As with all plants, the life of an orchid is also closely related to the changes between periods of growth and rest and how these periods influence orchid care. Understanding the contrasts between the need for temperature, light, humidity and nutrients is crucial to successful orchid care. Disregarding these needs leads to poor growth and poorly grown orchids rarely bloom.
The Resting Period
Resting period equals tropical dry seasons which coincide with the winter period in northern countries. During this rest period many orchids start to flower or are in the middle of flowering. During this time be careful to not overwater your orchids. If they are overwatered during this time, they cannot detect the resting period and will start to grow. During winter the combination of reduced light and lower temperatures results in new growth that is very weak and it usually does not reach its full potential in size. This weakens the plant and can prevent the orchid from flowering in the following season.
The Four Seasons of an Orchid
Late Winter & Early Spring
This is the vegetation phase where you will see new shoots so make sure your orchid receives additional light and water.
This is a growth stage for your orchid so reward it with fertilizer, water and warmth.
Late Summer and Early Autumn
At this time orchids are experiencing the maturing of pseudobulbs and new growth. The bases for flowering are also forming. The proper environment should include larger fluctuations between the day and nighttime temperatures and watering should be slowly but steadily reduced.
Autumn and Winter
This is the resting and flowering stage. Care should include more light and longer intervals between watering. Orchids with thick leaves and strongly pronounced pseudobulbs need a dry resting period. And orchids with soft leaves and small almost invisible pseudobulbs or that are completely without pseudobulbs should never completely dry out.