Calcium in the diet will help
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This is a discussion on The thing that finally got all your orchids flowering well... What was it?! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I agree with 78Terp's comment about the roots. Other than that, I would say that ...
I agree with 78Terp's comment about the roots.
Other than that, I would say that the most helpful thing is understanding (a) that I can't grow everything in my conditions and (b) I need to learn how to grow 1 or 2 examples of a genus, and do that well, before buying a bunch more.
When buying I stick to alliances (Cattleya, for example) that I can generally grow well. I do branch out into other genera, but try to do so in a small way until I feel I've "gotten the hang of things". I have only a very few Paphiopedilum, Coelogyne, and Dendrobium because I don't feel I've succeeded yet with the few plants I have in these genera.
Sometimes I'm fortunate enough to have someone share with me a division of a genus I don't grow; I always treat that as a learning experience.
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Calcium in the diet will help
When I started growing orchids, an experienced grower gave me this advice " Give as much light as possible without burning the leaves". I find this advice very helpful for the majority of my orchids except maybe for Phalaenopsis - and even these especially the cornu-cervi and amboinensis groups respond well to higher light levels with better health and blooming. However it pays to experiment as culture regimes vary from grower to grower, and what works for one may not work for another. And expect casualties..........
Let's assume that you have waited a bit too long to repot a plant. The failing medium is certainly a negative cultural issue.
The proper thing to do, of course, is to repot the plant into fresh medium, and a treatment with a hormone product like KelpMax will certainly help with re-establishment and recovery. If you don't repot, that KelpMax application can "compensate" for the flaw - albeit temporarily only - by stimulating the growth of roots that will be optimized for the current medium condition.
The photo below shows just that - the main part of the roots are failing in the bad mix, but the plant has been stimulated into growing new roots at the bottom, and they are fine in that old medium - which made be considered to be some form of compensation. (Of course, in short order, when the older portions of the roots die, the good ones will no longer be connected to the plant!)
I have some vanda that have refused to bloom about two years or so I have taken a knife and shaken each plant and said I am going to cut you down if you do not start to bloom, I have two with spikes now, I did that because I heard a programme on the radio where the man had said he threatened to cut down a plant because it was not doing anything else but just standing there, in about three to four weeks he noticed it started to bare fruit, so apparently threats seem to work, maybe they are people in disguise... who knows...LOL
Right! And there's me, wasting my time speaking nicely to them
I guess 'tough love' works with orchids and plants!
My problem is I think I am too transparent and they see right thru my idle threats!
For several years, I grew in a sunroom in winter, and put those that could take the heat outdoors (filtered light) in the summer. I tried various orchid fertilizers & mxtures. I had a lot of blooms, esp with a mix that included a balanced orchid fertilizer with micronutrients, plus some seaweed emulsion, and horticultural molasses.
The last 2 years, my life has been upended due to my son's illness, and a move to a new house. The 'chids got little care the first year, and some died. Last year, things started to get a bit better, but I was still a bit overwhelmed with caregiving. The catts and pretty much all but the phals summered outdoors, got watered with a garden hose, and fertilized with a hose-end general purpose fertilizer. This fertilizer is not what most growers would recommend, not by a long shot. Then in December, they finally got a greenhouse. And, they are blooming their heads off. Obviously, they got adequate fertilization to build new growth last summer. And, they enjoyed the humidity raise of the greenhouse during winter.
This summer, I think the big catts will go outside again, as I think they like the light and breezes. The question is will they get their hose-end fertilizer again. I'm kinda thinking yes.
Mine only started blooming when I stopped babysitting them too much.. I know it sounds weird but, a plant flowering is its instinct in trying to survive by spreading its genes. And sometimes that instinct only comes when the environment gets a little rougher than what they expected.
Some of my pahls where beautiful all year long but never spiking.. then I started reading about this and I decided to literally leave them outside all year long under a screen protector just so they would get enough light. There were days were the wind was really strong and the huge phal leaves would shake a lot as well as the plant too. Then after 2 months of that, they all started to spike. I would only bring them in when the conditions were extreme, where sometimes even my chairs outside would fall from the wind, or when the rain was to crazy. There was a moment when the wind was pretty strong and a few weeks of it and the orchids started to grow an incredible amount of thick roots, like if they plant had felt that it wasn't stable enough for the conditions so it tried adapting to it. Right now they are all inside for me to enjoy their blooms . And of course I did have to fertilize as usual, but I didn't give them as much water, I wanted to test this thing about survival instinct that they should have.
But If you think about also, most plants in nature go through a harsh time, orchids with pseudo bulbs for example, are all required to have a dry season. The orchid itself does not like that dry season, it could very well be grown without going through it, but it won't flower! It is right after that dry season that the plant decides: " oh %$#$%! I better start a new growth and make it bloom so I could expand my genes before it happens again!"
It may not make sense for some.. but to me it makes a lot of sense.
I know your question seems to refer to fertilisers. However I will stress here that the main thing that made a huge difference to my plants is moving them outdoors for most of the warm year. The light they recieve and constant diurnal temps are far greater than anything you can give them from a bottle. The results are evident. I'm talkimg about double spikes and many flower count. I compared it to when i was growing orchids indoors all year round by windowsill. I think its very important to master the four main basics such as light , air , temp and water and then focus on other things such as fert and mix.