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Getting Your Orchids To Bloom Again

An orchid plant
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"How can I get my orchid to bloom again?" Denise, in Waitsfield, asked Charlie Nardozzi. In this episode, we get an answer about what to do.

Gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi shares his expertise each week and answers listeners' questions about gardening, house plants, veggie starts and more. This episode has information on books about trees, as well as caring for an orchid.

Reading/listening recommendations... all about trees

Charlie shared two books on the topic of how trees communicate  — one fiction and one nonfiction — that you might want to add to your winter reading list while you await warmer weather:

1. The Overstory, by Richard Powers

This book, which won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, follows nine strangers who become linked when they are essentially summoned by the natural world to help save different trees.

2. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate?Discoveries from A Secret World, by Peter Wohlleben

This title explores whether or not trees are social beings within their own social network. The author uses scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families — able to support, communicate, share and even warn each other of impending dangers.

If you're in more of a listening mood, here's a couple options from VPR on tree topics:

  • Revisit a Vermont Edition episode from last July, that features a discussion of trees with Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder.
  • VPR's people-powered podcast, Brave Little State, answered a listener's question in its June episode about Vermont's old-growth forests.
Q: "How can I get my orchid to bloom again? It's been two years since I received it." — Denise, in Waitsfield

Assuming we're talking about a moth orchid, which blooms for months, it may take up to six months for it to recover from all that flowering. A way you can help to get them to re-bloom is to feed the plants well.

Now, this time of year isn't the best time to fertilize your orchid plant — but, in a couple months, about every other week you can mix in house plant fertilizer to its regular watering. That will help build up the leaves to be big and healthy, so they'll have enough energy to send out another flower stalk.

You can also ensure your orchid is in a south-facing window this winter so they have a continual source of bright light (though in spring, switch to an east- or west-facing window so the light is a bit more indirect). Come fall, put the orchid in a cooler room in your home to stimulate the re-blooming and the plant should send out more flower stalks in the coming spring.

A thin grey line.

All Things Gardening is powered by you, the listener! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie will answer them in upcoming episodes. You can also leave a voice mail with your gardening question by calling VPR at (802) 655-9451.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

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