While the orchid flowers are spectacular to view, and they do last a long time, they don’t last forever.
At some point, you may begin wondering, “Why are my orchid flowers falling off?”
This isn’t usually a cause for concern unless your orchid has taken ill and is dying.
Why Are My Orchids Flowers Falling Off?
Orchids shed their flowers after the blooming season has ended. It does this to limit the loss of valuable nutrients and to enter the hibernation cycle. Other than that, it could be that your orchid has undergone trauma, improper watering, or receiving too much or too little sunlight.
Is It Natural For My Orchid To Shed Its Flowers: The Truth
While orchids naturally shed their flowers at the end of their blooming season, they can also lose flowers because of other reasons.
This is often a sign that your orchid is in distress and requires intervention to prevent it from becoming sick and dying.
Natural Reasons For Orchids To Shed Flowers
Orchids shed their flowers as part of their normal growth routine. By shedding the flowers, an orchid can preserve energy and nutrients.
Being burdened by flowers falling from the stem can cause the stem and flower spikes to die off; hence, the flowers shed naturally.
Unnatural Reasons For Orchids To Shed Flowers
However, when orchid flowers fall from the main plant or the pseudobulbs, there is a likely cause for horticultural concern.
When your orchid is exposed to a traumatic environment, it can shed its blooms to preserve itself in a survival attempt.
Environmental traumas include sudden temperature changes, floods, dry seasons, and insufficient watering of the roots.
Even being in an environment that is too busy with people passing close by the orchid plant can cause the flowers to wilt and fall off.
If you give too much water to your orchid, it will be unable to absorb nutrients from the soil that are required to ensure the blooms remain healthy.
The roots will also die, causing the flowers to suffer first.
Giving too much water to the orchid will also result in the delicate stems of the flowers to weaken, and the flowers’ own weight can cause them to fall.
When you provide too little water to the orchid, it will soon dehydrate. The flowers will take on a wrinkled appearance, and they will wilt.
The cells in the flowers will collapse, and the flower stems will lose integrity, tearing and causing the flowers to fall.
Low Lighting Conditions
Orchids are light sensitive, but the flowers especially are susceptible to low light. The flowers easily crumple and lose color when they don’t get enough light.
In low light conditions, the normal process of photosynthesis that happens in the leaves can’t sustain the nutritional requirements of the flowers.
Excess Lighting Conditions
When there is too much light, there will also be too much heat, and the orchid will struggle to maintain cell integrity. Strong light will burn the flowers, causing them to fall.
In strong light conditions, the chances are pretty good that there will be low humidity too, causing the orchid to suffer distress and lack the required moisture in the air to grow and remain healthy.
The first part of the orchid to suffer is the flowers, which are most delicate.
Frequently Asked Questions About Why My Orchid Flowers Are Falling Off
What can I do when the flowers are falling off my orchid?
When your orchid has reached the end of the blooming cycle, it will shed the flowers, entering a dormant state where it will rest and recover lost nutrients. Often, parts of the crown, leaves, or even roots can become non-viable and will die off. The flower spikes can also turn brown and wither. At this point, you need to cut the flower spike off at the base where it joins to the stem. You can also trim the spike back to the first healthy node, or you can leave it if it is healthy. If the spike is not healthy, leaving it will introduce bacteria to the plant, which can cause rot to spread.
Do orchids normally lose their flowers?
Losing all the flowers at the end of the orchid’s blooming cycle is perfectly normal. Unlike other flowers, orchids tend to shed all their flowers at the same time. Orchids require resting time at the end of their flowering cycle, and the additional weight and nutritional requirements of flowers drain the plant. Therefore, the orchid will rather shed the flowers once they have died.
How long do orchid flowers usually last?
Orchid flowers last anything from 6-8 weeks up to a few months for some variants. The flowers usually remain in bloom until the blooming season has passed and the orchid then sheds them, causing the flowers to fall off.
The Last Flower
Flowers are what makes us all go lyrical over orchids, and once they are in bloom, we try our best to keep their flowers fresh and healthy.
When the flowers suddenly fall, we often worry that the plant is sick.
This is not always the case, but if your orchid is suffering, you should take care to tend to the plant before more flowers fall off.
The wait until the next bloom season can be a long one, and if your orchid has been sickly, you may find the plant skips a blooming season, which can be heartbreaking.
So check on the basics of light, water, and humidity to ensure your orchid remains healthy and flowers for as long as possible.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.