Whether you’re growing a new orchid for a wedding or just need a special gift, you’re likely wondering: how long do orchid blooms last? In general, these flowers last anywhere from 60 to 120 days, but some can last up to four months! The answer will depend on the type of orchid you choose and its genus. Oncidium orchids, for instance, can last only a few days, while the longer-lasting Phalaenopsis or Slipper orchids can bloom for four or five months.
Everyone falls in love with an orchid at some point in their lives. Whether you’re new to the world of orchids, a longtime devotee, or consider yourself an expert on the subject, it never hurts to learn a few things about caring for and presenting your orchids. But did you know that our fascination with orchids goes way beyond their beauty? Orchid blooms are simply dazzling and can last anywhere from 6-8 weeks to several months, depending on the type of orchid.
Oncidium orchids bloom for only a couple of weeks, but this is not the end of the story. They can grow to be quite large with many flowers per spike. Once the flowers have faded and withered, you can carefully remove the spikes with pruning shears or sterilized tools. During the growing period, you should fertilize the orchid once a month with a phosphorus-rich fertilizer.
Watering should be done only when necessary, but avoid overwatering or you may see sudden flower wilting. Aim for about a third of soil to dry between waterings during the blooming process and the final flower. Insufficient dormancy period is another common cause for a lack of flowers. Oncidiums thrive in temperatures that are moderate to warm during the day and drop by ten degrees at night.
The first step to make Phalaenopsis orchids bloom longer is to provide them with consistent moisture and a moderately bright windowsill. They will grow about two or three new leaves each year, and bloom in fall through winter. To prolong the time they bloom, provide a consistent amount of moisture in their habitat. Then, plant a Phalaenopsis orchid in a moist window sill.
After the blooming spikes of Phalaenopsis orchids drop, cut them off at least an inch above the last node in the crown. This gives them time to build up energy and produce larger flowers. When trimming flower stalks, use sterilized shears. During the first few blooming seasons, the Phalaenopsis orchid will grow a second flush of flowers.
In their natural habitat, slipper orchids grow terrestrially on the jungle floor where they are shaded by trees. Because of this, they need bright light, but not too much. Ideally, they should be placed near a south or west-facing window. You can use a sheer curtain to block out too much light, but be sure to avoid direct sunlight. If you do place your orchid in a darker location, it will develop root rot and bloom less often.
Most slipper orchids bloom for two to three months, but hybrids are capable of blooming twice or even more. These hybrids usually only have one flower spike per new growth, so they need at least four to five months before blooming again. Slipper orchids, however, can have several flower spikes, some with as many as ten blooms on each spike. The paphiopedilum group of orchids is especially beautiful, with flowers of various colors. They range from vibrant yellow to deep red.
Of course, even though orchids are long-lasting plants, it is important to still treat them with care and respect. If you’re going to cut your orchid stems to display, it’s best to do so about a week after their blooms appear. In nearly all cases, doing so will ensure that the flowers last for as long as possible. Even if you don’t plan on cutting them from the plant, the information above can be helpful in making this choice. Keep in mind that you should never cut off an orchid stem in order to reset it for a new flower. Be mindful of these simple rules, and your orchids will flourish for years to come.