How to Care for an Orchid Once the Blooms Fade


A common misconception about orchids is the plant only blooms once per growing season. Two varieties of orchids (Zygopetalum and Odontogtossum) need placement in slightly lower temperatures to encourage a second blooming. Switch fertilizer to 20-20-20 to promote additional blooming of Oncidium and Dendrobium orchid varieties. With the proper care after the blooms fade, orchids will often produce smaller blooms.Collectors enjoy blooms twice from the same plant before it enters a state of dormancy and prepares for next year's growth and blooms.

Step 1

Spray a straight-edge razor blade with disinfectant spray. Allow the blade to air dry for several minutes. Sterilizing the blade reduces the orchid's vulnerability to viruses from the plant cuts.

Step 2

Locate the node nearest the faded bloom. Hold the blade at a 45 degree angle against the orchid 2- to 3-inches past the node toward the center of the plant. Cut the stem to remove the faded bloom.

Step 3

Repeat the second step with each orchid stem that has a faded bloom.

Step 4

Water the orchid with a small amount of water. Place it back in its original location if you had to move it to cut the stems. Wait six to eight weeks for the growth of new buds and new blooms.

Tips and Warnings

  • Not all orchids will bloom more than once. However, healthier plants have a higher second blooming rate than weak or unhealthy plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Straight-edge razor
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Water


  • American Orchid Society: Orchid Basics
  • Beautiful Orchids: Cattleya

Who Can Help

  • Kurt Weiss Greenhouses Inc
Keywords: orchid blooms, faded orchid blooms, orchids

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.