Going back to my comments about resource acquisition, storage and use, I think that a plant, left unto itself, will do what it can for survival of its genes, but there is a continuum in its actions.
>> At one end is the case where it has plenty of reserves and the growing conditions are favorable to acquiring them, so it will likely bloom to its maximum, genetically programmed extent, without a serious depletion of those reserves. Large, “specimen” plants can often stay blooming for months and months, if not years, because they’re acquisition and storage capabilities are relatively immense.
>> Below that is a plant in less-than-ideal conditions, so the acquisition of resources is reduced, so while the plant may bloom, it would likely be at less than its potential, and it will have a longer “growth” period (recovery) until it blooms again, so it can sock aware more nutrition and fuel.
>> At the far other end is a plant with depleted reserves and poor cultural conditions. If it blooms at all, it is taking a huge risk that it’ll not recover, so blooming is a “last ditch” attempt at genetic survival.
Take a look at this THIS ARTICLE
, recently published in the AOS Orchids magazine.