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Why hasn't my orchid flowered?

Bagpuss57Bagpuss57 South West Posts: 256
i was given an orchid a couple of years ago that flowered for ages. However since then it's not done anything. The leaves look healthy enough and I spray it with an orchid mist to give it nutrients but still haven't seen any flowers. What can I try to get it to flower? 

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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,126
    Maybe take it out of the ceramic pot. They photosynthesise through their roots so need light to get to them.
    Also, stop feeding it. Be more cruel. Plants flower when they think that they are in danger of dying and the next generation is needed to replace them.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,899
    Congratulations.. you're going to have a baby!  The middle spike is the keiki.  Cut back the other two old flower spikes down to the base if they are brown and dead, but leave the keiki to do it's thing. If the flower spikes still seem fresh, cut they about half way down to right above a node.  Phalaenopsis needs a rest period after flowering.. usually a few months.  It looks healthy and happy, and I would expect it start booming again soon.  Once it's going, the blooms should last you all summer.  Good luck!
    Utah, USA.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,027
    I would lay off the orchid feed for a few months. Take the orchid out of its pot and have a look at the root system. It should be in bark chips, so should come out of the medium easily. Get some more bark chips if they look broken down and degraded. Trim off any rotten or withered looking roots. The roots should be juicy and possibly green. If the inner pot is very congested with roots, you might want to move up a clear pot size.

    The leaves look pretty dark. Try a new spot with some more light (if you have one). Not in direct sun but closer to a window. Out of draft, humid if you can. A kitchen window might be good.

    As PF said, take it out of the ceramic pot and have just clear plastic or glass. As well as getting lights to the roots, it's also easier to see when the plant needs watering. Don't water on a fixed schedule. Check each time if more water is needed. Weigh the pot in your hand. Feel the bark in the pot. Needs will change a lot through the seasons, even inside. Orchids tend to be over-watered rather than under-watered, which is why their roots can rot. In the wild they live in trees.

    Congrats on your new spike. Cut off other flower spikes or cut down to a node.  Give the leaves a good clean with a damp cloth.

    If you want encourage new flower spikes to grow, put them in a cooler but bright place. The lower temps will spur spike growth.

    I hope this helps

  • Bagpuss57Bagpuss57 South West Posts: 256
    Hi Blue onion, that middle stem has been like that for over a year, nothing happened! When it did stop flowering the first year I did as you say cut the stems back by half ISH to node and when I saw new leaves appear I was hopeful but a year later and still nothing!!!
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,899
    Interesting.  I would do at the others suggest, remove the ceramic bottom so light can get to the roots, stop feeding, and put it somewhere brighter.  I have four plants lined up on my west facing windowsill.. and the one's on the north side (of the same window!) rebloom faster than the one's on the south half.. so I rotate them around each time I water.  Subtle difference often mean the difference between reflowering and not.. but once you find a happy place, they will bloom and rebloom.  You've kept it green and alive, you are obviously doing most things right.  :)
    Utah, USA.
  • Bagpuss57Bagpuss57 South West Posts: 256
    Thanks for all the advice I will definitely try it and hope for the best. Fingers crossed. 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,027
    if no flower spikes are something, put into a cool place for six months (frost free) and see what happens. What are the roots like?
  • Bagpuss57Bagpuss57 South West Posts: 256
    I have just tipped out the plant to check roots and they seem really healthy and green. I have cut back the other stems to a node and will just have to see what happens. I only have south or north facing window sills so not sure which is best. Or I can leave it in the cold porch north facing? 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,027
    edited April 2018
    I'd leave it in the porch if it's pretty bright. Be patient. In the next six months, you should see new spikes coming.
  • Bagpuss57Bagpuss57 South West Posts: 256
    Will do. Thanks
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