Orchid Flop


Orchid Flop — it sounds like some sort of malady, and it very well could be.  My second orchid, which had six lovely shiny buds on it, failed to have one, single bloom open.  The photo above shows the last bud after it had started to wither — I gently pinched and forced it open, more to see what colour it would have been than anything.  And it would have been pretty indeed, don’t you think?  Sigh.

This orchid, unlike the white one–which is still handsome–is planted in a mossy compound as compared to the bark-based compound of the white one.  I was very careful about making sure neither sat in water, though this mossy type planting medium may have held onto more moisture.  Too wet?  Too dry?  Both sit on the same table in bright light, but little direct sun.  I’m careful to protect the leaves from hot sun.

So, it’s a mystery and a disappointment to me.  I’ve cut this one back according to directions I found online, and hope that I can coax it to bloom again in a while.  Anyone any ideas or suggestions?  I am going to re-pot it using a bark-based medium.


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

6 thoughts on “Orchid Flop”

  1. I’m no expert but I did have some orchids for a while. I wonder if the humidity around them was high enough? I seemed most apt to lose buds when the humidity was low. Just a thought…
    I bought from 2 orchid greenhouses. One used a soil mix and swore by it and the other used all bark mix and also swore by it. Both had beautiful plants, but for me at home the bark worked better. Now I just have one small phaleonopsis and it just started sending up a flower stalk after a long break.
    Yours should rebloom later. That kind of orchid is a pretty easy one (and yours is a beautiful color!).

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Sande. I have two — this and a white one. They were both “rescues” from the supermarket at 1/2 price, so I don’t mind losing a few blooms. :) The white one bloomed several weeks ago and is still very pretty. I’m going to repot them both in a bark mix when the white stops blooming. I’ll try adding some humidity by sitting them on some pebbles in a tray of water.

  2. I’m with Brenda. Nancy, if it doesn’t grow for you, it’s guaranteed that it won’t work for me, either!

    Although it would be too tempting not to bring one home if I found a good enough sale price! ;-)

    Brenda and Shady — thanks so much for your comments. Surprisingly, these orchids aren’t really hard to grow. They seem to like the window they’re in — I think I may have over-watered this beautiful burgundy coloured-plant. I’ll be much more careful after I repot them both. The white one which came into bloom weeks ago is still gorgeous and showing no signs of letting go of its blossoms. :)

  3. Oh my nancy…that is disappointing. I know absolutely nothing about orchids and always thought they needed humidity that I cannot give them in my centrally heated house! That and the plant bothering cat keep me from house plants. gail

    Oddly, the only plant my cat ever bothers is the miniature roses I’ve had. He eats the leaves, thorny parts and all. :-s Yes, humidity is important — a shallow tray of water with pebbles for the pots to sit on works well, I’m told. :) It’s a misconception that they’re hard to grow, however — I’ve virtually done nothing to these ones except add a bit of water. The white one is still gorgeous. I’m sure some varieties are more finicky than others, too.

  4. Hi Nancy, sorry ’bout you orchid losses…don’t be discouraged! Most likely, it was shipping stresses before you received the plants. For most orchid growers-the fresh sphagnum moss is the best. Humidity is important,grow on trays of moist gravel,don’t water more than once every two weeks, less if the moss is still moist. If you cut the stems right behind where the first bud formed, a new flower stem will form in a month or so…,secondary stems are just as beautiful! B

    Thanks SO very much for the info, Brian and for taking the time to read and comment. :)

  5. What a bummer Nancy. That would have been a gorgeous orchid. Frances told me to put some spaghnum moss over the top of the roots to keep them moist so I did that with my two. I keep mine in the bathroom too (where they get humidity from the shower/tub etc. While my white phal was blooming I brought it out into the living room but now that the blooms are done, it’s back in the bathroom. Both are planted in bark which I was just reading is good for planting Clivias in too? Isn’t that interesting? I’m a novice orchid grower too so we’re learning together. I hope it reblooms for you and this time actually blooms!

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