Top 10 Reasons Why Orchid Cactus does not Flower

Why Orchid Cactus does not Flower

Orchids are very unique plants that can enrich your life with their strange flowers and leaves. Because of their peculiar flowers and leaves, orchids can be used to decorate our houses in many ways. However, the care of orchids is also somewhat special, and sometimes it is difficult to see them bloom.

Orchids are renowned for their beauty and elegance, making them a perfect gift for our loved ones, as well as a decorative item for our homes.
Maybe you successfully transplanted your orchid but it didn’t bloom as you had hoped. Is something wrong?

Chances are your orchid is out of balance in light, roots, growth, season, and/or natural stimuli. Here are some reasons why orchid cactus are not blooming Changes in temperature, lack of or excess of Light, fertilizers and repotting,  weak roots, new growth, young plant, poor substrate, lack of nutrients, and Diseases.
The orchid belongs to the Orchidaceae family. But most of the species in the subfamily Epidendroideae, 60 in number, are well known. Phalaenopsis is best known as a grouping among these orchids.

Orchids are incredibly beautiful and that’s why we hope they always stay in bloom. This is not the case, and they need a period of rest after one flowering as well as before another. But, sometimes, our orchid does not bloom. Here are the top ten most common causes for your orchid not blooming again.

1. Inappropriate Temperature for not Flowering Orchid Cactus

Phalaenopsis is an easy flowering type of orchid. These plants thrive in home environments, but to promote their health and blooming, they need to be placed in a 5/10 degree difference of temperature between day and night.

In general, they bloom between February and April, although they may bloom again in autumn if they have been fertilized well.

  •   If they’re near a window, they probably get some cooling at night, but that may not be enough. 
  • The orchids are typically unable to make flower buds if they do not have cooler nights.   

For the best results, an orchid should be exposed to the following temperatures:

1. During the day: Between 20ºC and 25ºC.
2. Overnight: Between 10ºC and 12ºC.

Place your little orchids in the open air for about six weeks in late summer or early fall if they do not develop buds. 

During the winter, to encourage heavy flowering next year, place cacti in an unheated bedroom or garage for 2 or 3 weeks. Make certain they still receive filtered light

Oregon State University

2. Excess of Light

It is said that in their natural environment, plants grow under the shade of trees, shielding them from direct sunlight. If your plant is exposed directly to the sun’s rays or through an insufficiently filtered window, it can burn. Unfiltered sunlight and lack of humidity levels can fry leaves and cause them to scorch.

Leaves changing colors or showing signs of dying is usually an indication that it is being exposed to too much light. The marks on the leaves are an indicator that they may be too bright. In fact, yellow and brown or white spots on the leaves can also be indications as well.

All the popular orchids will grow quite happily on most windowsills. Here some examples are:

1. The lady’s-slippers (paphiopedilums, or “paphs”), will do well with no direct light, in a north window, for instance. 

laddy’s slippers

2. The cattleyas ( terrestrial orchids), need lots of light and a south window. They grow best in warm, but not hot, conditions and grow flower best at brighter light, brighter than that preferred by most orchids.

terrestrial orchids

3. Most cattleyas and cymbidiums (also known as boat orchids) are at their best when their leaves are slightly yellow. Dark green leaves indicate they require more sunlight.

4. Moth orchids (phalaenopsis, moon orchid, or moth orchid) are to their liking bright indirect sunlight, many phalaenopsis will bloom twice a year.   They grow and flower at lower light than most orchids, often thriving in indirect light. Moth orchids thrive at high humidity.

moth orchids

Popular, well-known, and easy to care for orchids, Phalaenopsis orchids require little light. They will grow healthy and strong in environments with subdued lights.

‘What does an orchid look like in too much light?’ When the leaves are exposed to a lot of light they will become a lighter shade of greenish-yellow instead of as bright green as they normally are.



1. If you have south-facing window orchids with sensitive leaves, you may find that a curtain or light-filtering shade helps to soften the light that affects them.
2. Artificial light (Hang fluorescent tubes or powerful halide plant lights available on Amazon) is a preferable alternative to natural light for plants. When the sun’s rays hit plants, they cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually die. On the other hand, when artificial light is used, this doesn’t happen and there are no harmful effects on the plant.

3. Most orchid plants will be happy outside during the summer, but if you haven’t moved them before now would be a good time to start.

Just because there is sunshine doesn’t mean you have to overdo it. Even sun lovers need to stay protected from the sun, and the best way to do that is with SPF.

3. Lack of Light

Orchids, though they may seem like delicate flowers, need just the right amount of light for them to grow. If an orchid doesn’t have enough light, it’s going to struggle with its blooming process.

Whether the problem is caused by excessive light or a lack of light does not matter in this instance. Both will result in the failure of our orchid to bloom. It is also common to see leaves with light green hues that are not very smooth if it is due to a lack of light.

Phalaenopsis orchids need bright light. But not just any light–what they require is filtered through a window.
But, orchids such as dendrobiums, oncidiums, cymbidiums, and others require more light. Additional lighting or an additional window may be necessary.

“How will an orchid appear in very low light?” The leaves will be a dark forest green rather than a vibrant green.

lack of light on cactus

4. Inadequate Fertilizers Would be the Reason for not Blooming

Orchids can’t live without plant food – that’s why they need fertilizer. Taking care of them is not an easy task but will significantly improve their growth, health, and flowering

An orchid that doesn’t have the right type of growing medium won’t be able to produce much foliage and flowers, as well as a lot of energy for its own growth tires easily.

1. During the active growing season, when the sun is strong and the days are long, fertilize only.
2. From mid-December to mid-February, put off fertilizing
3. Any soluble houseplant fertilizer like Peters or Miracle-Gro will serve well.

A balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) should be used. Do not use a fertilizer that has a nitrogen content of over 10%.

Oregon State University

5. Repotting

Whenever you see roots or a shoot emerging from the bottom of the container, it is time to repotted every year for Phalaenopsis, which grows more rapidly than other orchids. Some people repot them after all their flowers die.

6. The Weak Roots Is  the Reason for not Blooming

weak root

Plants work in harmony with their roots, leaves, and flowers. Good roots lead to good blooms.

It has often been the case that an orchid with deceptively beautiful leaves and flowers was repotted only to be found to have an ugly root system. Despite the attractive leaves and flowers, the plant would surely die (or suffer greatly) if not repotted soon.

  • The main cause of poor root systems is either overwatering or transplanting from non-draining pots.
  • Orchid roots need a lot of oxygen to survive and grow. They would die without oxygen.
  • Use pots where you can see the roots clearly.
  • Check the roots once a year and cut dry or weak roots. Weak roots aren’t going to bloom.

7. New Growth Retards Blooming

There are two types of growth patterns for orchids.
1. Sympodial and
2.  Monopodial.

1. Sympodial Orchids:  There should be one or two new stems per year on these orchids with multiple stems. In orchids, pseudobulbs are the “stems”. An emerging pseudobulb should appear near the place where the orchid bloomed if your orchid is thriving. This new pseudobulb should grow to be at least as large as the existing one that just flowered during the period of leaf and root growth, usually during the summer months.

This new pseudobulb will produce the next flowering peak. In order for your orchid to bloom the following season, you must make sure that its pseudobulbs are large and healthy. The importance of light, fertilizer, and moisture cannot be overstated. The orchid will become stronger and larger with time, and as it grows, it will form multiple pseudobulbs, which will create an abundance of beautiful blooms when they bloom at the same time.

It won’t start flowering until it reaches a certain level of maturity if it’s busy growing a stem or pseudobulb.

2. Monopodial orchids: The most common flowers for phalaenopsis and vanda plants are those that grow from a single central stem with leaves on both sides. Each individual sheet must be at least as big as the previous sheet. There should be one or two new leaves per year.

On monopodial orchids, the next flowering spike will appear at the base of a leaf (usually two to three leaves down from the newest leaf) and on the opposite side from the previous spike.
Monopodial orchids like Phalaenopsis require new leaves each year to continue blooming. As the orchid grows in size and strength, it will send out flower spikes simultaneously on both sides of the stem.

8. Very Young Plant

Many orchids do not begin to flower until they are at least 2 or 3 years old. If your plant is too young, it will not flower no matter what the circumstances are.
A new Keiki usually takes 2 to 3 years to form its first bloom.

8. Maybe it’s the Season

Naturally, orchids bloom at their own pace. During the summer, you will notice that most orchids grow new leaves and new roots. In the fall, spikes appear, and they begin to bloom during the winter and early spring.

If wintering your plants in the house, place them in a cool (5 degrees C) room. Lights should not be turned on after daylight hours. If lights are turned on after sundown, floweringOregon State University for the following year may be delayed or affected.

Oregon State University

9. Natural Stimuli Inhibits Blooming

Orchids in the wild have natural stimuli that signal the end of the growing season and the time to bloom. In the natural season, there are two main elements: a drop in temperature in the fall and gray days that cause less light.

Some orchids are temperature sensitive and others are light sensitive.

Temperature-sensitive orchids are induced to bloom by natural cooling in the fall. Dropping temperatures signal to orchids that the growth period (new roots and new leaves) is over and that flowering time has begun

The orchids will be deprived of natural cues and may be reluctant to flower if they are grown indoors. Your orchid will have to be exposed to temperatures between 15 and 20°C for a short time. You can do this by opening a window.

10. Diseases

Another cause that could cause a lack of flowering in the orchid is some type of disease. Some of these are:
Bacteria. A characteristic feature of these diseases is the appearance of spots on the leaves. Leaves fall from the orchid because of the bacteria, and the most effective way to kill it is to cut away the affected area.
One of the most common orchid diseases, but it’s also one of the easiest to combat. Fungi usually appear when there’s too much water in the plant, so make sure it’s well-drained. You can get rid of the bacteria on your orchid by adding cinnamon powder.
The best way to find them is to put a little alcohol on white kitchen paper and rub it on the inside. The paper should be gray if there are mites.
. A virus may be responsible for preventing your orchid from blooming. Most often, they affect older orchids and have no visible warning signs.
As a result, if your orchid fails to produce flowers, it is advisable to make sure that none of these conditions prevent the orchid from flowering.

How do I know if my orchid is going to bloom?

Depending on the conditions, an orchid will bloom once between late winter and early spring and once again in the fall. In the northern hemisphere, this is between February and April the first time, and between September and October the second time. It does not mean the plant will die if it blooms only once a year, but it simply means its conditions aren’t perfect.

Key Takeaways

Temperature Difference: You should make sure your orchids have a temperature difference of 10 degrees Celsius day and night. For instance, you can leave the room during the daytime and provide them with cool air from your heater. Conversely, you can lower the temperature of the room overnight to 10 degrees Celsius to provide them with warmth.
Excess light: Tropical orchids are delicate and sensitive flowers that need to be kept in filtered sunlight and with a high humidity level.
Lack of light: Dendrobiums, orchid hybrids, can blossom if they receive enough light. They require a lot of sunlight and relatively cool temperatures

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

Recent Posts