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Easy Tips on How to Care for Orchid Plants

If you’re a plant lover like me (and I know you are), you probably have a large collection of plants and or tropical plants around your home. I mean, plants always take your home design up a notch. But, why not add some orchids to your assortment? Knowing basic care is essential to get these beauties thriving, but luckily it’s not too hard, and I know because I have over two dozen orchids in my home. Yes, two dozen! Here is how to care for orchid plants after blooming.

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Don’t worry, though, as I’ll also be covering the entire process of good orchid care towards the end. After all, knowing how to care for them after the fact isn’t much good if they don’t make it that far. Whether you want to adorn your nightstand, bring life into your bathroom, or just expand your collection, growing orchids is a good idea.

Alright, enough chit-chat. Let’s get on with the learning!

The Leave-It-Alone method

The easiest way to learn how to care for orchid plants after blooming is undoubtedly the hands-off approach. Once your plant has bloomed, simply leaving it alone will actually promote future flower growth. Consider an ice cube or two once a week an that’s it!

As long as you avoid giving it excess water and make sure basic needs—like indirect, bright light—are met, your plant can still enjoy future growth. However, this method does have a few downsides.

First, you’ll have to deal with the flower spikes that naturally wither and brown. You’ll likely want to remove these from the pot at some point. Second, the next bloom likely won’t be as beautiful as the first.

While the Leave-It-Alone approach does offer future flowers with little effort, it comes at the cost of a less impressive, smaller display of flowers.

Fertilizing For How to Care for Orchid Plants After Blooming

How To Use Ferilizers Granular Fertilizer

Establishing a fertilizing routine is a much more active way to learn how to care for orchid plants after blooming. It’s actually best to start this before the blooming begins, but you’ll want to take a break as the plants bloom. You can resume the routine after the blooming process has finished.

Fortunately, orchids aren’t particularly heavy feeders so you won’t need to give them much fertilizer. Still, if you really want them to pop against a white paint background then fertilizing is the way to go.

I recommend fertilizing your plants once a month. A dedicated orchid formula is a good option. Otherwise, I’d suggest using a powdered 20-20-20 formula, diluted to half strength. These balanced formulas will help ensure your orchids get the balanced nutrients they need to thrive.

How to Care for Orchid Plants After Blooming: Trimming Basics

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Photo via Roger’s Gardens

It’s not necessarily a requirement, but trimming and deadheading your plants is an important part of learning how to care for orchid plants after blooming. After all, removing wilted flower spikes from your orchid plants can make a big improvement to their appearance.

Given enough time, each bloom spike will eventually wither and turn brown. If a spike is already browning then you should trim the majority of the spike using shears or scissors. Leave about an inch from the base of the plant. Removing the dead spikes will help the plant focus its energy on the ​root system, promoting future blooms.

You can still trim the spikes if they haven’t browned yet. Cut the top of the spike, leaving about ½ an inch from the top of the node. Sharp scissors or dedicated pruning shears will get the job done nicely.

How to Care for Orchid Plants After Blooming Repotting Your Orchids

Ht Repot Orchid Packed Roots
Photo via Garden Gate

Repotting your plants isn’t something that you’ll need to do often, but it is a good idea to learn how to do it. As you can see, I’m trying to cover everything in this how to care for orchid plants after blooming guide, so I hope you guys are finding it helpful.

You don’t want to repot your orchids while they’re blooming, but you can do so during the growing season. I’d recommend only changing your potting medium once every two years. When you do repot your orchids, remove the plant carefully and trim any dead or damaged roots.

Also, make sure to avoid forcing the roots together when repotting the plant. Instead, place the plant inside of the new pot, and then compact the dirt around it. This will give the orchid’s roots the reach and air circulation they need to thrive. 

Once it’s been repotted, give it a thorough watering and place it in an appropriate location with enough light and humidity. Avoid fertilizing for a few weeks until the plant has settled in.

Choosing the Perfect Pot a Step in How to Care for Orchid Plants After Blooming


Choosing the perfect pot for your orchids isn’t hard, but there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, start with sizing. Generally, you’ll want to go for a pot that’s two or so inches larger than the current pot.

I recommend getting two pots for your plant: a clear one and a decorative one. The clear one should fit nicely inside of the decorative one. Ensure this has proper drainage, or else you may run into issues with root rot.

I find this setup works perfectly, as you can always remove the clear pot from the decorative one if you need to check the health of your plant’s roots. Beyond that, your only concern is weight. However, this shouldn’t be an issue unless you’re planning on hanging your plants.

If hanging plants aren’t really your thing then I’d say this staggered planter would make a nice alternative.

Basic Orchid Care

how to care for orchid plants after blooming final

We’re sort of working in reverse here, but now you know how to care for orchid plants after blooming. Let’s go back to the basics of growing plants indoors for a second. 

Well, the best way of promoting healthy growth and lots of flower buds is to mimic the natural habitat of these plants. It does require a bit of effort on your end to get everything set up correctly. Fortunately, once you have the plant space ready, basic upkeep is fairly easy.

Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Soil How to Care for Orchid Plants After Blooming

The best soil for your orchids will depend on the type of orchid(s) you have. While the basic requirements for the growing medium will still apply, soil preferences can vary quite a bit. A good place to start is with dedicated commercial orchid mixes.

These often contain perlite, sphagnum moss, or similar additives to help the mixture retain moisture. If you prefer the DIY approach then you can make your own mix using the above-mentioned additives, peat, and bark. A slight acidity is preferable for the soil.

Avoid regular potting soils, as these aren’t lightweight or fast-draining enough for your orchids to thrive in.


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Like all plants, orchids need enough light to survive. However, unlike some plants, orchids don’t do particularly well with direct sunlight. Bright, indirect light is best, making a South or East-facing window the ideal location for these precious plants.

If placing your plant in one of these directions just isn’t possible then you can use some well-placed drapes to help minimize sun exposure while maximizing growth.

Pro tip – Turn your plants every so often to ensure evenly-spaced new leaves.


East-facing window

Knowing how to care for orchid plants after blooming involves knowing how to perfectly imitate and/or create the ideal environment for your plant pals. This involves perfecting the temperatures and humidity levels. Fortunately, the requirements are fairly straightforward.

Temperatures ranging from 60°F to 80°F are best for the daytime, with nighttime temperatures slightly lower. Significant temperature changes should be avoided and can be the cause of bud blast, so keep your plants away from heaters or air conditioners.

For humidity, a humid environment is best. A high humidity level of up to 70% is great, although these plants can tolerate humidity levels down to 40% just fine.

How to Care for Orchid Plants After Blooming, Water for Success

watering and how to care for orchid plants after blooming

Watering orchids is fairly easy since their watering requirements are minimal. Generally speaking, watering your orchids every seven days or so will be sufficient. Be sure to check, though, as you can water your orchids once the soil begins to dry out.

You do want to avoid giving the orchid roots too ​much water, though, as this can lead to root rot. When in doubt, opting for less water is probably best.

The Ice Cube Method

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Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

One watering method often suggested is watering your Orchids with ice cubes. I haven’t seen majorly different results from doing this, but the process is easy enough.

Essentially, you just take two large ice cubes and place them at the base of your orchid. As they melt, the water will be slowly absorbed into the roots. Do this once a week “for the best results”.

The Most Common Types of Orchids

how to care for orchid plants after blooming

Lastly, I figured I’d include a small list of the different types of orchids. Specifically, the ones that are popular. Like other smaller plants, there are many different varieties available. Each one brings something unique to the table so it may be worthwhile to consider a few different options.

  • Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis Orchids) are popular and easy to grow, with buds that last for months and a potential lifetime of up to two decades.
  • Dendrobium Orchids are known for their pastel blooms and larger size, growing up to 48 inches tall and 48 inches wide.
  • Pansy Orchids (Miltoniopsis Orchids) offer beautiful colouring and pansy-like flowers in exchange for their high humidity requirements.
  • Zygopetalum Orchids are a fragrant and varying type of orchid that can bloom up to four times in a year.
  • Dancing Lady (Oncidium Orchids) are perfect for indoor growth, thanks to their thick blooms, varying colors, and simple care requirements.

How to Care for Orchid Plants After Blooming: A Summary

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No matter what type of orchid you choose, I’m sure you’ll be glad you learned how to care for orchid plants after blooming. Orchid blooms are amazing the first time you witness them, but with a bit of aftercare, you can enjoy these natural displays for years to come.

True, faux flowers might be easier to maintain, but let’s be honest: nothing beats the real thing! As always, thanks for reading, and be sure to let me know about your own planting adventures in the comments below.

Have a great week, y’all!

Want more plant-related projects? Click here to read my post on the Monstera plant!

how to care for orchid plants after blooming

What do you do with an orchid after the blooms fall off?

As a new orchid owner, you might have this question. Fortunately, the answer is simply: cut back the flower spike! You’ll want to cut it just above a node, as this will encourage the growth of a new spike (and future blooms).

Do orchids rebloom on old stems?

It depends. Some types—like Phalaenopsis orchids—can resume their bloom cycle on old stems, but most do not. You’ll want to do some research on your specific type of orchid to answer this question.

What is the secret to keeping orchids alive?

It’s not really a “secret”, but proper care is the key to new growth and long-term success. This means you’ll have to keep water, light, humidity, temperature, and fertilizer in mind at all times. Thankfully, this sounds much more complicated than it is!

Should orchid stems be cut after blooming?

If you want to continue to enjoy large blooms then you’ll want to cut the stems as soon as the last flower fades. However, if you don’t mind a slight downsize and prefer the hands-off approach then you can just leave them be. They will still rebloom, just slightly smaller.

Where to cut an orchid after blooming?

You’ll want to cut the flowering spike back to the base, making sure to use a sharp, sterilized tool for damage-free removal.

How long does it take for an orchid to rebloom?

Usually, you can expect the blooming cycle to repeat itself in two to three months from the previous bloom. However, this will vary depending on the type of orchid in question.

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