The Q&A Archives: Shriveled Orchid Bloom

Question: I have a phaleneopsis ready to bloom. The first two blooms on the stem have shriveled up and the next one is on it's way...the next four flowers still look healthy. The leaves look very good and healthy, mostly green and some with a little yellow-green tinge. What can I do to get save the remaining blooms, I have not fed the plant anything, sorry to say! Help, please!!

Answer: I suspect the environmental conditions are not quite what your phalaenopsis needs! Here are the basics requirements:
Orchids are usually grown in a special compost potting medium. They bloom best when root-bound, so don't be in a hurry to repot it. The general guidelines for caring for orchids include giving daytime temperatures of about 70F degrees in the summer, or 60F degrees in the winter. It's important that the nighttime temperature drops 10 degrees lower at night. Orchids need good light, but not direct sunlight, and require 10-15 hours of light a day. You will have to supplement the light in the winter with artificial light. Keep the compost moist and use soft, tepid water. Orchids need humdity all around them. You can put your ceramic pot on a tray filled with gravel so the excess water will drain into the tray and provide moisture to the immediate environment. You can also mist the leaves occasionally. When roots begin growing out of the pot, usually on the top of the soil, you can repot the plant. Use the next-sized pot, fill with new compost or orchid planting medium and transplant into its new home. Once the blooms fade on your plant, cut the flowering stem all the way down to the crown of the plant. New stems and flowers will sprout from new growth.

You can feed your orchids regularly with a diluted solution of liquid fertilizer. I use a one-quarter strength dilution of fertilizer and use it weekly on my orchids.

If you add humidity to the immediate area of your plant, the remaining flowers should open.

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