Asked July 10, 2019, 8:35 AM EDT

I consider myself to have a fairly green thumb yet I have two orchids that I've had for 2+ years and have not been successful in get either to rebloom. They are in a window sill facing north and get a short amount of direct sun during summer mornings. They get cool at night in the winter. I have done much research, have repotted with orchid soil mix, fertilize according to directions, and try to water as directed. The flower stem on one smaller orchid died long ago but the foliage is healthy. The stem on the larger one was doing well and while eagerly hoping the the stem on the bigger one would rebloom -- sadly the stem has recently died. I am thinking that is not a good sign! Any advise would be appreciated. I am discouraged that all my "work" to get them to rebloom has not worked. Of course my coworker who does nothing to hers and repotted it in regular soil -- got hers to rebloom!
Thanks in advance for your advice.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

5 Responses

Both of the plants look healthy and the fact that the flower stalk of the one recently died is not too serious. If you have waited this long for them to rebloom the window where they are located does not provide enough light. They do best with an eastern exposure. Your coworker must have the perfect spot for hers, something simple like that makes a huge difference.
You touch on that they are provided a cool period in the winter and yes sometimes that will get a stubborn orchid to bloom again. But now, if you can move them to a shady location outdoors and over a period of weeks you can introduce them into more sunlight (morning sunlight to early afternoon is best). You need to be careful though as the leaves can get sunburnt.
Bring them back inside when the temperatures dip into the mid-fifties at night. But you will have to move them to a window where they get more light indoors.
The following information on their care is from the American Orchid Society and is very good,

Good Luck!


Thank you! I will follow your advice.
Another question for you about watering. It appears I let my orchids dry out. Since when watering, water just goes to the bottom of the pot -- will misting work? Other wise it seems you have to keep repouring warter from the bottom of the plant.

Proper watering is very important. Very often you can tell from the exposed roots if your orchid is receiving sufficient water or not. If the roots look brown and dry you can set the container in a shallow container of water for a while and then remove it. Well-hydrated orchards have green, plump roots. Misting will not provide enough water to the plants.


Thank you very much for your thorough answers. Though I had done some research on orchids, you have straightened me out on my orchids needing more sun and more water than I was providing.

You're very welcome.

You might also be interested in watching our video on orchid care, which includes information about watering. https://youtu.be/7DDGOkfUcxo