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Orchid Trouble

Every year we give our daughter an orchid, every year it perishes. She is good with plants doesn't overwater, last year there was an article in Gardener's World Magazine suggesting orchids should be soaked, she didn't believe it but if it's in Gardener's World it must be good advice, that didn't work.
This year as soon as the warm weather arrives it started dropping flowers, why should a tropical plant do this when tropical weather arrives, she keeps it out of direct sunlight in her bedroom. She has now moved it into the dining room which is cooler.
She has tried everything, nothing has worked, can anyone help please.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,863
    edited July 2022
    We've had ours for years ... two of them are dropping flowers at the moment ... in a few months they'll be in flower again ... the third has been without flowers for a few months but is forming new buds now...  ... could it be that she's not waiting long enough for them to re-bloom?  They're not going to keep the same flowers for ever.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • tui34tui34 Posts: 3,437
    Commercial orchids are forced into flowering for festival days - Mother's Day, Easter, Christmas etc.  Orchids grown in their natural environment usually flower in autumn as do many tropical fruit such as feijoas.    epiphytes and when you see them in tropical countries such as India, Singapore etc.  They are usually in the shade of the tree  they are growing on.

    It's not because it's hot, it will perform.   Some don't flower every year.

    Just enjoy the flower when it's there and keep the commercial growers happy and buy another one when the last one dies.   
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,287
    I soak mine every week for about 10 minutes in rainwater with a tiny pinch of orchid feed.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,716
    Can we have a picture, what variety are we talking of? I've got about 30, different varieties. I have a few indoors now,north facing spare room, kitchen,most of them are in hanging baskets under trees in the shade, replicating their natural habitat in rain forests. Unless it rains,they are sprinkled with rain water weekly.I use a concentrated feed,capfull with water, again sprayed... leaves and roots weekly. I only feed when in bud or flower. I don't leave them to soak. Indoors,the leaves are sprayed with rainwater....they don't like central heating. The ones with large white flowers are the best performers,at least 4 months. If any refuse to flower,a few weeks in a cool room over winter. As long as the leaves and roots green and healthy,they should re-flower.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,685
    Agree with @Nanny Beach - there are so many different types that knowing what you actually have is a key factor to the best maintenance regime.
    Does rather depend what you mean by " every year it perishes " - the whole plant dies or it just stops flowering ?
    Most Orchids can be pretty long lived plants if kept correctly so hard to kill off completely - at least without leaving you something to propagate for the future:)
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,839
    I have two Phalaenopsis orchids on a north facing windowsill, throughout the year they vary rarely need watering and when the pots are getting lighter it warns me that they will need watering in a day or two but with the hot dry weather that we are having at the moment they seem to need watering weekly and if the pot gets too light and I don't notice the flowers will start to fall off. Last evening I soaked the roots in the pot and waited until the bark soaked the water up and the pot felt heavy before tipping the water onto the Japanese Acer outside the kitchen door. In short Phalaenopsis on a north facing windowsill very rarely need watering but in hot dry weather they need to be checked every couple of days.
  • MillarificMillarific Posts: 28
    many thanks for some very useful comments
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,716
    Barry island,I have to disagree with they rarely need watering,or do you just spray them?  Does your home have high humidity levels?They live in the rain forest canopy,they are never dry. They hate central heating or dry air. They might get watered every 2 weeks in winter. I have Dendrobiums as well,and they must never dry.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,839
    Mine live on a north facing windowsill and over winter I rarely water them maybe once a month at the most and if I forget they seem to survive during the cool months, whereas If they aren't watered during times of extreme heat like we are having now they go down hill very quickly. I understood that Phalaenopsis Orchids should dry out between watering so that's what I do.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,655
    Ours are sprayed with rain water every day. They are watered once a week but if in extreme temps then more often. They mainly sit in gravel trays to keep the humidity up. While away for 2 weeks we moved all the orchids into the laundry/shower room onto the floor. Watered them very heavily, sprayed them the morning we left. Some did very well and are producing flower spikes, some were unhappy. Today all have been given a very good soak but not fed yet (need them to build up their water reserves a bit).
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