orchid lost its flowers

New York, NY

This orchid was bought by my boss at Home Depot. Its flowers died and fell off. I don't want to waste an otherwise perfectly viable plant.
What's next? What should I do?

Thumbnail by froggio
Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I'm not the expert but..............Was it cold and/or windy out when he bought it? I know I've lost buds & flowers in those situations.

Plant looks healthy and I can see some roots. Unpot it and see what its potted in. Should be an orchid bark and NOT a moss or dirt. And it should be allowed to get a bit dry btwn waterings.

When you do water, water from below the leaves so wter won't sit at the crown,

I'd leave the shoots there & see if new buds will form at the tip.

Mine has been blooming since Nov and I still get new grother on the shoots.

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

You might want to invest in a little package of specific Orchid Fertilizer - a water soluble kind that is formulated just for orchids because they can't take in the nutrients properly from regular fertilizer. Most growers and hobbyists like to fertilize 'weakly weekly' which means you dissolve the fert at about 1/4 the strength they recommend on the box. (doing this the littlest box or bag will last you for months)

When you pull it out of the pot to check out its roots, I'll bet you'll find a wad of soggy moss in there. You really need to take that out or it will keep the roots too wet, and the plant will struggle or die. IF that's what you find, you'll also need to buy a bag of "Phalenopsis Mix" which is bark chunks and perlite or other chunky bits, not soil or moss. Pick the moss out of the bottom of the plant, cut off any dead roots you see in there (mushy and brown, not firm and green or white) you can put it in just a little bit bigger pot. A clay pot is great for Phals and they're really inexpensive at Home Depot or Lowe's. Note, an orchid pot will have extra holes in the sides as well as drainage holes in the bottom because orchid roots need to dry out and "breathe" between waterings.

Once you've checked the roots, re-potted if you need to, and started fertilizing a little, you should see either new buds on the flower stems, or at least a new leaf or two. This orchid could grow and bloom for you for many years, but it will most likely only bloom once or twice per year. On the up side, when it does bloom the flowers will last for a couple of months, maybe longer!

Through the summer, it may do better for you outside, than indoors in the a/c. A bit too hot, but with humidity will be better for it than cool and dry indoors. Just put it somewhere that the sun will not shine directly on the leaves (except maybe in the very early morning). Phal leaves get sunburnt easily if they get hot from direct sun.

This message was edited Apr 17, 2012 10:15 AM

Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy
New York, NY

Great advice, thanks.

Harrod, OH

dyzzypyxxy, THANKS for your post about the Orchid care for it was helpful to me, also. Our new son-in-love gave me a beautiful purple Orchid for Mother's Day. It is still blooming and the blooms are nearly white. I lost some of the blooms and I think it was due to the AC. I am thinking they do not like it cold and dry. That was just my guess but after reading your post, I think I was correct. I am going to try the fertilizer as you suggested and see if the plant will do even better.
Orchids are new to me. This is my first plant. I think I am hooked! LOL Most of all I think the connection to our new "son" makes it so special to me. He is a dear person.
Thanks again for the information.

I am new to DG but what I see of it so far is wonderful! And very helpful in so many ways.
Thanks to all!

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Hi, glad what I wrote was helpful. This is a fun site with lots of nice, helpful people who love plants.

The flowers on your orchid might be losing the purple color if they were dyed. We're seeing that a lot at some of the box stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. It's not harmful, just kind of dumb, since orchids come in nearly every color except true blue. Go take a look at the pictures on "September Back to School Orchids" thread to see some real beauties.

Anyway, once the dye gets out of the orchid's system, you will have a nice plant that will re-bloom for years, most likely with white flowers. Yes, you are absolutely right, most orchids like warm, humid weather so they don't really like indoor conditions in either summer with the a/c on, or in winter with forced-air heat. Spring and fall when you can open the windows will be very good for your orchid. In summertime, you definitely should find a spot outside in the shade where you can keep it. So when you're keeping yours indoors, find a spot like maybe the kitchen or bathroom where there is more humidity, and that will make it happy. Remember it does need some good natural light from a window, though. Just not direct sun. Keeping a spray bottle with water in it, and giving it a spritz or two each day when the heat is on in winter will also help it stay healthy.

Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy
north coast nsw, Australia

Yes to repot a bought orchid after the flowers finish is excellent advise. There always grown wrong in the stores and theres usually alot of rotted roots to trim off and repot into a bark mix instead of the wet moss thats squashed in the pot.
I'd say 90% of orchid dealths are from being kept to wet in moss and rotted roots. Moss is good if you know when to water and when not to but i find bark easier.

Seymour, IN(Zone 5b)

this same thing happened to me this year , i repotted , trimmed roots and changed to bark , my orchid was almost completely dead , lost all but 2 of the largest leaves , and both flower stalks . But i got lucky and have new growth now , does anyone know how long this new growth will take to mature and eventually start flowering again , its a phalaenopsis , and ill add some pics in a bit of the old flowering plant , and what i have now .

Seymour, IN(Zone 5b)

the blooms and the pic of healthy roots is when i first got it , the other 2 are as it was getting worse

Thumbnail by deadnateray Thumbnail by deadnateray Thumbnail by deadnateray Thumbnail by deadnateray Thumbnail by deadnateray
north coast nsw, Australia

The pictures all look good, so you took it out of the moss? Is this the same phal or another? Is it new?

Seymour, IN(Zone 5b)

those pics are all the same orchid , the pic with this post is the same one , with new growth , and the old two leaves still , which btw , would anyone know if those should be removed , theyre getting a lil wrinkly

Thumbnail by deadnateray
Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

New leaves look healthy, but small. It might take at least a year, maybe two for the plant to get up to speed putting out full-size leaves again, and that's when you can expect it to start blooming.

On the old leaves, I'd leave them on until they are no longer green. As long as they're green they are making food for the plant no matter how shriveled they get. Once they turn yellow to brown, they're done.

I'd recommend you lift the plant higher up in the pot, slant the crown a bit, and put some more new bark mix in there to hold it up. Wash or hose off any bits of moss that are still hanging around, too. Does that pot have any air holes lower down? Phals need their roots to get lots of air, and to dry out between waterings so they should always be potted in ventilated pots, or mounted. Yet another reason they die at HD and Lowe's - wrong pots!

Also that looks like very fine bark with tiny bits mixed in it. It should be a coarse bark mix - usually sold as Phalaenopsis Mix at the box stores. You want the crown of the plant slanted sideways so that water doesn't collect in it. That often leads to crown rot, which is usually deadly.

This message was edited Nov 21, 2012 12:08 AM

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Here's one I rescued from Lowe's clearance rack last week. Dusting the roots with cinnamon can help prevent root rot after re-potting.

I just discovered that yellow leaf when I went to take a picture to post, so I cut it off. Use a clean knife or scissors.

Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy
north coast nsw, Australia

deadnateray your Phal looks like the pot its in is way to big. You just need a pot one size up from the size of the roots, use a coarse small bark medium. Whats yours in? Looks good as long as your careful not to over water and keep to wet.

Seymour, IN(Zone 5b)

WOW, ok i got the orchid food , and have reduced the container size , and getting decent results . ill post pics later . sorry its been so long since ive replied , busy busy busy

north coast nsw, Australia

glad to hear your phals going good.

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.