Orchid flowers dry up and fall off - which now helps!

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Orchidaceae - Orchids Vanda

It happens without warning and puts the hobby gardener concerned in helplessness. The hitherto magnificent orchid flowers dry up and fall off. Not enough, wither already established buds and are thrown off. No orchid genus is excluded from this crisis, Phalaenopsis get into it as well as Vanda or Cattleya. In this way, the exotic queen of blossoms announce that a circumstance does not suit them. In the face of this dilemma, you can not get around root cause research. Read here what helps now!

Change location

Subject the location of your orchid to a dedicated inspection, as this is where the main causes of flower dropping are to be discovered. If you clarify the following points, the problem may already be resolved:

Avoid cold drafts

What was a matter of course during the warm season is becoming a problem in winter. If the location of your orchids is on a windowsill that is ventilated regularly, cold air will enter during winter. If at the same time a room door is open, the tropical flower suffers a cold shock as a result of the passage. Then she reacts with a drop of flowers and buds.
Tip: Buy an orchid during the winter time, threatening her on the way home a cold shock. Ideally, a transparent box is available for transport. At least the flower should be wrapped thick in newspaper. Otherwise, the just acquired exotic treasure is within a few days of any blooms jewelry there.

Prevent direct heating air

A location in direct influence of ascending heating air on orchids causes the flowers to dry up and fall off. If the radiator concerned can not be turned off, move the plant over. A decorative flower column in an open position serves, for example, as an ideal alternative place during the winter.

Compensate for lack of light

In their tropical homeland, most species of orchids thrive as potted plants. To get as close as possible to the light, they stick with their roots on the branches of treetops or on rocks. The local lighting conditions from November to February therefore do not always meet the requirements. Since under these circumstances photosynthesis almost stops, the flowers dry up and fall sadly to the ground. The same fate overtakes already established buds. This helps:
  • In winter place the orchid on the south window
  • Hang a daylight lamp or LED plant lamp over the flower
  • Equip energy-saving lamps with reflectors to optimize the light output
  • Fluorescent tubes use in orchids with similar stature height

Protect from blazing midday sun

Orchidaceae - Orchids Vanda

While light and sun are scarce in winter, direct sunlight can cause problems during the summer. If orchid flowers are exposed to the blazing sun rays for a long time without protection, they age prematurely and fall off. On the balcony and the terrace is therefore a shading during the midday hours as well recommended, as on the windowsill or in the conservatory.

Keep sufficient distance to fruit baskets

Ripening fruits, such as apples and pears, emit the maturing gas ethylene. This also affects orchid flowers if they are in close proximity to them. As a result, the aging process accelerates, the flowers dry up and are discarded prematurely. In this case, a distance of at least 1 meter helps to fix the problem.

Undo relocation

If the misery only appeared after a change of location, this can itself be the cause of the flower fall. Orchids are considered as true-to-the-ground plants that feel a move as stress. Therefore, only rearrange the flower queens if it is unavoidable or if one of the abovementioned abuses is the trigger. Otherwise, wait until the plant acclimatizes to the new location or revise the relocation.

Failures in the care

If a problem could be excluded as a cause within the location topic, the care becomes the focus of the investigations. Put the following factors to the test:

Fix water shortage

Dehydrating flowers are considered to be the unmistakable signal for lack of water in the cultivation of plants. Orchids are no exception. If slack, drooping sheets are added, the damage pattern actually indicates an inappropriate water balance. So the plant comes back into balance:
  • Never allow species and varieties to dry out without bulbs
  • If in doubt, decompress the root ball with a dip
  • Until the next watering the substrate should only dry
  • Orchids with bulbs may be less common, however regular
Within the countless breeds, there are significant differences in terms of water supply. Therefore, ask a knowledgeable expert how to properly water your orchid.

Increase humidity

The water balance is accompanied by the maintenance of adequate humidity. If it comes here - cumulating to the lack of water - also to deficits, help the following measures:
  • Fill the saucer with expanded clay and water
  • The rising evaporation envelops the orchid flowers so that they do not dry up
  • Ideally, spray with lukewarm, lime-free water daily
  • Install electronic humidifiers in the immediate vicinity
  • In winter, put on active radiators with water-filled trays
Tip: Take a look at the aerial roots to assess the actual need for irrigation water. Are these still green, there is sufficient moisture. Silvery shiny specimens indicate lack of water.

Replace the substrate

Orchid Lady Slipper - Cypripedium - Phragmipedium

Within the diverse orchid family, the vast majority develops aerial roots. As the plants, as epiphytes, are not rooted in soil, they extract moisture and nutrients from the air. Who imposed on the exotic plants conventional potting soil literally laces the roots off the air. This is especially true when a high amount of peat plays into it. Nevertheless, the trade offers orchids in such potting soil, so that the orchid flowers dry up, because the roots can no longer afford the supply. What now helps is an immediate repot into special substrate. Here's how to do it:
  • One or two days before pour the orchid and fertilize a little bit
  • Pot the plant without a strong draft
  • If necessary, cut the culture pot
  • Remove the previous substrate as much as possible
  • Cut out already suffering roots
  • Create a drainage in clay from expanded clay
  • Insert the orchid with a twisting motion
Suitable substrate is a mixture of pine bark, fine-grained humus, expanded clay or lava granules, some charcoal ash and sphagnum. As you fill in the coarse soil in portions, tap the bowl repeatedly on the floor or table top for even distribution. The flower is cast after 5 days at the earliest. The next dose of fertilizer is given after 4 weeks.
Tip: To ensure that no insect eggs or fungal spores are present in the substrate, it is sterilized. In a heat-resistant bowl, this can be done in the oven within 30 minutes at 180 degrees or in the microwave within 10 minutes at 800 watts.

Fight pests

Their tropical origin does not prevent orchids from infesting native pests. Primarily sucking and biting species weaken the flowers in such a way that they dry up and fall off. This is how you proceed against the parasites:
  • Wipe off aphids with a damp cloth
  • Then spray leaves and flowers with the well-known soft soap solution
  • Repeatedly dab woolen and mealybugs with alcohol-wetted cotton swabs
  • Alternatively, spray the leaves with a mix of 10 ml of spirit, 1 liter of water and 1 drop of Spüli
  • Treat both the top and the bottom
In any case, the affected plant should be isolated so that the pests do not migrate to the neighbors. If the orchids are kept in a closed environment, the Australian ladybird can be considered as a natural control agent. These are specially bred in specialist shops for this application and are delivered in suitable containers.
ConclusionWhen orchid flowers dry up and fall off, there is no reason to lose heart. Instead, search for the cause to take countermeasures. Problems at the current location can have caused the misery. What now helps: avoid cold drafts, prevent direct heating air, fix lack of light, protect against blazing midday sun or avoid the immediate proximity to a fruit basket. In addition, failures in care can cause the problem. Too dry substrate or too low humidity are easy to balance. If waterlogging is behind or compacted substrate, an immediate repotting is possible. Not least, it is pests, such as aphids, woolly and mealybugs that affect an orchid so that it drops its flowers.

Video Board: How to care for orchids after blooms fall.

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