Growing an orchid is not an easy task, there are many pitfalls in the path of a grower. One of the most common problems is the falling buds of a tropical plant. In the article, we will find out why are my orchid buds falling off and all the reasons due to which such a problem arises and we will learn how to cope with it on our own.
why are my orchid buds falling off?
Orchid buds can fall off for various reasons. Let’s list the most common ones.
- Firstly, the problem may be associated with too low air humidity.
- Aging is a natural process.
- Lack of lighting.
- Drafts, cool gusts of wind are also one of the reasons.
- Dense substrate.
- Insufficient or, conversely, too abundant and frequent watering.
- Staying a flower in conditions of sharp temperature changes or in a too cool / hot room.
- Lack of minerals sometimes also leads to dropping of buds.
- Change of conditions, content, adaptation. Usually, the stress of changing locations occurs after purchasing an orchid.
- Defeat by diseases, insects.
In addition to aging, all the reasons are in one way or another associated with insufficient care of the flower, violation of the conditions for its maintenance. Next, let’s go through all the reasons in more detail and find out how to deal with the situation in the case of each of them.
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orchid buds falling due to Dry air
Since the orchid is a tropical flower, it is genetically programmed for air saturated with moisture. In nature, it is during the rainy season that the plant blooms. Especially when it comes to the popular phalaenopsis, which grows naturally in the humid tropics.
In our standard apartments, the air humidity ranges from 40% to 70%. And if the inhabitants of the house can feel quite comfortable at 40% humidity, then this is clearly not enough for an orchid. For some species even 70% is not enough. Dry air leads directly to the dropping of buds.
A decrease in humidity to 40% and below is critical for a plant, leading not only to dropping of buds, but also to a deterioration in the condition and appearance of the entire plant. In such conditions, peduncles, leaves dry, shoots, bulbs become flabby, the general tone of the orchid is noticeably reduced.
What to do
We’ll have to create an optimal microclimate for a tropical flower – there is no other way out. It is advisable to purchase a special humidifier, as well as regularly spray the flowers. A container filled with water placed next to the orchid will also not hurt. By evaporating, the water will create moisture suitable for the flower. Pay special attention to this problem in winter when the batteries are running and in hot summer.
An orchid, which could grow in nature for a certain period, when kept in an apartment, lives three times less than this period. The natural aging of a plant is one of the causes of bud fall. Although the tropical beauty tries to bloom until “her last breath,” she no longer has enough strength to distill at the end of her life. Thus, an old orchid buds, although they form buds, the flowers do not bloom anymore. Without opening, the buds dry out gradually, then fall off.
What to do
If the reason is precisely in age, neither increased feeding, nor watering, nor other measure of great benefit and effect will bring. Remember how many years you have been growing this orchid. If there is enough, then most likely it’s time to replace the flower with a new one.
Lack of light
For this reason, orchid buds usually fall off during the winter-autumn period. It is at this time that it becomes dark in our area, and daylight hours are significantly reduced. If an orchid blooms before winter, then in a short daylight hours it is able to release only one or two buds. If there are more buds, they are more likely to fall off.
What to do
Unfortunately, there is an orchid just beginning to bloom in shade conditions, there is no way to reverse the process. In this case, you will have to come to terms with insufficiently lush flowering, but next time take all precautions and provide the plant with normal daylight hours.
To make up for the lack of light, it is necessary to additionally illuminate the plant with a phytolamp or at least a luminescent one. If you notice that a peduncle is forming, the daylight hours for the orchid should be extended. It is important to remember that the minimum flower should receive 12 hours of light per day.
It is not recommended to rotate the pot around the axis in order to provide the plant with uniform illumination. This flower does not know how to stretch, turn after the sun, so such an intervention causes stress in him. Sometimes, such good intentions can lead to the flower dropping its buds.
The orchid is a plant native to the tropics, so cool temperatures are not for it. Although the flower needs fresh air, when ventilating the cool air should not fall directly on it. This is especially true for winter and autumn. If gusts of wind touch the flower, it is likely to cause the buds to fall off.
What to do
The orchid should be placed in a place where cold air will not get on it when ventilated.
Sometimes the flower can lose buds due to the compaction of the substrate in the pot. The orchid is initially planted in loose soil, consisting of pine bark, fern, cork, and other fractional elements. But over time, under the influence of constant irrigation, the soil is compacted, sometimes it even strays into a single whole.
In conditions of poorly permeable soil, orchid roots cannot receive enough nutrition and air. It is not surprising that the plant withers, weakens, sheds leaves and buds, including those that have not blossomed. If urgent measures are not taken, you can lose the flower completely.
take a look at Using Vermiculite for Orchids.
What to do
In this case, it is necessary to replace the compacted substrate with a new one. Make sure that the fresh soil consists mainly of coarse and medium fractions, otherwise it will compaction again too quickly.
Check it out Sphagnum Moss For Orchids.
incorrectly watering orchid
Almost all novice flower growers water the orchid incorrectly. And, as a rule, an excess of moisture is usually recorded, rather than a shortage. When waterlogged, the roots of the plant suffer greatly from a lack of oxygen and therefore begin to rot. Accordingly, they can no longer deliver food to the buds, the plant loses its flowers.
Insufficient watering does not lead to anything good either. In dry conditions, the plant begins to conserve moisture and nutrients. To get rid of the buds in this case is a natural need for a plant striving to survive.
What to do
If waterlogging is allowed, it is necessary to transplant the flower before its roots begin to rot. If decay has already begun, the affected roots must be cut off before transplantation, the remaining ones must be disinfected. It is easier to cope with drought: you just need to water the flower, and in the future, regularly moisten the soil.
Water the flower only when the soil from above dries out. To have an idea of how dry the substrate is, we recommend planting the flower in transparent glass pots – everything is perfectly visible in them.
Incorrect temperature conditions
It is necessary to grow orchids at home at a moderate temperature: neither too hot nor too cool. Both deviations lead to troubles, including the dropping of buds. Note that the flowers do not tolerate any temperature beyond + 15-30 degrees. Remember that temperatures below +4 degrees will kill the plant.
Attention: phalaenopsis can grow at a temperature of +14 degrees without losing its decorative effect. However, this mark is the extreme limit.
Sometimes buying a flower in winter leads to a problem: the orchid may have time to freeze during transportation. In this case, flowers will begin to fall off her soon after moving to a new home. But even in the summer, the problem of freezing is not excluded – this can be affected, for example, by an air conditioner operating at full capacity.
Overheating for a plant is also undesirable, although it is easier to tolerate. Most often, for this reason, the buds fall off if the orchid pot is in the immediate vicinity of the radiators in winter. Sometimes in the summer, the flower can be exposed to direct sun: in this case, the buds get burned, as a result of which they dry out and wither.
In conditions of high temperature, the plant begins to blossom faster, the life of the buds is reduced, they dry out, wither.
What to do
Hypothermia should not be allowed, because, along with the fall of the buds, this can lead to more serious consequences. If you bought an orchid in winter or autumn, early spring, pack it in a box before taking it outside. There should be a few more layers of soft cloth or paper between the flower and the box.
Any heat source should be located at a distance from the orchid pot, since in addition to directly generating heat, batteries and radiators also dry the air a lot. To stop the negative effects of working batteries and at the same time humidify the air in the room, cover the battery with a damp towel.
If the flower is grown on a southern windowsill, be sure to provide it with shading. In the heat, you can even place the pot on the floor in the room – if only away from the scorching sunlight. Air conditioning will also help in the heat: the main thing is not to put the flower directly under cold streams.
Take a look how to pollinate orchids to get seeds?
Lack of feeding
If the orchid is not supplied with additional feeding, it will not have enough trace elements. And without normal nutrition, you will not see a flower of good growth, development, or quality flowering. Minerals such as boron, magnesium and phosphorus are of particular importance in this case – they should be in the plant’s diet regularly.
What to do
Do not forget about feeding the flower and apply all the necessary fertilizers on time. It is better to purchase complexes specially designed for orchids: in them all trace elements are selected in an optimal way.
Note that it is undesirable to change the feeding for the orchid – the flower changes in the diet. Pay special attention to the introduction of additional nutrition during the period of forcing of the peduncle and the formation of a green cover. Top dressing in this case must be applied by the submerged method – simultaneously with the next watering. Foliar methods can also be used.
placement of orchid in home
The stress that an orchid receives when changing a place of residence can cause the buds to fall off. Orchid is a conservative and extremely dislikes change. Even simply moving from place to place in the same room can lead to problems. What can we say about moving from a store to an apartment.
What to do
After purchasing, give the flower time to adapt to new conditions. Place it in a moderate temperature and dark place. Water and fertilize a little. After a week or two, the plant will get used to it and can be put in a permanent place.
Orchids drying up due to Diseases and pests
The buds also dry out due to the defeat of the orchid by pests, diseases. The flower is especially often affected by the fungus.
This fungal disease appears with increased soil moisture. The symptom is a grayish cloudy bloom, similar to fluffy mold.
What to do
The affected parts of the plant should be disposed of, then the flower should be treated with a fungicidal agent. To prevent this disease, strict control of conditions of detention and proper care is necessary.
This pest most often affects a tropical plant. The worm sucks the juices from the tissues of the orchid and leads to yellowing of the foliage, the fall of flowers.
What to do
If the worm has already appeared, they get rid of it with the help of insecticides; single insects can also be collected by hand. And in order to prevent it, keep an eye on the level of nitrogen in the dressings: it is impossible for this mineral to be supplied in excess.
Do orchid buds grow back?
Sometimes you can cure a flower and ensure that the buds stop falling off. But there are times when no matter what you do, there will be no positive result. We will find out what these cases are.
If an orchid has been exposed to a very low temperature, is frozen over, it will take a long time to recover. It’s good if he doesn’t die. Blooming in the current season is out of the question.
A radical change in conditions
If an orchid has dramatically changed its conditions of detention from the best to the worst: for example, it has moved from a comfortable greenhouse to an ordinary apartment with dry air, its adaptation will be more difficult. The plant will drop the buds immediately, and it will most likely have to wait for new ones only after the flower has passed the dormant period.
We have already considered this issue. In this case, any measures of success will not bring – you just need to replace the old flower with a new, young one.
Death of roots
Hypothermia usually leads to decay of the root system, and if this happens, it is likely that not only the buds fall off, but also the death of the entire plant. If you managed to save the orchid, it will be able to bloom next season.
- When buying a new orchid, give preference to a specimen with not fully blossomed buds. Such a plant will bloom longer.
- At home, place the flowering plant away from fresh fruit, cut flowers. Bouquets and fruits give off ethylene, a wilting gas.
- During flowering, organize an additional 3-4 evening light hours – this way the decorative period will last longer.
So, we found out why are my orchid buds falling off. As you can see, there are quite a few factors causing the problem. Before you start treating a flower, establish the cause of the loss of buds – an accurate “diagnosis” is more likely to lead to successful results.