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White Moth Orchid

2016/8/3 11:04:28

Question
I received a white moth orchid from my bosses at work. It is in a well it office (one wall is a window). The flowers stayed on for over a month, and when I was going to be gone for 4 or 5 days I watered it (a little too much). The flowers all fell off, but the stem is still green and the leaves at the bottom of the stem are still green. It has been like that for about 4 or 5 months now. I keep watering it (according to the schedule I was using previous to the flowers falling off). How can I get it to bloom again?

Answer
Hello Mychaelle,

That was nice of your bosses to give you the phalaenopsis orchid plant, they must appreciate all that you do for them.

The good news is that it is still alive and growing after 6 months. Also, that the flower stem is still green and has not started to turn brown from the tip downward. If all goes well, that old stem may begin to grow longer at the tip, slowly producing new flower buds. You should see this starting to happen in another few months if it is going to flower at all in late winter. Just be patient and be careful of watering, allow the potting mix to become barely moist between waterings.

One trick you can use to get it ready to flower is to mix a quarter teaspoon of epsom salt in 2 cups of lukewarm water for the next 3 waterings. Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulphate and many times it triggers the bloom cycle of plants. Do not use too much of the epsom salt or your orchid may get an overdose. A little is good, too much is too much. (grin)

Along with the old stem, your phalaenopsis may begin to grow a new stem from the opposite side. Keep your eyes open for that possibility.

After the new flowers, if it does flower, are gone, you might consider repotting it into fresh potting media as phalaenopsis grow and bloom better when repotted annually into fresh media.

Hope this helped. Good luck.

Jim Kawasaki
San Jose, Ca.

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