URGENT orchid suddenly lost all leaves

Hi all, I'm so devastated!! all of a sudden my orchid lost all of its leaves, and it was the one orchid that I was thinking it was perfectly fine! I don't understand it, I didn't even touch it, the leaves seemed perfectly fine and healthy and just fell off!!!




 is there anything that can be done?? the roots seem to be fine, but without the leaves I think it will not survive?


  • Does it still have a flowering spike? It could send out keikis. I tend to see orchids do amazing things but for it to recover will take a long time. But its possible. Do you have many other orchids ?


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,092

    Is it too wet.? I allow that sort to get pretty dry and then give them a soak. Let it drain Off so they do not stand in water.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • yes, there seems to be like a little bud on the top, and I think the roots also look fine, so I'm not sure what might be the reason, I just sprinkled the wound where the leaves fell off with ground cinnamon, and I watered with some fertiliser,

    I have 5 other orchids, they seem to be growing still with more or less luck but still surviving, however I have never encountered such a disaster!!!

  • No, I make sure not to over water them, I think I haven't watered it for more than a week now as I was away for the weekend - I always put them on the shower and make sure all the water drains before putting them back in the pot

  • I would hold back on the fertiliser and instead try applying some type of systemic disease control. Can you tell if the bud is a flower bud or a keiki ? How long have you had this plant ? if only a short time you never know what the shop/previous owner done the the plant previous to you getting it.

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     so I had it for about less than two months, it was fine, flowered in full for couple weeks... I think the roots look fairly decent? I think those are flower buds though

  • arneilarneil Posts: 163

    I haven't watered mine for a fortnight , house plants don't need too much water with low light levels at this time of year

  • Lion SLion S Posts: 263

    What kind of fertilizer did you use? I never fertilize my moth orchids and they flower twice every year! Not as profuse as with fertilisation, though. 

    Orchids need a different type of fertilizer than normal house plants, with less than 20% nitrogen. A fertilizer  such as 20-20-20 is perfect for them. They also need a different watering regime. Maybe yhis will help:  http://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=72  

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,403

    that looks really wet, first thing you need to do is cut off the flower spike - you want it focusing on living not flowering.

    let it dry out for a full week, then only water once a week, make sure its not sat in water as well. hopefully new leaves will appear in a month or so

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,755

    Mine only get watered once every couple of weeks, and then just a little - about half a cook's measuring cup.  They've been flowering for four years so far, throwing up new flower spikes regularly.  They've had a little Baby Bio Orchid fertiliser - probably once each summer.  Sometimes the leaves go brown and I take them off but they soon grow new ones.

    I find they thrive on neglect image

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in - Greek proverb 
  • BiljeBilje Posts: 375
    I have several and they thrive on minimal attention. Watered by dunk/soaking about every 10 days. I add very dilute tomato fertiliser to the water once a month March to October.

    The point in replying is to say the latest addition which I bought in the summer only lasted for about 10" weeks. It then rotted in the centre of the plant. I think it had been watered incorrectly in the shop ie top watered and it started a rot in the crown. My decision was to compost mine best of luck with yours paperpheasant.
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 14,583

    Hi paperpheasant. I agree with all the comments written by other members. I have several moth orchids over 10 years old which flower well. Two things I would like to add are 1. Moth orchid roots like to be in the light so I would suggest not using a plant pot cover and 2. I always use rainwater on my orchids. I collect this in spare bottles from my water butt and then keep the bottles in the house so that the water is always at the ambient temperature of the house when I use it. I only 'soak and drain' my orchids once a month (if they're lucky!) during the winter and more in the summer months where I use either a proprietary orchid feed or tomato fertiliser once a month. Its much better to err on underwatering rather than overwatering. Occasionally I mist the orchids with a fine apray - again using rainwater. Moth orchids are very tough and thrive on neglect image

    All my life I thought air was free until I bought a packet of crisps.
  • As Bilje says top watering can cause leaf loss in orchids as water can pool in the crown.  Always water by soaking from below ensuring no water splashes the leaves.  Though the leaf loss in this case seems rather sudden for this to be the cause.

    Difficult to see but the soil looks like it could be a little moist.  At this time of year my orchids will usually go a fortnight between watering.  

    Has it been repotted?  It doesn't seem to have the surface roots orchids usually have.  Could be a little deep in the pot.

  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Posts: 3,008

    Agree with all the above but I have also noticed they hate a draft. Have you moved it?

    also mine need to face east!

    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • Hey, I seem to be struggling a lot with my 2 orchids,  I don't know much about them, but received them as presents. One is minature and the other one was a premium (whatever that means but it's big).

    The minature started off with developing yellow leaves and going soggy, stem also gone brown, the large one has also got a brown stem and just started to lose its leaves but it's leaves have a tint of yellow by where they join. I had followed instructions what was with them but also looking online for advice, but nothing seems to be helping at the moment. I do not water them regularly either, I had an orchid feed for them also which was great while they were in bloom but now they have just gone bad and honestly don't know what to do??

    Anyone got any ideas?? I can take a picture of the pair too if needed. 

  • TootsietimTootsietim Posts: 176

    Moth orchids Phalaenopsis ought not be watered from above. water will pool in the base and rot, hence the leaves fall off.

    Watering Phalaenopsis needs to be done only when the roots in the pot are turning silvery. Lift the inner pot out of the cover and look at the roots. If they are green do not water, if they are silvery plunge the pot into rainwater for about ten minutes and then let it drain.

    If water does run into the base of the leaf, dry it with a bit of tissue etc.

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