot of rescue orchids that were abandoned.

      I treat them all the same and they are all in the same place in my house. It’s beyond strange. What I have found is that it’s hard to know how they were treated before you got them. And moving them from one place to another is tough on them.

      The good news is your orchid is thriving even though it’s not blooming. Growing new leaves and healthy roots means it has enough energy to do so.

      Okay so getting down to reasons it’s not blooming.

      Are the two orchids in the same place in your home? Are they near a natural light source like a window?

      How do you water them?

      Do you use fertilizer? – this is not necessary but sometimes helps.


  29. Hello Hannah,
    I have one Phalaenopsis orchid with spikes….i bought it last year in summer…. after all flowers fallen off, it was quite healthy…then i cut one of the spikes from bottom and other two just below from the older stem because there was some possibility of new spikes….and in November new leaf started growing but it just came out and still it is like that, it is not growing big and now even i can see some roots are dried off and less green roots are there, i didn’t repot the orchid…what should i do now?? i didnt understand what is the problem….and what composition of fertilizer should i give so the leaves and new spikes should come… If you can help me….i would be very grateful!!

    • Hi,

      I would love to help. So the last time it bloomed was last year? If so you can cut the remaining stems back because you won’t get additional growths after that long.

      As far as the new leaf. It sometimes takes awhile for those to grow. The peak growing season for new leaves and roots is in the summer. But the good news is your orchid has enough energy to sprout that new leaf!

      Since you bought your orchid in the summer and it was already in bloom – it was probably forced into bloom by a greenhouse (which is very normal). It will take awhile to get in a normal growth pattern and sprout new spikes.

      I use Feedme fertilizer from http://www.repotme.com and I don’t know a lot about about her fertilizers because I have had such success with this one.

      Since it’s not currently in bloom you could repot it – I have link on the blog describing how. That way you could get a good look at the roots.

      Do you have your plant a window for natural sunlight?
      How are you watering it?

      Hope that helps,


  30. Hello Hannah, very good information about orchids. I have one phalaenopsis orchid. It was very small when I got it and with only one very thin stem. After the flowers fell off, the stem dried out completely from top to bottom. The leaves are bright green and healthy, and it’s growing new leaves very fast; and the roots look good too. But, not a new stem yet. What can be going wrong?

    • Hi Maria,

      I would love to help.

      How long ago did the last stem bloom? Most Phalaenopsis orchids bloom once a year. They normally spike in the late fall/winter and bloom in the early spring – if grown naturally in a normal cycle at your home.


    • Hi,

      Orchids come in lots of colors. The most common ones sold in stores here tend to be pink, white and yellow. But there are many other colors.


  31. Now is it about time that the orchids grow spikes? It’s the first day of snow in Calgary, Alberta (where I live).

      • And a follow-up: Can I move the orchid for a week to initiate spike? The orchid with the seed pod is taking up the space that has a window near it, can I switch the position?

  32. I have one phal in particular that is growing roots unlike anything I’ve ever seen! It has even gotten tangled up in roots from neighboring orchids. The non-stop root growth means I’m not gonna get any spikes, correct? What can I do? Also, I get really good and pretty regular growth of new leaves but still no spikes to be seen 😦 Obviously something is off. One last thing, while fertilizing I got some of it on one of the leaves which now has this awful shriveled appearance & really thin edges. It’s only the one leaf & it hasn’t yellowed or fallen off. Should I just leave it be or is there something I should be doing about it?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Christine,

      So here goes… I am going to cut an paste your questions.

      “I have one phal in particular that is growing roots unlike anything I’ve ever seen! It has even gotten tangled up in roots from neighboring orchids. The non-stop root growth means I’m not gonna get any spikes, correct? What can I do?”

      I am confused why you would think that means no spikes? Unless you mean that it’s in the “active growth” season, in which an orchid grows roots and new leaves. If this is the case then yes – you will not see a spike until probably late fall or winter. But then again I don’t know where you live. I live in the Midwest America and that is the blooming season here.

      Side note : that is awesome that it is growing so many roots!! Very healthy orchid.

      “Also, I get really good and pretty regular growth of new leaves but still no spikes to be seen 😦 Obviously something is off.”

      Look at my answer above and substitute roots for new leaves. Same exact answer 🙂

      “One last thing, while fertilizing I got some of it on one of the leaves which now has this awful shriveled appearance & really thin edges. It’s only the one leaf & it hasn’t yellowed or fallen off. Should I just leave it be or is there something I should be doing about it?”

      I don’t know what type of fertilizer you use. Mine is pretty mild because I mix it water but I know a lot that are not mild and can burn leaves and roots. That is why, with those fertilizers, I only use then on the edge of the pot rim. The one fertilizer I do have like this is pellets and I sprinkle this pellets on the edge of the pot.

      Leave the leaf. Don’t mess with it. If it was damaged by the fertilizer then it’s just damaged and will look that way.

      It could be something else though. Can you directly link it to the fertilizer?

      Let me know your thoughts.


  33. About dropping temps to induce bloom- Can that drop be done just at night or does have to be day too? I can’t think of a way to give my plants light and drop temps for 2 weeks in my home. I’d put outside but I don’t want pests.

    • Emily,

      I mostly did it at night because it gets hotter during the day. But we also have screens in our windows so I had the possibility of doing both.

      Good luck,


  34. also, i wasn’t sure what you meant by the pseudobulb, could you maybe post a picture? I’m so orchid ignorant but I love them!

  35. On my orchid, i did not cut back my spikes after my plant had stopped blooming and now i have what appears to be a new spike growing out of the top of the old one, should I cut back? or see what happens?

      • Sorry for the bad picture but see the green buds coming from the top of the spike? I thought they were the beginning of new blooms, but it’s been months and no growth. Although the orchid had grown several new leaves it hasn’t bloomed since September 😦

  36. I am soooo lucky to have Hanna as a neighbor and friend. I am new to the orchid family and she has given me some good advise. Thanks for sharing the knowledge. Elise…..

  37. Very enlightening. My former neighbor raised orchids, and had some that were 50 years old. Every year for their anniversary, her husband gave her another orchid. She had her own greenhouse in the back yard.

    Where do orchids come from originally, or are they all over? Any native to the US?

    Love your blog. May I link to it? I am at gardengracenotes but have only just started.

    • You can totally link to it! How did you find it? My website is for beginners because I could not find anything online for us! My orchids are from all over….. Friends, etc….. I collect dying orchids from friends and from nurseries….

    • Whoa, 50 year old orchids? She should have somewhere about 100 orchids?!

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