Homemade Fertilizer Recipes That Will Skyrocket Your Orchid Growth

Caring For Orchids After Blooming

So you have been a successful orchid grower! Your plant has bloomed. The blooms lasted a long time. You cut some. The blooms were beautiful. But now what? How do you care for an orchid plant after it has bloomed to keep it healthy and to make sure that it blooms again?

When an orchid blooms and the blooms are from one to four months old and show signs of wilting or drying, it's time to cut them off. First of all, make sure that you are using clean and sterilized tools. This will prevent any diseases that the tools may have been in contact with from spreading to this orchid. Then, using a knife or scissors, cut the flower stalk. There is controversy over whether to cut the stalk short a stalk or to leave it long. Many growers feel that cutting the flower stalk about an inch from the base will ensure that new blooms are as close to the last in size and beauty. If you were working with a small plant with 3 - 4 inch leaves, cut close like this so that the plant doesn't bloom again right away and become weak. If your plant is large with nice thick, green leaves that are healthy looking, you can cut the flower stalk up high just above a node (a brown notch on the green stem) and just below the lowest bloom.

Often the orchid will quickly send out another flower stalk and bloom again. Keep in mind that if it blooms again, it will be very unlikely that the second blooms will be of the size and beauty of the first. It will also sap some of the plant's strength so you have to make a decision here. Once you've decided on the short or long flower stalk, make the cut and put some rubbing alcohol or sprinkle a little cinnamon (a natural killer of bacteria and fungus) on the cut stem if you're still worried about disease.

Once the flower stalk is cut, and if it's cut short so you're not hoping for another bloom that season, it's a good time to evaluate the root system. You're less likely to overly disturb the plant as it has finished blooming and is not ready to bloom again. Take a look at the roots at this point. Make sure that the roots are white with green tips and then none of them look brown or mushy. If they do, the root system is not healthy and all of the brown roots and mushy parts need to be removed, using that sterile knife or scissors of course. To get good blooms the next time you need to have a good root system now. This is also a good time to change the potting medium, again, because it is a time that is least disturbing to the orchid. Just throw out what is easily removed and then carefully clean around the roots to remove as much medium as possible.

Now your orchid will be ready to gather strength and to send out more glorious blooms during its next blooming season!

David E. Carlson is a longtime gardening & orchid enthusiast. For more information about [http://www.orchid-flower-care.com/easy-orchid-care/]caring for orchid blooms visit [http://www.orchid-flower-care.com/]Orchid-Flower-Care.com.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Caring-For-Orchids-After-Blooming&id=4384628] Caring For Orchids After Blooming