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Orchids flowers fall off! Why do orchids lose their blossoms and what can you do?

Withered orchid flowers always make an ambitious beginner in orchid care a little nervous. How do you know when wilted orchid flowers are normal and when they are not? Enthusiastic and excited, you bought an orchid, brought it home from the garden center and placed it on the window sill – exactly as described in the care instructions . The extravagant flowers were full, lush and a real eye-catcher. The next morning you wake up to find them wilted and drooping. The possible reasons why orchids flowers dry and fall off, we have summarized in today’s article.

Why do orchids lose their flowers?

orchids how long do the flowers last

Orchid flowers wilt for 6 reasons:

  • Lack of water
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Diseases or pests
  • stress due to change of location
  • not enough moisture
  • and the end of a normal life cycle

1. end of the natural life cycle

orchid flowers fall off what to do

Although orchids bloom for a very long time, the flowers are not eternal and eventually die. The best known type of orchid, the butterfly orchid or Phalaenopsis, can bloom for up to three months without wilting. The flowers of Dendrobium and Oncidium orchids last about a month, and those of Cattleya orchids last about two weeks.

How long do the flowers of different types of orchids last?

why do orchids lose their flowers

Below is a simple table of the most common orchids and how long they last in bloom (in weeks). Note that the times given are under the right conditions and that each major category has many, many subcategories. This is only a rough guide.

Cattleya orchids: 1.6 – 3 weeks.
Cymbidium orchids: 8 – 10 weeks
Dendrobium orchids: 4 weeks
Miltonia orchids: 4 – 8 weeks
Oncidium orchids: 4 weeks
Odontoglossum orchids: 6 weeks
Lady’s slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum): 6 – 8 weeks
Butterfly orchids (Phalaenopsis): 12 weeks
Stanhopea orchids: 3 – 4 days
Vanda orchids: 6-8 weeks

Don’t worry about the flowers wilting if it’s an orchid you just bought. As with any new relationship, there are times of adjustment. Moving is always difficult, especially for an orchid. They like to stay in one place for life.

2. environmental changes cause orchids to wither flowers.

orchid flowers drooping


Flowering orchids hate being repotted or changing locations. Some varieties and individual plants are more hardy, but most don’t like the adjustment.

Remember this when you suddenly put the orchid from the greenhouse with optimal humidity, lighting, watering, fertilizing and everything else you can imagine in your study. The orchid will respond to this transportation and handling phase by wilting.

never repot a flowering orchid

NEVER repot an orchid that is in bloom. It has used up its energy for a magnificent bloom and does not have enough left to withstand a new change. Even worse is the added stress of changing the soil.

If you absolutely must change pots, keep the same substrate. Once your orchid has lost all its blooms, you can repot it and change the orchid soil. New roots will also grow during this time.

3. temperature fluctuations cause wilted orchid flowers.

orchids on the windowsill


If you buy an orchid in a greenhouse and transport it in your car, it can cause a temperature shock. On the way from the car to the house, the orchid suffers and the flowers may wilt.

The second scenario is when your orchid blooms and you want to display it on your living room table or coffee table. This is a nice thing to do, but watch out for drafts, an orchid’s nightmare. Even if you place your orchid on a windowsill and open the window, the cool air can harm the orchid.

If your orchid was doing well and the flowers wilted after the move, a temperature change is the most likely cause. Each orchid has a temperature preference at which it thrives best.

4. the orchid flowers wilt because of the change in humidity.

orchids flowers dry why

In addition to temperature, humidity can also drop when you move your orchid to a different location. If you cultivate your orchid next to various other houseplants, including other orchids, the humidity in that place will always be higher. If your orchid is now alone, it will need to be sprayed more frequently.

Remember, humidity is not the same as watering. Humidity is the total concentration of water droplets in the air, while watering is the amount that the roots absorb. Keep your orchid at a humidity level of at least 40%. Here are three simple methods to determine the humidity in the room .

orchid care flowers fall off

Indoors, it is difficult to achieve more than 50% or the paint, wallpaper and drywall will peel or mold. You can place a small humidifier next to your orchid and turn it on a few times a day if you want to isolate it from the rest of your orchid collection.

If you don’t have a humidifier, the kitchen is a good place for your orchid. The bathroom is not recommended for two reasons: (1) not enough light, and (2) the humidity varies greatly and only for short periods of time.

5. withering flowers are a signal of water shortage.

orchid flowers wither and fall off

If the humidity is right for your type of orchid, it may be that your orchid is thirsty. In this case, the leaves have also begun to wilt a little. They have deep veins that are interspersed with streaks. They are also losing their luster. The flowers need more water from the plant, especially in the budding phase. When orchid flowers wilt, it is the first sign that they need more water. If you want to know more about withered buds, this article has some very interesting information.

If the orchid soil has too coarse a texture, it could mean that the water drains too quickly and the roots don’t have enough time to absorb the water. If you find that this problem is recurring, you should add more sphagnum moss to your potting soil.

6. diseases and pests make orchid flowers wilt.

orchids pests on flowers

Diseases and pests that affect your orchid are the hardest to control (compared to the other 5 reasons for orchid wilting). With the right information and access to fungicides, bactericides and other remedies, you can control these pests.

Research by looking at pictures and identify exactly which pests have affected your plant. Look on the underside of the leaves, crown and potting soil for white spots, black, sticky areas and anything that is not normal. If necessary, you need to repot the plant despite flowering phase .