Friday, September 6

A tale of two orchids

I have two moth orchids that I have had for quite a while now. They sit next to one another on a window sill in our dining room.
They get the same amount of light. They are in exactly the same growing medium as I repotted both earlier this year. They are in exactly the same sort of pots and both sit on a tray of pebbles. Every morning when I open the curtains I mist spray both with water. They are both watered at the same time and in the same way.


But ... there is one very big difference. One has flowered again twice since I bought it. It's now got lots of buds.
The other stubbornly refuse to flower again. I can't even remember what colour it is.
It looks healthy enough - lovely glossy green leaves, healthy roots. One that my sister has bought at the same time is equally reluctant to reflower so is this something to do with how the plants were grown before we acquired them?

For now I can only hope the non-flowering plant takes a hint from its neighbour!

PS - Sorry about the picture quality but I wanted to take the photos in situ and photographing towards a window isn't ideal.

26 comments:

  1. It's such a puzzle, isn't it? Do you have a radiator underneath the window? Try not misting it every day. I water mine once a week by holiday it over the sink while I water to allow all excess water to drain straight through. Both mine are just leaves at the moment, but they'll be sending flower spikes up soon, they're always in flower over Christmas.

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    1. holiday? lol. Of course I meant holding. Duh. Shows where my mind is, I'm wishing back to the start of summer.

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    2. A Freudian slip, Jo. I'm prone to them myself! I'll try your watering method for my non-flowerer. Daren't change the routine for the other one. The strange thing is why things work out for one and not the other.

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    3. Didn't answer the first part of your question, Jo. No it isn't above a radiator.

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  2. I've always shied away from growing Orchids Sue because I always imagined them to be difficult to grow and reflower. My daughter has a couple of them in her bedroom, I'm not sure what her care routine is for them (but I don't think she mists them), we got them on Mothers day this year and they're still flowering now.
    Your non flowerer sure looks healthy enough though so maybe it has something to do with the colour of it? I don't know if say the purple are more inclined to reflower than say the white ones? Says stupid I know but it's all I could think of lol.

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    1. I can't honestly remember what the colour of the other one is, Linda but I think it may be white.

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  3. You may try to give it a warm shower! Warm, almost hot, as you hands can feel water. Every week and than wait till it dries before watering again. It is like a tropical rain, or little shock :) and some orchids begin to bloom after this treatment. Good Luck!

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    1. Hi Sunnybeach and welcome. Sounds like a plan!

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  4. Well 50% success would make me happy. I shall try Sunnybeach's tip as nothing else has worked for me.

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    1. I was at first L but then I wanted BOTH to flower! Never satisfied are we?

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  5. Awesome post Sue have-not got one so can not compare but thank you for sharing

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  6. It's a mystery Sue. Plants do like to do their own thing. I'm sure it will flower eventually though.

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    1. I wonder how long eventually will take, CJ

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  7. I am wondering if colour has something to do with it. I inherited two orchids when I moved to my present prperty, One has flowered eery year the other hasnt, I just noticed during the week It has flower buds, it has lemon yellow flowers, the pinkish one that flowers all the time.(Same variety) First time in four years!

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    1. I am beginning to wonder about colour Sharon. Anyone out their got a white orchid that flowers every year (That is if my non flowering one is white.

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  8. Hi Sue! I love orchids too and have 3 plants on the go. I find that if you chop the old stem/s right back it can take up to 9 months to start to grow another one. I imagine a lot of people throw their plants away in that time thinking that they're never going to flower again. They like a lot of water even when they have no stems/flowers but obviously that water needs to drain away. I treat them like they are in Thailand and give them a monsoon every other week! Standing them over a plug hole so they can drain. I have two in the bathroom and one in my kitchen window behind the sink, so they will also get some frequent moisture in both those rooms. If you chop the stems down to a node then they can still take 6 months to regrow. So, hang on in there! Keep looking after them and watering them regularly. It's just orchids, they take their time and no two seem to act the same :)

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    1. I usually leave the old stem to wither Anna. I'll have to try the monsoon technique. I won;t be giving up!

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  9. p.s. yes one of mine is a white one and it's going nuts this year! :) It was chopped back to a node last year, I got it in September and it regrew and eventually flowered 2 months ago.

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    1. So white ones will reflower. Obviously as the orchids were bought at different times the other variable is how they were treated before I got them.

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  10. They are lovely looking plants which I have always admired but I have never had. I love the purple flowers on your plant.

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  11. How odd, it must have something to do with it's past life.xxxx

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    1. Let's blame it's past life shall we, Snowbird? Makes me feel better!

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  12. I have 6 moth orchids in various colours including several white and they have all re-flowered many times but one has taken a very long break now, hasn’t flowered the last 2 years but is very big with many healthy leaves. I am getting a bit impatient but won’t give up, hopefully it will flower again eventually. I water my orchids about once a week, I put them in the sink with water and leave them for about 15-20 minutes to soak up water, then I take out the plug and leave for a while to drain. I have also recently started spraying the leaves and roots with orchid fertilizer after watering, but not sure if that is going to make any difference, time will tell.
    I also wonder about the difference in re-blooming and is inclined to blame producer and past life as I give them all the same treatment and condition :-)

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    1. Sounds like children, Helene the early formative period being very important.

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