Orchids are extraordinarily beautiful houseplants, especially Phalaenopsis orchids, yet many indoor gardeners shy away from them because they seem delicate and demanding. It is true that they have different needs from most other plants, but they are successfully grown in the home.
Successful cultivation involves not only providing bright light, adequate temperature range and higher humidity, but also knowing how to make an orchid grow a new spike. Let’s see how to do it!
Growing a New Spike
A new spike appears below or above Orchid leaves and it is pointy, thin, greener than the leaves, but not glossy green. It often resembles aerial roots at first, but don’t mix the two.
The spike will start sprouting between the leaves and that usually happens when temperatures are lower, in fall and winter. Unlike aerial roots, the new flower spike will turn in the direction of light.
Growing a new spike can take around three months depending on the conditions you can provide, such as plenty of sunlight and warmth.
How to Make an Orchid Grow a New Spike
Like other orchids, Phalaenopsis orchids are often purchased while flowering and can bloom for many weeks if properly cared for.
When their flowers eventually fade and die, it is necessary to encourage them to produce new spikes and bloom again by following these simple steps.
Pay Attention to the Light Levels
Expose the Orchid to bright indirect sunlight and keep it in a pleasantly warm and bright location. Too much light at the peak of the summer should be avoided. This is because Orchids prefer lower temperatures, so always try to provide cooler temperatures, especially in the winter so as to induce spiking and flowering.
Bring the plant closer to a window during winter and dust the leaves every week to maximize the light they can absorb.
Feed It To Produce New Flower Spikes
Improve the quality of the growing medium by using an specialist orchid fertilizer or balanced liquid fertilizer. This will help your orchid not only grow into a healthy plant but it will also promote a new flower spike, healthier orchid roots and new flowers.
Fertilize once a month during the growing season by following the correct dosage as instructed on the label and do it after your orchids have lost all the flowers.
Related: Best Fertilizers for Orchids
Next, in order to promote new orchid flower spikes to grow, you need to provide regular refreshments. This involves watering thoroughly and allowing the potting medium to dry out before watering again. It is advisable to water every 10 days, but check the dryness of the soil regularly.
Watering promotes new blooms and new spikes alike. Remember to water less frequently during lower temperatures, that is winter months. Mist the leaves with rainwater or distilled water every day. Orchids thrive on that.
Induce Flowering During Winter Period
Induce flowering during winter months and enjoy the sight of more flower buds than ever before. To do that, provide lower temperatures which are conducive to spike growth. Don’t shock the plant by moving it to different locations, it likes consistency and stability. Avoid positioning orchids next to windows and heaters, or you could shorten their lives.
Related: How Long Does an Orchid Live?
How to Boost Spike Growing?
This can be done as soon as you spot a new leaf that is larger than the existing leaves. Provide a bright, but less warm location at this point.
Check your plant’s temperature needs but most require a marked drop at night. After nine to twelve months, move it to a cooler room to encourage buds to form, then bring it back into the warmth to bloom.
Pruning Promotes Flower Spike Production
In order to encourage your Orchid plant to produce a new spike, the plant needs pruning, which means removing old spikes that have finished blooming. By pruning, you can also get your orchid to produce multiple spikes and hence more flowers. It also helps the plant put its energy into making new leaves rather than seed.
Once all flowers on the old spike have faded, it is time to remove the withered flower spike, broken flower spike and flower stem.
To cut the flower spike, use a flame-sterilized knife or sharp scissors for this. Cut the flower spike of your orchid plant just above the second or third node. The new, secondary spike will form from the node just below the cut within two months.
Know Your Orchid’s Needs
Every orchid is unique in its requirements to thrive and reflower, so check yours and tailor your care accordingly. Here are some tips to help you out.
- Consider seasonal variations. Some orchids prefer cool, lower temperatures while others thrive in warmer conditions.
- Some require a marked difference between day and night temperatures to form flowers such as Cattleya and Cymbidium.
- Check whether your plant needs a high-potash fertilizer instead of an orchid one to promote orchid flowers.
- Be patient. It will take a few weeks to three months for orchids to grow a second spike.
Related: Orchids-The Ultimate Care Guide
Getting your orchid plants to produce a new spike might sound as a daunting task, but it is, in fact, very simple. Once the flowers have faded, cut off the old flower spike from around two inches from the base, leaving two nodes. Expose your orchids to lower temperatures and provide indirect sunlight. That’s it, try it and observe how a new spike grows and forms many flowers.
Do you have any special tip on how to make an orchid grow a new spike? Don’t hesitate to share it with me in the comments section below!
How long does it take for an Orchid spike to grow?
It can take from a month to three months for a new orchid spikes to grow. This depends on the conditions in your home, most important ones for producing new flower spike are bright light and lower temperature.
How do I know if my Orchid is growing a new stem?
You need to distinguish between aerial roots and flower spikes. An orchid flower spike is pointed, thin, green but not glossy green which appears underneath or below the leaves and leans towards the light source.
Why has my Orchid spike stopped growing?
Orchid spikes may stop growing due to root rot caused by overwatering or extremely high heats without adequate moisture and humidity levels. Inadequate light is also the cause, so do provide indirect light.