Why do my orchid flowers fall off?

Phalaenopsis in bloom

Orchids are one of the most beautiful flowering plants around. They produce beautiful flowers for much of the year, spring being their favorite season, but also their cultivation and maintenance is not very simple. They need lime-free water and protection against the cold and the sun's rays in order to grow properly, something that is not always achieved within the home.

Therefore, if from one day to the next it starts to get ugly or sad, we worry a lot, since recovering it is not always easy. One of the most common doubts that may arise is why my orchid is losing the flowers. Let's see why it happens and what we can do to fix the problem.

Why do the flowers fall off?

There are many possible causes why orchids drop their flowers: some are much more serious and worrying than others, but equally, it is important to know them all to know what measures to take:

By natural causes

Orchid flowers have a short life

Image - Wikimedia / geoff mckay

Flowers have a limited life expectancy, about 7 to 8 weeks. It is normal for them to dry out as the days go by, starting with those that are in the lowest part of the floral rod. So if the plant otherwise appears healthy, there is no reason to worry.

If everything goes well, next year it will bloom again, or maybe even earlier if that first bloom was in spring, since it could produce flowers again -although less numerous- towards the end of summer, or in autumn if temperatures are warm.

Cold or hot

So that the flowers can open and stay that way for as long as necessary, the temperature must be between 15 and 30ºC. For this reason, when it is colder or hotter, two things can happen: one, that the plant decides not to flower; or two, to abort the flowers.

To do? Place it in a room with comfortable temperatures, and protect it from drafts, such as those generated by the air conditioner or fan.

Lack or excess of water

One of the most common causes is not having enough water or, conversely, having too much. You always have to try to avoid both that the roots do not have much water and that they have too much. How?

Very easy: if it is a epiphyte (it will be planted in a transparent pot), it must be watered every time its roots are white; and it is terrestrial or semi-terrestrial, we will introduce a thin wooden stick to the bottom, and if when extracting it we see that it comes out dry and clean, without adhering soil, we will water.

Spraying the flowers

Orchids need basic care

If we pulverize the flowers, they will spoil quickly. In the event that we have it in a room with little ambient humidity, what we can do is place glasses of water around it. Thus we will not have any need to pulverize it.

In any case, since we are talking about environmental humidity, let me tell you something important: do not spray your plants if the humidity is very high, otherwise they would be filled with fungi. To find out if it is high or low, you can check this information on the Internet or, even better, buy a home weather station. There are very cheap models (less than 20 euros), which are really useful.

Handling

Touching the flowers a lot and/or moving the orchid around can cause them to lose their precious petals, as often happens as soon as you bring it home. To avoid it, We must place it in a place and leave it there always.

Disease

Diseases caused by mushrooms or bacteria can reduce the lifespan of flowers. That's why you have to take a good look at the leaves and, if we can, the roots from time to time in order to be attentive to any sign that indicates that the plant is not feeling well, and to treat it with specific products.

What to do when orchid flowers fall off?

Phalaenopsis are orchids that bloom in spring.

Image - Wikimedia / geoff mckay

If the orchid does not have flowers, there is not much that can be done, beyond taking care of it to the best of our ability. If you are not sure how to do it, here is a basic guide:

  • Location:
    • If you have it at home, you have to place it in a room with plenty of natural light. Likewise, it is important to avoid exposing it to drafts, and to make sure that the air humidity is correct (above 50%).
    • If you have it outside, it must be in the shade.
  • Earth: must have substrate for orchids, which you can buy here!.
  • Irrigation: you have to water it with rainwater, or if you can't get it, with fresh water suitable for human consumption. You should water it several times a week during the summer, and space the waterings in winter.
  • Subscriber: one way to ensure that it is healthy and that it blooms without problems is to fertilize it in spring and summer with a specific fertilizer for orchids (for sale here!). Follow the instructions for use that you will find on the package, and you will surely see results soon.

I hope now you can know why the flowers fall off your plant.


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  1.   Amarilis said

    I have an orchid that the leaves turned white in the middle but now it is losing the flowers that I should do.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Amarilis.
      How often do you water it? Where are you from?
      It is important to water whenever necessary (you have more information here!) and protect it from the cold.
      A greeting.

  2.   Margaret Caldera said

    I have just acquired a phalaenopsis, beautiful full of flowers, its pot seems small and the roots come out from the bottom, the question is, will it hold like this until I finish flowering to transplant it?
    And where can I find transparent pots?
    I live in the north of Mexico
    Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Margie or Hello Margarite.
      Yes, calm down, it will hold up well.
      Regarding where to buy pots, I don't know how to tell you any nursery names there since I'm in Spain, but I'm sure you won't have much problem finding them in those places. If not, they sell on amazon.
      A greeting.

  3.   sonia said

    Hello, I have an orchid whose dried flowers do not fall, they gave it to me a year and a half ago and it still has the flowers of its first and second blooms attached and it is already in its third blooming

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Sonia.
      You can remove them with scissors without problem.
      A greeting.

  4.   toni said

    Hello Sonia.
    I have an orchid in my office, I don't know the type but it has a white flower with pink tones, it does not give it sunlight and the temperature is almost always the same, I water it once a week with bottled water, but it does one week the flowers in the lower area have started to fall, is it normal?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi, Tony.
      Yes it's normal.
      A greeting.

  5.   Ana said

    Hello, I have a cymbidium orchid that has already started to lose its flowers, I have it in the same place, I water it once a week, I'm in Malaga, what do I do?
    Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Ana.
      It is normal to lose the flowers. Just keep watering it, maybe twice now that the heat comes and nothing more.
      A greeting.

  6.   Valentin said

    I bought a white orchid and they told me that after a week accustomed to the place, I could transplant it. After two weeks the flowers have started to dry and they fall off, starting at the bottom and now reaching the top. It will be for changing the pot. I put the special soil for orchids on it and I don't know what to do with it. If you can give me any advice I will appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Valentin.
      I lean more for excess water. How often do you water it? Do you have a plate under it?
      You have to water when the roots are white, and removing the excess water ten minutes after watering.
      A greeting.

  7.   Nerea. said

    Hello, good morning.

    I bought a Phalaenopsis orchid and it was beautiful, full of flowers and shortly after having it at home the flowers began to fall.
    I water it once a week, it is in a transparent pot and the rest of the plant looks good because the leaves are very green. It's just that, that she's running out of flowers and right now she only has one. I don't know if that will be normal, if the flowers fall and later come out again ...

    I would appreciate that if someone knows why they would tell me and give me some advice.

    Thank you very much.

    All the best. 🙂

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Nerea.
      Yes it's normal. The flowers are falling as their useful life runs out.
      But do not worry: it will return in autumn if it is warm, or next spring.
      A greeting.

  8.   Daniela Duran Romero said

    Good afternoon,
    I bought an epiphyte and she lived very well the last 3 months full of flowers, all her flowers began to fall, I think naturally since from what I read they could not live any longer, I would like to know what to do and if there is a possibility that she will return to florescer? Now only the stem remains, I read that I have to cut the stem but I would like to ask first before doing so.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Daniela.
      It is normal for the flowers to wilt. It will produce them again next season.
      You can cut the stem when it dries 🙂
      A greeting.

  9.   Josephine said

    If my Orchid could help me before they open, its flowers dry up and do not open, I don't know what to do to make them open, it is full of buttons and they never open, what could I do

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Josefina.
      Your roots may need more space. If you have never changed the pot, I recommend doing it in spring, to a slightly wider one with orchid substrate.

      -If the pot you have now is made of transparent plastic, the new one must be of the same material. In this case the substrate would be pine bark.
      -But if the pot you have is made of colored plastic, you should put one that is the same but wider. In this case, the substrate can be the one we say in this article.

      A greeting.

  10.   Lucas said

    Hello, I would like to know if it is wrong to water it every two days as I am doing because the flowers are falling and I am afraid that it is due to excess water

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Lucas.
      If you have the transparent plastic pot, you have to water it when you see the white roots; otherwise about 3 times a week 🙂
      In any case, it is normal for the flowers to fall, since they must be reaching the end of their lives (it is very short, just a few days or a few weeks).
      The next season it will bloom again.
      A greeting.

  11.   XtrxrtX said

    Hello, yesterday, my Phalaenopsis Orchid was very pretty, with its flowers (some are already dying for being old) and today I have found it with the fallen flowers and they were still hard and stiff ... What can it be?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello XtrxrtX.
      Perhaps some too direct sunlight has reached them and the flower stalk has lost strength, or it may be that yesterday they were sprayed with a little water and just shortly after it gave them light.

      It is difficult to know 🙂 What I do recommend is to fertilize your orchid with a specific fertilizer for this type of plants (they sell sachets whose content is diluted in 5 liters of water) to help it have better quality flowers the next time.

      Greetings.

  12.   beatrizpolo said

    I have the orchids in an outdoor garden and it is raining a lot

  13.   Silvia said

    Hello, I just bought a phalaenopsis and the next day the fresh flowers (not dried) and some buds started to fall. This is normal? Could it be due to acclimatization? I have several orchids, although it is my first phalaenopsis, and the truth has never happened to me, I have them all beautiful.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Silvia.

      Yes, it is normal, especially if that particular orchid has been receiving more "pampering" than normal (ie warmer temperatures, fertilizer). Moving from one location to another causes many plants to suffer, but your orchid shouldn't get any worse. The normal thing is that as soon as it acclimatizes, and as long as the temperatures are good, it blooms again without problem.

      Greetings.

  14.   Marcela valdebenito said

    Good afternoon. I know I bought two orchids with their respective buttons, one bloomed and this one very beautiful, on the other hand, the other one fell off all its buttons and they were not dry but none of them came to flower. Can you help me. Please..

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Marcela.

      You do not have to worry: it is normal that some orchids continue to bloom once they are in their new home, but it is also normal that some react by aborting their flowers.

      Just make sure that they do not lack water (be careful, you should not add too much to them), and for sure it will flourish later.

      Regards!

  15.   Silvia said

    Hi there! I comment on this from Buenos Aires, Argentina. They gave me a beautiful phareanopsis orchid in December. All the flowers were opening and two days ago they began to fall. and they are all withering together. I wanted to know if it is normal and when should I cut the rope. I water it once a week. The sheets are immaculate. Thanks!!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Silvia.

      Yes, it is completely normal. Do not worry. When they are all dry you can cut them.

      Regards!