The Q&A Archives: Phalaenopsis Orchid Problems

Question: Three days ago I bought 2 phalaenopsis orchids which have three flowers open and 6 little buds each that I thought would open later, but now the buds are falling off one by one and we are very sorry. I went back to the store where I bought them and I saw the same was happening to all the rest of plants they had for sale. They could not give me any answer about the problem! I will be very thankful for your help.

Answer: The entire lot of orchids are exhibiting signs of stress. Perhaps they became chilled in transit, or overheated. Maybe they dried out, or maybe the air is too dry for their liking. Your plants will probably perk up once they receive the care they require. You can help them regain their health by providing just the right conditions.

Orchids like a day temperature of about 70F during the summer and 60F during the winter, with a 10 degree drop at night. Cool nights are important to the health and flowering ability of your plant. Orchids require 10-15 hours of light each day, so you may need to supplement natural light with artificial light during the winter months when the days are short. Orchids like moist soil and appreciate being misted once or twice each day. To increase humidity around the plant, place the pot on a layer of rocks in a tray of water. As the water evaporates it will provide moist, humid conditions around your plant.

While the potential flowers are dropping off right now, the plants will produce new flowers as soon as conditions suit them. Be patient - it's worth the wait!

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