When Flowers Fall Off Orchids, What Should I Do Better?


When it comes to tropical plants such as orchids, their the flowers and buds that blow us away and when flowers fall off orchids, orchid lovers might wonder if all is lost. Although the orchid flowers last for a while, they may start to fall off because your orchids have finished blooming or for other reasons, which we have explained below. You should note that orchids’ flowers falling is part of the orchid life cycle, and they drop their flowers after 6-10 weeks. Read on to find out why your orchid’s flowers wilt and fall.

Why Do Orchid Flowers Fall Off Early?

While it’s likely that flowers dropping is normal, other reasons why orchid flowers fall off the orchid spike early. They include:

a). Sudden Temperature Change

Most orchids prefer a temperature of about 66°F to 86°F (19°C to 30°C) during the day and 61°F to 66°F (16°C to 19°C) at night. Therefore, if the temperature significantly fluctuates outside the typical range of the orchids, it will cause flowers to fall.

b). Humidity Changes

Another reason flower buds will drop early is a drop in humidity levels, where many orchid species will work well with humidity levels between 40-80%. To monitor humidity levels, you can use a hygrometer to make it easy for you to maintain the ideal humidity levels for your orchid flowers.

When the humidity levels drop too low, the orchid plant pulls moisture from the developing orchid buds, and this causes bud blast or early flower loss. Again, this is tied to the orchid’s survival mechanism, where it will sacrifice the orchid blooms to survive.

c). Repotting

Once the roots start growing over the pots, you will have to repot them, and you should do this when your orchids stop flowering. This is the perfect chance to move your orchid flowers from an old pot to a fresh pot, and when replanting, you should use a bark-based potting mix meant specifically for orchids. To avoid the roots from breaking, you should gently lift the plant.

d). Over-Fertilization

Over-fertilizing will result in orchid leaves and flowers dying before their time. This might be related to the chemical damage to the roots from fertilizer-salt build-up and fertilizer burn. The over-fertilization issues can be caused by frequently fertilizing your orchid flowers or using a too much-concentrated dose. In addition to flower loss and orchid bud blast, you will also experience leaves wilting and dropping, stress on the orchid and root damage.

e). Pest Infestation

Pest infestation is a major stressor for orchid plants where the thrips, aphids, mites and other pests can attack and damage an orchid plant causing it to lose flowers early.

f). Over or Under Watering

Overwatering usually leads to root rot and damage, which means less water and sustenance for the orchid flowers, causing the orchid buds and flowers to drop early. In addition, the orchid flower needs water to take it from the buds, which causes the buds to wither and then fall off early as part of the orchid’s survival response.

On the other hand, underwatering has the same effect, and apart from causing dried orchid roots and wilted leaves, it leads to early flower loss and bud blast. Therefore, the ice cube watering method is a perfectly easy and safe way to care for your Phalaenopsis orchids and thus prevent overwatering, which results in orchid flowers falling.

g). Fumes, Smoke and Gas

Orchids are sensitive to environmental changes and other factors, and environmental pollutants like smoke and chemical fumes are not an exception. When an orchid is exposed to air pollution, it will feel that the environment is unfavorable and will stop putting energy into the blooming cycle and instead focus on survival.

Some causes of flower loss or early bud in orchids are cigarette smoke, natural gas leaks, ethylene gas, paint fumes, chemical fumes and fireplace smoke. Ethylene gas is produced by avocados, bananas, figs, apples, and other fruits as they ripen. The gas also hastens the orchid bud’s ripening and maturation, which causes it to fall early.

h). Moving the Orchid to a Different Location

Most orchid growers wouldn’t think that moving your orchid flower from one side of the room to another is a big deal. However, it seems like one is rearranging the home decor since the blooming orchid looks better by the window instead of where it was.

Unfortunately, moving your orchid plant before the orchid flower buds open can sometimes shock your plant enough to cause an early bud blast. However, once the flower buds open and the orchid flowers are in the blooming period, moving your orchid around will be less risky unless the orchid experiences any other reasons that result in orchid flowers falling.

How to Take Care of a Resting Orchid?

When an orchid is done blooming, its orchids bloom will fall off before it starts the resting period. Resting is a normal part of the Phalaenopsis orchid lifecycle, where your plant stores up energy to rebloom.

Most orchids indulge us with their beauty for weeks and may sometimes do it for months, but what should you do if the orchid flowers are falling? Here are ways to care for your orchids after they have finished blooming.

1. Water it Weekly

Although your orchid doesn’t have flowers, this doesn’t mean that you should stop watering it. Instead, you should water your orchids with three ice cubes or one ice cube for the orchid minis on the normal watering day of each week. Alternatively, you can sign up for orchid care watering reminders to avoid forgetting to water your orchids.

Orchid flower stems that are fleshy need less water, so during the post-flowering period, ensure you reduce the amount of water. However, the orchid flowers with less fleshy stems will need more water to help them thrive.

2. Fertilize

When you see flowers falling, the next step will be resting before they produce more flowers. Orchids differ from houseplants in different ways, including how they get their nutrients, unlike houseplants that feed on the soil.

Orchid flowers receive nutrients from their fertilizer and potting medium, where the nutrients are important during the resting phase. Therefore, feed your pot with a fertilizer with high phosphorous content to boost its growth and promote flowering.

To fertilize your orchid once a week or once a month using a balanced fertilizer(20-20-20 or 10-10-10) mixed at half strength for the best orchid health. Minimize the amount of fertilizer until the new leaves emerge, and you should always strive to find a water-soluble orchid fertilizer. Don’t water your orchid on the weeks you fertilize.

  • You should stop fertilizing your growing orchids when the buds start to grow and help protect them as they are a fragile part of the orchid’s flowers.
  • Avoid fertilizing on the days the plant is dormant when there is no growth or flowering of new leaves or the plant’s roots.
  • You should always new growth before you fertilize

3. Dress it Up

Blooms are not only beautiful orchids that disappear during dormancy. The orchid flower stem may dry and turn brown, where orchid leaves will dull and have a faded appearance, and they may also become flat and limp. The good news is that you can dress your orchid during this period to help to maintain its allure.

You should add silk stem of Phalaenopsis orchid blooms or use an orchid pot into a large display of greenery from complementary plants like mosses.

4. Move It to a Cooler Room

Orchids tend to thrive in warm temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, but they prefer cooler nighttime temperatures. Therefore, moving your orchid to a room with temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees for some weeks during the resting period can trigger reblooming.

5. Give it Plenty of Indirect Light

Orchids don’t like too much light, and it scorches the orchid leaves, and they need just enough light to cast a shadow away. When you notice dark green leaves, it indicates that the plant is not getting sufficient light, whereas light and medium green leaves are a good sign that the orchid is receiving adequate light.

The right amount of bright indirect light will give your plant the required energy to form new flower buds with plenty of flower spikes. However, if you suspect the light is too much, add a sheer to your window, and if you have insufficient light, you should add artificial lighting to supplement the lighting.

How Long Will it Take for an Orchid Spike to Grow?

Once you see the buds, an orchid will take a month and a year before a new flower spike grows. After that, the flower spikes grow relatively slowly, but some varieties will take between a month and three months to open the orchids’ flowers. However, some special orchids may take longer to grow an orchid flower spike after the blooming cycle.

Notably, the rate of spike development highly depends on light and temperature. An increase in lighting will facilitate photosynthesis and thus help generate energy for the orchid to grow new flower spikes. High temperatures boost the plant’s metabolic rate, resulting in an increased rate of flower spike development.

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