If you're a new orchid plant parent, seeing the beautiful blooms of your orchid start to wilt and drop may cause you feel like you've failed some basic lesson in orchid plant care. But the fallen blooms are often an indicator that your orchid has simply reached the end of its blooming cycle and is now storing up energy to rebloom!
Sometimes bloom loss can indicate an issue with your orchid's health, though. Here's how to tell the difference between what's normal and what's not.
What’s Normal Orchid Bloom Loss?
A natural orchid cycle typically sees leaf growth in summer and early fall, a bloom spike in late fall or early winter, and then blooming in early spring. Some orchids will bloom for several months before the blooms wilt and fall off.
Since Just Add Ice® Orchids are produced year round, your blooming cycle might not follow this exact pattern. Instead, you can expect your orchid to bloom for up to three months after your purchase before wilting occurs.
If the blooms on your orchid have a typical lifespan and then slowly wilt and fall off, you have nothing to worry about. Orchid plant care tip: Trim back the bloom spikes to an inch above the node past the last bloom and continue your care regimen. You’ll likely see more blooms in just a few months!
What’s Not Normal?
If the orchid buds suddenly fall off before opening up into blooms, your orchid is probably suffering from bud blast. This is likely preceded by the buds becoming either dry and brittle or softening.
A similar reaction can happen to your orchid after it has already bloomed, called bloom blast. In this case, the blooms will prematurely dry up and fall off, often quite suddenly.
Some Important Orchid Plant Care Steps
Bud blast and bloom blast are almost always caused by a traumatic change in environment for your orchid. This might be brought on by sudden temperature or humidity change or by improper hydration. Check to make sure your orchid isn’t near a vent when your AC kicks on for the summer and stick to your watering regime.
Another cause of bud blast could be the proximity of your orchid to fruit that emits ethylene gas as it ripens, so avoid placing your orchid near your fruit bowl.
Bud blast and bloom blast do not have to be death sentences for your orchid. By addressing the root cause of the problem and following these orchid plant care tips, you should be enjoying new buds and blooms in no time.