Orchid Plant Resting Period

Author: Celeste Booth5 Comments

Care and Culture

Is My Orchid Dying?

Like all living things, orchids have life cycles. After producing beautiful blooms, they must go through a period of rest to replenish their energy and get ready for the next growth and blooming cycle. You can expect that as your orchid begins do drop its flowers after weeks-months of blooming, that it is now heading into this resting period. During this period, you might become concerned for your orchid’s health, simply because it’s not looking as strong and cheerful as it was when blooming. The leaves may droop more, the flower stem will begin to brown and die back. Fear not, as this is all completely normal and part of the plant’s yearly growth cycle. If your orchid looks otherwise healthy (no pests, yellowing of the youngest leaves, etc.) then your orchid is, in fact, healthy. After a few months your orchid will begin growing again and will send up new flower spikes and those droopy leaves will perk back up.

How do I Care for my Orchid During its Resting Period?

When your orchid’s growth has slowed down and it has finished blooming, you can adjust the care you give it accordingly. The main thing to remember is to cut back on your fertilizing and watering. You should still maintain a regular rhythm (for example, fertilize once a month, and water once a week in smaller volume) so that you don’t lose track or neglect your orchid. Just because it has become somewhat dormant, it does not mean it no longer needs attention. Once the orchid begins new growth, you can return to your more frequent watering and fertilizing schedule.

Please note orchids do not all have the same length resting periods or blooming cycles. It is important to pay attention to how your plant is behaving and keep in mind that sudden bud loss, black spots, and other unusual signs might mean your orchid is diseased or in distress.

If you’re worried about your orchid plant, please review our post Top Signs That Your Orchid is Unhealthy or Learn to Speak Your Orchid’s Language.

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5 Responses to “Orchid Plant Resting Period”

  1. grace roman says:

    This is so exciting! I just attended a class in which I have been challenged to grow a few of these exotic plants. They are beautiful and great to give as gifts. love the turf look of your website.

  2. Walter t. Kunkel ,jr. says:

    I was blessed with Two flower spikes And each had 6 floWers and lasted from Oct.18th to DEc 30 of 2015,thank you for the rest pediod information.

  3. Janice A says:

    Should a dormant orchid be kept dark – in the unheated greenhouse it’s gone mouldy

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      It should still be getting a sufficient amount of indirect light. It sounds like it might need a bit more air flow if it’s becoming mouldy.

  4. Lisa says:

    Some of my orchids have a few tiny thin black insects—-less than 1/16th of an inch wide— on the flowers and buds. But otherwise those have been blooming beautifully. Could these be the “friendly thrips” I’ve heard about that eat worse bugs, or should I spray insecticidal soap on them. They look like th ones on my gardenia bush but that bush has been excellent for years with lots of flowers. Friend or foe?

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