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Getting your orchids to bloom at showtime

This is a discussion on Getting your orchids to bloom at showtime within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Any of the more experienced growers have any tips on pushing an orchid along to ...

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  1. #1
    dougroc is offline Senior Member
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    Default Getting your orchids to bloom at showtime

    Any of the more experienced growers have any tips on pushing an orchid along to get it in bloom for a show? Conversely, any ideas to slow down an orchid in bud? My Orchid Society's show is in three weeks and my timing seems to be a bit off.

  2. #2
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    orchidlady is offline Senior Member
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    You could try manipulating temperature. Increasing temperature can speed up blooming, decrease will slow it down. However, changing culture can also risk blasting buds on sensitive plants. In general, it is kind of a crap shoot and often orchids seem to be part of a conspiracy to either bloom before or after a show. We all go through it .

    Susan

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    gardenguysorchids is offline Don't be afraid to color outside the lines
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    I agree with Susan 100%. I have tried the temp control and sometimes it works and other times it doesn't.. Matter of fact I am doing it now with a couple orchids for an up coming show. It really just shows that our orchids are like children --they have minds of their own. LOL The same held true when i showed roses. I had plenty of potential "Queens of show" a week before judging or the most frustrating the day after. It is all just a crap shoot. I grow orchids because I truly love them. If I have something to help my society out with a show great. If I don't that is also fine. A ribbon or plaque doesn't mean that much.

  4. #4
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    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by orchidlady View Post
    You could try manipulating temperature. Increasing temperature can speed up blooming, decrease will slow it down. However, changing culture can also risk blasting buds on sensitive plants. In general, it is kind of a crap shoot and often orchids seem to be part of a conspiracy to either bloom before or after a show. We all go through it .

    Susan
    Couldn't have said it better, Susan.

  5. #5
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    Usually these are the rules of thumb to follow when getting orchids ready for a show:

    To make a plant bloom faster -- keep it warmer and in brighter light.
    To slow down a plant so it won't drop its flowers -- keep it cooler and shadier.

    Cheers,
    BD

  6. #6
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    If you really have the means (a climate controlled green house) and inclination, then there are pretty good models developed. Work for getting an orchid to bloom like clock work with upto 1 week accuracy starts much much earlier before the buds form. To be precise between 12 to 16 weeks depending on the genera. Till this time plants are grown in a temperature range between 26 to 28 degrees celsius day and night, this keeps the plant in the vegetative phase. 12 to 16 weeks before the expected blooming time, the plants are exposed to vernalization and temperature differences between day and night like a 15-18 oC night and 24 to 26 oC day for 6 to 8 weeks, this induces the switch from vegetative to floriferous phase and the bud formation can be seen. After that the development speed of the buds is controlled as other have already pointed out by again manipulating the temperatures, but now the temperatures are again held steady, no more day night variation, that may induce bud blast.

  7. #7
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    Another more simple and easier way is to grow multiple plants or divisions of the same plant, some will flower when you want them to just by probablity LOL !!

  8. #8
    Masdyman is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    If you really have the means (a climate controlled green house) and inclination, then there are pretty good models developed. Work for getting an orchid to bloom like clock work with upto 1 week accuracy starts much much earlier before the buds form. To be precise between 12 to 16 weeks depending on the genera. Till this time plants are grown in a temperature range between 26 to 28 degrees celsius day and night, this keeps the plant in the vegetative phase. 12 to 16 weeks before the expected blooming time, the plants are exposed to vernalization and temperature differences between day and night like a 15-18 oC night and 24 to 26 oC day for 6 to 8 weeks, this induces the switch from vegetative to floriferous phase and the bud formation can be seen. After that the development speed of the buds is controlled as other have already pointed out by again manipulating the temperatures, but now the temperatures are again held steady, no more day night variation, that may induce bud blast.
    Good advise, you really need to think ahead if you want to go down this line. Personally I just go with the flow and pick what is good at the time of the show, I will on occasion move a plant that looks promising to a brighter location.


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