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Culture tips calendar

Seasonal Orchid Care, to read  the complete article from the AOS click here

January and February

Watering and fertilizing will be at a minimum, as will potting.


Flowering season, if growing outdoors be cautious of freezing and protect the plants from the rain.


Keep plants a little drier during the shorter days. Buds starting to form.


New growths generally emerge in the spring, look for the flower spikes to emerge from the inner sheath of the pseudobulb.


The standard Paphiopedilum insigne-derived hybrids, are at their peak.There really is no wrong time to pot a paphiopedilum, and no other orchid responds so favorably to fresh mix and a cleanup. 


Now is the peak of spike development, with the first plants in full flower. Correct staking now will give a better display. Do not repot this month. 


End of flowering season will provide a chance to do some repotting.

March and April

Increase water and fertilizer. Immediately after blooming is the best time to repot winter- and spring-flowering cattleyas.


Blooming season, give adequate water. As new growths appear increase the nitrogen level in the fertilizer. 


Dendrobium (Australian)
Hard-cane dendrobiums will be at their flowering peak. 


End of its flowering season, good time to repot. As new growth emerges, provide ample fertilizer and water.


Beginning of the flowering season.


The summer-blooming types will be showing the first of their buds, heaviest repotting.


March is the peak blooming month. Careful monitoring of watering and feeding.


If plants are not in flower, time to divide if needed or repot.

May and June

The last of the spring-flowering types -- those that flower from a ripened hard pseudobulb -- will be finishing, while the first summer-blooming types will be showing buds on their rapidly growing, soft pseudobulbs. Both may need potting, as signaled by deteriorating mix, this month. Stake the lead growth to avoid breakage. May can still present some changing light conditions that can lead to burning of the foliage if the plants have not been properly acclimatized. Allow them to build up their tolerance to higher light gradually. 


The Paphiopedilum Maudiae types will be well into their season now, so a careful eye should be used toward staking. Many of this type, if staked too soon, will develop nodding flowers that do not face the observer. It is better to allow the flowers to ripen naturally, then support the spike right below the ovary for best display.


Except for the latest-spiking plants, all phalaenopsis should be ready for potting or already potted. Because phalaenopsis are tropical plants, they tend to be seasonal in their rooting behavior.This is absolutely the best time to repot a phalaenopsis.

July and August

High temperatures require careful attention to their watering and fertilizing needs and proper venting.


Cooling and air circulation are especially critical. Ensure plants do not dry out. 
Warmer-growing hybrids will be at the peak of their blooming.


Months of maximum growth. Lots of heat and light call for liberal applications of water and fertilizer. 


Growths should be coming strong now. For mid-season varieties, lower the dosage of nitrogen to assist in spike initiation.


High-elevation Plants
For cooler-growing plants, such as masdevallias, these months will be a challenge. Keep plants more shaded and with higher humidity. Delay any potting until the weather cools.


Many of the intergeneric crosses will be blooming now. Train the spikes.


Plants will be growing quickly now. Check flower spikes.

September and October

Water and fertilizer need to be in balance with heat and light. Plants summered outdoors should be brought back in. 


This little-known and under-appreciated genus, which can have male or female flowers, is at its best in the autumn. 


Early flowering varieties should be showing flower spikes, so move the plants into a cooler area with lower light. 


This is a good season for hybrids of the Dendrobium phalaenopsis. Fertilize with a low-nitrogen formula to promote blooms.


Rhynchostele bictoniensis

Both Rhynchostele bictoniensis and its hybrids bloom in this season.



Standard, green-leaved paphiopedilums begin to show their bloom sheaths this month. 



The bulk of this season's growth is being ripened this month, with growers in cooler climates seeing the first emerging inflorescences. 

November and December

Reduce frequency of watering and fertilizer, as the plants dry out more slowly. 


Cool-Growing Orchids
Shorter days and lower light levels do not seem to bother them. Repot before winter arrives.


Begining of the main cymbidium season.
Important things to do: stake inflorescences, watch for slugs and snails, and fertilize with a mild balanced formula regularly.


Oncidium crispum Complex
Give plants high light to produce strong upright inflorescences. Do not let the plants dry out while they are in bloom.


While paphiopedilums rarely like to dry out entirely, water needs are significantly reduced,  and lower nitrogen levels now for best flowering.


Shortening days and cooler nights initiation in phalaenopsis. Fertilize with a "bloom booster" for the next few months.



Decline in temperatures is not beneficial for vandaceous plants. Orient your plants to take advantage of as much light as possible. Reduce watering and feeding schedules.

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