< Back
You are here:

Orchids

Question:

Thank you so much for your previous help. Every time I go out of town something happens to one of my plants! When I went to the East Coast my orchid plants were BEAUTIFUL! I’ve had them for 3 months. Upon my return I noticed the flowers were falling off. Now a week later one plant has lost all its blooms. The leaves and stem are still good. Do I cut the branches so it can bloom again?

Answer:

There are literally tens of thousands of different Orchid species, each with their own growing habits and care requirements. By far the most common Orchid species is Phalaenopsis or Moth Orchid. Unless you tell me otherwise or post a photo here, I will assume that is what you have.

In general, Phalaenopsis Orchid flowers last for 1-2 months before dying back. You can maximize the flowering by providing lots of bright indirect sunlight and watering them properly. Watering instructions are problematic because most Orchids are grown in special Orchid potting mixes and are sold in sealed containers that do not allow excess water to flow through. Thus, I cannot tell you if your Orchid flowers died naturally or because of improper care.

The stem that holds the flowers is called a spike. After the flowers on any spike have died, then it is best to cut that spike off just above where the lowest flower was attached to it. About half the time, a secondary spike will emerge just below the cut and produce new flowers. Otherwise, you will have to cut off the spike entirely and wait another year before a new flower spike emerges from the base of the plant.