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Why won't my orchids bloom?

Published:Thursday | March 22, 2012 | 12:00 AM

A widely asked question is "Why won't my orchids bloom?" Although there isn't a simple solution to this question, there are a few guidelines which will help you understand how to improve your orchids' flowering.

Most orchids need fairly bright-light conditions to flower, so if your orchids aren't blooming, this might be a key factor.

Another factor which is critical for proper orchid culture and flowering is feeding your plants. A weekly solution of a balanced fertiliser will do wonders.

Fertilisers such as a Tropi-Gro Orchid Plus have been specially formulated for orchids growing in the tropics.

If your plants fail to bloom despite receiving adequate light and proper nutrients, pests/insects are probably the cause. Once you have determined that you have a thrips problem, a suitable insecticide formulated for sucking insects such as Danitol 10EC or Dimethoate should be applied at the recommended doses.

So, if your orchids are reluctant bloomers, ensure that they are getting sufficient light and fertiliser and that there are no pests lurking in your garden. Most importantly, you need to find out more about your plants, ask questions, read books or join an orchid society.

- Contributed by Kirk Hoo, president, Jamaica Orchid Society

The Jamaica Orchid Society meets on the first Saturday of each month at 4 p.m. at the J.T.U.R.D.C Building, 1A Hope Boulevard, Kingston 6. The annual orchid show will be held at the Jamaica Horticultural Show Grounds, Gibson Drive, Hope Pastures, Kingston 6.