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I have these orchids that I bought three years ago, and they are not flowering. At the beginning they almost died because of insufficient light in my home. I moved them next to an always-on artificial source of light and they came back to life. Even a couple of new leaves appeared but they have never produced flowers. What can I do to make them make flowers?

They are is a kitchen, no natural light. However the natural light in winter conditions is worse than what they have in the kitchen. The pots are on the top of my fridge.

Here's a picture (click to enlarge).

  • Orchids do not all require the same conditions in order to thrive and bloom - in fact, they require a very diverse set of conditions, since orchids are naturally found in many different places. A lot depends on the type of orchids you are trying to grow, and the conditions in their growing area. Btw, some flowers actually require a period of darkness every 24 hours in order to set buds, so 24 hour lights may not be doing you any good. – TeresaMcgH Jan 29 '14 at 18:36
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Okay, from your picture, those are Phalaenopsis orchids. They seem to be doing well in the light level you are giving them, although I don't think they need to be under a light 24 hours a day. In order to re-bloom a Phalaenopsis orchid, they need a rest where they are watered very sparingly, followed by a time of lower light levels until the new growth begins. I think this is where you are at currently. After the new leaves begin to grow, you can give them more light and initiate blooming by placing the plant in a cool spot - 60 degrees F/ 15 degrees C - until the new bloom stalks begin to form. Once the flower stalks have definitely begun to form, you should put them back into their happy, slightly warmer, growing spot for the duration.

  • Thank you Teresa. I will try to do that. To recap: -less water -lower temperature (15 degree C) -more light. (this might be tricky since I don't know what to do for that) The natural light is very poor in winter. Should I replace the desk lamp with a more powerful one? – MiniMe Jan 29 '14 at 21:04
  • So far, after watering them more than usual, they have started growing those small roots (at least one of them) Do I have to cut those? they tend to go wild and go all over the place. Also how do I recognize the They are in their original pots as I bought them from Costco. Somebody told me that their roots need to see some light ..I am inclined to believe that this is not true. – MiniMe Jan 29 '14 at 21:06
  • regarding the way I water them: I used to do it when I remembered, the pots are very deep and I pour water knowing that the water will go through their "soil" and it will accumulate on the bottom of the pot. But I never cared to make sure the water level reaches the bottom of the plastic pot inside the ceramic pot. Since their roots do not go through the plastic pot I don't think that the water at the bottom helps the plant in any way. Maybe the vapours a little bit. – MiniMe Jan 29 '14 at 21:06
  • I was wondering if repotting is needed for plants bought from Costco. The soil they have at Home Depot (orchid "soil") does not look exactly like what they currently have and I hesitated to repot them. What do you recommend me? thanks for answering my questions P Sorry for the many comments, the board software wouldn't allow me to post one longer message – MiniMe Jan 29 '14 at 21:07
  • The lamp they are under seems just fine - these like "filtered bright light" anyway. Don't cut the roots, having them come out of the pot and dry up a bit is perfectly normal for this kind of orchid. The water at the bottom of the pot probably adds to the humidity, so it's all good. What you are doing right now seems to be just right, they are putting on some nice new leaves! The only thing you should do now is get them to a bit of a cooler area until you see flower stems coming from the main stem area. If you aren't sure what to look for, after a bit they will be obviously flower spikes. – TeresaMcgH Jan 29 '14 at 21:38

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