The cycle of orchid growth and bloom is fascinating to watch. Keeping in sync with these cycles by actively fertilizing and repotting at the optimal times leads to greater success in orchid growing. Depending on where you live, the cycle of orchid growth and bloom may be different than it is for us here in Washington, D.C. The chart below shows what we will be doing and looking for in each season. This chart is just a guideline, you may experience different cycles based upon your environment and orchid collection.
To see which orchid mix suits the needs of your plant, see our orchid mix finder. Please note that not every orchid requires repotting every year, though the repotting status of each orchid should be checked. For example, in the Spring we will check our Brassovola to see if they need repotting. If one was repotted last year, is healthy and not growing out of the pot, and the mix looks like it will last another year then that plant will wait until next year to be repotted. We try not to go more than 2 years between repotting, far less for Phals, Paphs, Phrags and seedlings.
Look for blooms on: Cattleya, Epidendrum, Phalaenopsis, Vanda & late blooming Paphs
Increase strength of fertilization and check light levels as they become stronger. Greenhouses and sun porches may need shadecloth installed.
Move orchids with high light needs outside for the summer.
Repot Phals & Cattleya as they go out of bloom, finish repotting of Paphs by early summer. Also repot late blooming epidendrums.
Look for blooms on: Catasetum, Doritis, Doritaenopsis, Encyclia, Miltonia, Stanhopea & Vanda
Continue fertilizing at twice the winter rate. Increase watering to compensate for moisture lost during high temperatures.
Look for new growth on Brassavola, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Epidendrum, Lycaste, Masdevalia, Odontoglossom, Oncidium, Paphs, Phals, Phrags & Psychopsis - stake as necessary.
Repot Doritis, Doritaenopsis, Encyclia, Miltonia & Stanhopea as they go out of bloom. Repot seedlings as necessary, especially Phalaenopsis seedlings.
Decrease fertilization rate, allow Phals to experience the chill of early fall, allow other orchids to experience the shortening of the day length. Bring orchids indoors that have been outside for the summer. Stake spikes as they grow. Check light conditions, remove shadecloth as necessary.
Look for blooms on: Oncidium, Miltoniopsis, Phragmipedium, Psychopsis & Sophronitis
Look for spikes on Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, Brassavola, Dendrobiums
Repot Oncidium, Miltoniopsis & Cymbidium as they finish blooming.
Look for blooms on Brassavola, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Epidendrum, Lycaste, Masdevalia, Odontoglossom, Oncidium, Paphs, Phrags & Psychopsis
Look for spikes on Cattleya, Epidendrum, Phalaenopsis, Paphs & Vanda
Reduce watering as necessary. Increase humidity in heated conditions. Watch out for disease and cold damage
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