If it’s well cared for, a typical moth orchid will bloom every 12 months or so. Richardson notes that exposing your plants to significantly colder temperatures at night than during the day (while still keeping it within that 50 to 85 range) can help expedite the blooming process a bit. Otherwise, you just have to be patient and let the orchid do its thing.
When it does reward you with a bright, beautiful bloom, do your best not to stress your plant out. “While the orchid is in bloom, you really want to try to maintain the conditions that it’s in for as long as you can to maximize the bloom cycle,” he says. If you do, the plant can stay blooming for up to six months. After that, its flowers will dry and fall, leaving only a thin stem exposed.
It may not be much to look at, but a plant in this state is still well worth keeping. “Those blooms will come back in due time if you put your plant in the right conditions,” Richardson says. (He’s actually had a lot of success rescuing abandoned orchids from Dumpsters and nursing them back into bloom!)