How long do indoor orchids typically live?
Orchids are great because many indoor – and outdoor – species produce blooms that last for one, maybe even two months. Compare that to most other types of flowers and you’ll realize that orchid flowers last a whole lot longer.
As far as the actual orchid – how long will an orchid last?
Possibly for as long as ten years, if it’s provided with the right care.
Typically, after the flowering period is finished, orchid flowers will wilt and the flower spike (stem) that they are on will begin to change in color – normally to a yellowish-brown.
Just because the flowers have died, that does not mean your entire orchid plant is toast. Far from it!
If the leaves are still in good health – a dark green color and turgid (hard) – it means your orchid is perfectly capable of reflowering, over and over again.
So how to get the orchid to reflower? Or, if you like, how to keep an orchid alive?
First, place the entire pot – the pot with the orchid – into water and let it soak for 20 minutes. Ideally, you’ll want to use rainwater but tap water is just fine.
To revive a dead flower, simply go down the same flower spike (stem) the old flower is on and cut above a fresh node (one of the bumps on the flower spike). So, basically, you are cutting the dead flower off.
Move down from the old flower to the first new node and cut just above using pruners – secateurs – call them what you will. Don’t use scissors. Scissors tend to ‘chew’ into the flower spike rather than provide you with a nice clean cut.
How far above the fresh node should you cut?
Around one-quarter of an inch or so is just fine.
Next, position your orchid in a sunny window and water as an when required.
And finally, be patient and allow for new flower spike growth and a fresh flower to appear. The fresh flower ‘should’ appear from the node at the top of the flower spike – the one you cut just above. Sometimes, however, you’ll see two nodes on the same spike simultaneously producing fresh flowers.