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Why Is My Orchid Losing Buds or Flowers?

January 19, 2023

Is your orchid becoming bare as it loses flowers and buds? Before you hit the panic button or — heaven forbid — send your plant to the orchid graveyard, breathe. This is normal behavior! While these 'symptoms' can make it difficult to know whether your orchid is resting or dead, orchids that are losing their buds or flowers are most likely transitioning to the vegetative stage, which is part of its life cycle.

While you may feel a pang of loss, the act of shedding its petals is a good thing as producing flowers requires tremendous amounts of energy. Most flowering plants, including Just Add Ice Orchids, require a period of rest between blooming periods to replenish the nutrients and energy needed to bloom again. In the meantime, here's what you should do while you wait. 

Caring for a Resting Orchid

During the resting phase, your orchid will lose its blossoms. Any unopened buds will also fall off the stem, leaving it bare. While the leaves at the base of the plant will remain green, they may become less plump and take on a dull, dusty appearance versus the bright green color they once had. 

Even though it may not look very alive to you, it's still a living plant that needs care. Continue to water it with three ice cubes per week. When your orchid loses its flowers, you can also take some proactive steps to encourage regrowth. Yes, it will bloom again!

What to Do With a Resting Orchid

We know you don't want to say it, but your plant baby isn't as attractive without its blooms. Sure, you still love it, but it can be a hard thing to watch those petals fall and even harder to wait for those beautiful flowers to return.

If you have more than one Just Add Ice Orchid, you probably know that each plant may enter the resting period at a different time. Like people, each orchid is individual and dances to its own biorhythmic drum.

Consider adding an orchid sibling or two to the mix if you haven't already. Staggered blooming and resting periods will allow you to enjoy the beauty of your Just Add Ice Orchids a little longer, so consider rotating your orchids by placing the blooming ones in high-traffic areas where guests will see them.