One of the most frequent question in orchid growing – when do orchids bloom? What season do orchids bloom? And this is not so simple to answer in just a few words – it depends on many factors, including what species or hybrid exactly you’re growing. There are about 20 thousand of recognized orchid species and countless of interspecies and intergeneric hybrids, and also countless cultivars and strains with different blooming habits. Different types of orchids bloom in different time of the year and with different frequencies. The second factor is orchid growing conditions – proper caring for orchids is the best insurance of frequent blooming. Improper growing conditions on the other hand could cause not only infrequent orchid blooming (or not blooming at all), but also severe metabolic disruptions, which could cause plant weakness, reduce resistance to pathogens and finally plant death.
So, the first thing to consider is what type of orchid you possess. Perhaps, you know already that there are orchids with a period of rest when they aren’t growing and ones without such a period, growing and often able to bloom all year round.
The most common orchids without dormancy are Phalaenopsis hybrid orchids, and they don’t have specific blooming season – they can bloom any time in a year, and a healthy plant with optimal growing conditions (proper light and day duration, optimal temperatures and sufficient watering and fertilizers) can actually bloom all year round or with minimum delay between flowering (two-three months). So do many orchid hybrids – for instance Cambria orchids can bloom up to four times per year, they bloom after new pseudobulb matures.
But there is also rather a big group of orchids with rather strict blooming season – for instance unifloiate Cattleya species even have vernacular names “May Day Orchid”, “Easter orchid” and so on, which specify, when these orchid bloom. Quite often, such orchids not only bloom in quite specific time (there are some specimens of Cattleyas in botanical gardens, which are more than 100 hundreds year old and all this time they start blooming in the same day every year), but also need very specific conditions (for instance, some unifoliate Cattleyas need short day to bloom) and could skip flowering in this year if conditions are not optimal for flowering. Most orchids with dormancy bloom in winter or spring, but there lots of different orchids blooming in other seasons. For instance, winter flowering orchids are such well-known orchids as Dendrobium nobile, Coelogyne cristata, Laelia superbiens, Brassavola nodosa. It’s possible to pick up many different orchids which will be blooming one after another all year round. It would be wonderful, wouldn’t it?