Sometimes your orchid just sits there and does nothing. It had those gorgeous blooms that lasted so long, and you’ve followed the instructions for light, water, temperature, fertilizer, humidity, and dormancy, but nada. Same old leaves, same old roots. You’ve waited, and the plant doesn’t get any worse, but it doesn’t get any better either.

The answer may to be to wait some more. Orchids may not be visibly growing while they’re storing up energy to prepare for their next cycle of growth. They are waiting for the right time of year to produce new leaves, roots, and flowers. Even the growing seasons of spring and summer do not guarantee new growth — your orchid is on its own schedule. So how long do you wait and watch? If your orchid hasn’t grown for a few months, don’t panic yet. If it’s been more than a year, then it’s time to re-examine those fundamentals of basic orchid care and make a change. One common problem is insufficient light, but be careful to make any increases in light gradually over 2 weeks or so. A sudden flood of light can cause leaves to burn. And if that doesn’t help, then just be patient. It’s a great excuse to curl up with a good orchid book.

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7 Comments on “Nothing”

  1. Topics about Flowers Says:

    Great post!

  2. nancy Says:

    omg! i had one that sat there for months and then one day it stuck out a flower spike

  3. Linda Says:

    I recently had new double paned windows installed in my house with uv protection in the glass and I’m wondering if that is what is keeping my orchids from blooming this year. Last year at this time they were beautiful but this year they are still healthy and growing new leaves but, alas, no blooms yet. I’m fertilizing, feeding, talking, playing music, watering and loving these dears.

    Any suggestions?

  4. Marc Says:

    It sounds like you’ve done your homework to look at other potential problems, so the light cutback could be the problem. Also check that your orchids are still experiencing a slight nighttime temperature drop.

  5. Joy Blake Says:

    Thanks. This is good info.

  6. Eileen Says:

    I am new at the phals and all the blooms are done so I believe it has gone dormant since I am in Ohio and it is November. Do I need to cut back those sticks the flowers grow on or leave them alone?

  7. Marc Says:

    Hi Eileen. Phals don’t truly go dormant, but you can cut back water a bit this time of year. I recommend that you remove the sticks, or flower spikes, so the plant can direct energy to new growth. Use a sharp scissors cleaned with hot water & soap, bleach solution, or rubbing alcohol to cut them off.