Multiple stems on an orchid are something you can easily achieve at home. Read our comprehensive guide to find out the various ways you can stimulate these flowering plants to produce many flowering spikes in the upcoming spring season.

How To Get Multiple Stems on an OrchidWith these trusted expert tips and tricks, you will be surprised to find out how simple it really is.

How To Get Multiple Stems on an Orchid

Getting multiple stems and flower spikes on an orchid is the dream wish of all orchid growers. However, it is easier said than done. We bring you some of our fail-proof methods by which you can get your orchids to bloom more spikes than ever this coming season.

So what are you waiting for? Dive right in!

– Choose Your Orchid Variety Carefully

The first step towards getting a multi spike orchid is to choose an orchid species that is actually capable of producing multiple spikes. Take the genus Phalaenopsis, for instance. This orchid can only produce a maximum of one or two spikes per season.

On the other hand, some species like the equistres orchids are notorious for growing multiple flower spikes per season. With only a little effort, these species of orchids are quickly able to develop new spikes, so by choosing the right type of orchid, you have already won half the battle.

– Feed Them Right 

Like all living beings, your orchids, too, need the right type and quantity of nutrients to grow and thrive. If you want multiple stems to grow on your orchids, you must ensure that it is getting the proper feed that it needs. Read below to find out more about orchids and their feeding requirements.

– What Type of Nutrients Does Your Orchid Need?

Your orchid needs potassium, magnesium and nitrogen to grow, produce flowers and bloom. The need for these nutrients is especially urgent during the growing season from spring to fall.

Perform a soil test at least once per year to determine the nutrient content that it possesses. You can easily buy a home testing kit from any nursery or general store. These kits can then be sent to a laboratory and they will send you a detailed report on the quality of your soil in a day or two.

– Fertilizer Is Best To Get Multiple Flower Spikes?

Always use an orchid fertilizer for these flowering plants. Orchids are very sensitive and cannot tolerate any other type of fertilizer. The fertilizer you use should ideally have an equal amount of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus in it. Don’t forget to check the ingredients list to make sure of this.

– How Often Do You Need to Fertilize Orchids?

You should fertilize your plants at least once every month in order to get orchids to spike more than once per season. When you are fertilizing your orchids once per month, you can use the full strength of the orchid fertilizer directly out of the packaging.

Some people prefer fertilizing their orchids once per week. In this case, you should use the fertilizer at only one-quarter of the recommended strength written on the label.

– How Do You Fertilize Your Orchids Correctly?

Always choose an orchid fertilizer from a reputable manufacturer. Follow the instructions given in the manual carefully, and use the strengths depending on the rate at which you fertilize your orchids. 

How Often Do You Need to Fertilize OrchidsIt is always best to dilute the fertilizer first by mixing it with water and then delivering it to the plants that way. This practice prevents your orchids from getting much-dreaded fertilizer burns.

Once a month, flush the soil or substrate around your orchids with copious amounts of water. This practice flushes out the built-up toxins that have accumulated in the soil.

– Sunlight Is a Must

Your orchids need sunlight to produce their food and grow well. In order to make an orchid grow a new spike, you need to make sure to fulfill its daily sunlight requirements.

You can learn what they are in this section.

– Natural Light

Most orchids love indirect and partial bright sunlight for at least eight hours each day. When kept indoors, an eastern or western-facing window is the most suitable location for them. 

Avoid the southern-facing window as its harsh sunlight often produces sunburns in orchids. When outdoors, place them under the shade of a larger tree or plant. Alternatively, you can also place a screen over them to protect them from direct sunlight.

– Artificial Light

If your area lacks sufficient sunlight throughout the day, you might want to consider using artificial light to get your orchids to spike more. Use specialized plant grow lights for inducing stem growth. Place these lights overhead at a suitable distance from your plants.

You should keep the artificial lights on for at least twice the duration of time that your orchid needs natural light.

– A Dip in Temperature

A drop in temperature of about 15 degrees Fahrenheit from day to night is essential for new and multiple stems to grow and flower. This is especially true during the last few weeks of the fall/ winter period. It signifies to your orchid that the vegetative period is over and it’s now time to start flowering.

Growing Orchids Indoors TemperatureWhen growing orchids indoors under constant temperature conditions or in temperate regions, you will need to create this drop in temperature artificially. Keep the window a bit open during the night, or keep an overhead ceiling fan turned on all night. This will stimulate them to grow more spikes.

– Stimulate Spike Growth by Using Short Days

Shortness in the duration of sunlight indicates to your plant that it’s time to produce flowers and bloom. When kept indoors under artificial lights, you should try to stimulate spike growth by shortening the duration of the time that you provide these artificial lights. This practice is most apt for those of you who prefer growing their orchids in basements.

Multiple Flower Spikes on Orchids: Some More Tips

Want to try some more tricks to grow those fresh new spikes on your beloved orchid? Continue reading because we have some more of them here.

– Trim Your Spikes Regularly

If you want to grow a new orchid spike on your plant, you need to regularly trim and cut off the old ones.

Keep an eye out for brown, yellowed flower spikes and cut them off whenever necessary. This will ensure that there is an adequate nutrient distribution for the new ones to grow.

Trimming new spikes an inch above their node will also encourage the growth of multiple spikes on it.

– Stimulate More Spikes Using Cold Air

This is a lesser-known hack for stimulating multiple spike growth that works brilliantly. Approximately two weeks prior to the flowering season, move your orchids to a place where they can experience a steady cold breeze throughout the whole day.

Pot of OrchidsNatural cold air works the best for this method, as air conditioning units and vents don’t really produce the same effect as natural air. As the flowering season rolls in, you will notice a spectacular orchid spike growth and number.

– Protect Your Orchid From Pests and Infections

This one is literally a no-brainer! Your orchids need to be healthy in order to produce more than one flowering stem per season.

Take good care of your plants and protect them from diseases and infections. The most common infection you should be on the lookout for is root rot. Never overwater your orchid if you want to prevent this fungal infection.

Prune old leaves and regularly clean your orchids to prevent pests from attacking and weakening them. You can also wash your plants with soap and water as this is an effective remedy against pests and bugs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have some more queries about orchids that weren’t answered above? We have you covered!

– How Do You Trim an Orchid With Multiple Stems?

In order to trim an orchid with multiple spikes, cut one spike at the node where it emerges from the stem. Cut the other stems one inch above the node. Trimming your stems in the fall is a great way to conserve energy and ensure a richer bloom next year.

– Do Orchids Bloom From the Same Stem Again?

No, it is very likely that your orchids will not produce flowers on the same stem the next year. The only orchid species in which this phenomenon occurs is the Phalaenopsis ones.

Bunch of OrchidsConclusion

You’ve read the top tricks from our experts on getting multiple stems on your orchids. Now let us go through the most important points one more time.

  • Choose an orchid variety that is actually capable of producing multiple spikes per season.
  • The most important thing you should do to get multiple orchid spikes is to ensure that your plants are getting the right nutrients that they need for their growth and development.
  • Use an orchid fertilizer to feed your plant every month at full strength. You can also fertilize every week at one quarter of the recommended strength.
  • Don’t forget to flush your soil each month with copious amounts of water to rid it of toxic salt accumulation.
  • Make sure you are fulfilling your orchid’s daily light requirements.
  • Most orchids grow well under indirect, partially bright light.
  • You can also substitute natural light with artificial grow lights placed overhead for inducing multiple spike growth.
  • A drop in temperature of at least 15 degrees Fahrenheit from day to night during the fall season will lead to more flower spikes in the upcoming spring.
  • Regularly trim and cut off old stems.
  • Make sure your orchids are healthy by fulfilling their cultural needs as well as protecting them from diseases and pests.

We have now covered all the things you can do to get more than one flowering stem to bloom in your orchids. Why don’t you go ahead and give these tips a try?

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