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Why are My Orchid Flowers Falling off? How to Fix Them?

Do not fret if you see your Orchid flowers falling off after the season’s first bloom, as it could be a natural occurrence.

Generally, Orchid flowers falling off may specify the end of a flowering cycle and entering a winter sleep to rebloom. However, sometimes improper lighting and temperatures, humidity shifts, watering issues, and transplant shock can initiate it, which is unhealthy.

So scroll down to identify the causes and the ways to prevent the Orchids from losing their flowers.

Is it Normal for Orchids to Lose Flowers?

Orchids give the first bloom after reaching maturity in 3-8 years and can undergo hibernation after the bloom season.

And as a usual flowering lifecycle, Orchid flowers fall off after they complete blooming in about 6-10 weeks, indicating the plant entering dormancy to rebloom.
Image represents Orchid flowers falling on the ground
Flowers of Orchids usually fall when the flowering cycle of the plant ends.

Here, the falling off of flowers usually worries Orchid growers when encountering it for the first time, but it is a normal phenomenon.

It is tedious to grow a healthy Orchid plant, let alone make it bloom. So be happy if you are successful.

However, Orchids dislike laxity from their caretakers, so dissatisfied with the care that they break down and start dropping flowers.

The falling off due to such a mistake occurs during the flowering season in early spring.

Reasons for Orchid Flowers Falling Off [With Solutions]

Like other plants, Orchids also have a list of primary care requirements that they relish.

If these requirements become more or less for Orchids, it may curb their flowering cycle as the plant suffers from depression.

So, let’s go through some of these problems quickly while shedding light on immediate solutions for each.

1. Insufficient Light

Like tropical plants, Orchids require at least 5-6 hours of bright indirect sunlight daily for flowering.

So when the Orchids come under the shade of bigger plants or direct light, even for 1-2 hours, the buds fall off, initiated by leggy, yellow leaves.
Image represents placement of Orchid plant near an east-facing window
Locate your Orchid plant near an east-facing window to give it proper sunlight.

However, there are three types of light requirement range for different varieties of Orchids, ranging from low to high.

  • Low light – Orchids demand 2 hours of diffused sunlight daily.
  • Medium-light – Orchids favor 4 hours of diffused sunlight daily.
  • High light – Orchids need 6 hours of diffused sunlight daily.

Understanding the light requirement for each Orchid variety is tough by yourself.

So, before bringing a plant home, ask your dealer about the sunlight needs of the particular Orchid.

Your Orchid can probably revert to its regular flowering duty if you take some prompt action.

Immediate Actions to Take

  • Keep your Orchid in an east-facing window indoors so that it can get dappling sunlight.
  • Overhang curtains or drapes in front of your Orchid when you place the plant beside a south-facing window.
  • Use broad spectrum grow lights for high-light demanding Orchids indoors.
  • You can also use a UV protection film over a west-facing window that filters direct light and gives your plant the feel of diffused sunshine.

Orchids can drop their flower buds even before they open up due to a distressing situation known as a “bud blast,” which happens if your Orchid is severely stressed.

2. Fluctuating Temperature and Humidity

The ideal temperature for Orchids is between 65ºF and 85ºF, with humidity around 40-70%.

Also, they enjoy a nighttime temperature as low as 21ºF but not for long.

So, a smooth rise or fall in temperature is not harmful, but a drastic change can hinder the flowers from staying on the plant due to excess moisture loss invited by dry air.

However, the temperature and humidity requirement might vary depending on your variety.

For example, warm growers like Dendrochilium and Ludisia prefer the range between 65-85ºF while cool growers like Cattleya and Cymbidiums prefer the 50-80ºF range.

Luckily, there’s still a chance for Orchid plants to snap back from this hardship if you make a rapid effort.

Immediate Actions to Take

  • Keep your Orchids away from fireplaces, air conditioning vents, and fridges.
  • Consider sustaining humidity levels between 40% and 80% by keeping the plant in greenhouses or indoors.
wilting orchid flowers
Maintain the proper humidity levels inside greenhouses to prevent the Orchid flowers from falling.
  • Use hygrometers and indoor thermometers to monitor the humidity and temperature at all times.
  • Excess cold can compel the Orchids to drop the flowers. So, keep your plant away from north-facing windows in winter.
  • Invest in heating pads in winter to keep Orchids warm but avoid it if it is in a clay pot.
  • Use humidifiers and pebble trays, or consider grouping the plants during extreme heat bouts to stabilize the humidity.

3. Drought Stress

Underwatering is another issue for Orchids as it pressures the flowering cycle.

This is the most common problem occurring in Orchids cultivation due to the mindset of tropical plants requiring less water.

However, Orchids require sufficient water in the flowering stage. The proper way to do so is to water the plant once a week.
Image represents the Orchid flowers drying off
Underwatering can cause the flowers of the Orchid to dry and fall off the plant.

When watering sessions are ignored, blooms on Orchids drop under drought stress to preserve the moisture.

Unfortunately, bringing the flowering charm back on your Orchid is impossible.

However, you can save the plant by preparing it for flowering next season through the following tips.

Immediate Actions to Take

  • Start watering your orchids immediately if the flowers are wrinkled or wilting.
  • Take your Orchid to a cooler room where the potting mix no longer dries.
  • Pick up the plant from the pot and feel for its weight. If it seems airy or light, give it a few sips.
  • Prepare some ice cubes in a regular ice tray and place three cubes on the topsoil of the pot.
  • Employ a moisture meter to check the moisture content of the potting mix. Readings between 3 and 4 suggest that your plant is thirsty.
  • Daily misting helps keep the plant cool and avoids soggy soil conditions.

4. Overwatering Condition

Noticing soggy soil, smothered roots, and dropping blooms is evident if your Orchid is suffering from overwatering.

Too much water in the potting mix can rot the roots, turn them brown and mushy and deprive the plant of the required nutrient to uphold the bloom.
Image represents rotten roots of Orchid
Overwatering leads to root rot, where the roots turn brown, mushy, and slimy.

So, the flowers fall, which can also happen with buds.

But, before concluding, check the leaves of Orchids as it turns yellow, lose their green shine, and become limp if overwatered. At this point, your plant is beyond revival.

However, the situation is still recoverable if not reached to such an extent.

Immediate Actions to Take

  • Let the soil dry out to check for signs of root rot. If you notice any, then snip it off using a sterilized pruner.
  • Also, remove the yellow Orchid leaves to reduce the stress on the plant.
  • Consider amending the soil with aerating components such as sand or perlite.
  • If the soil’s releasing a foul or fishy smell, change it immediately with a fresh Orchid mix.
  • Avoid watering for a few weeks and start your first watering when the top inch of the soil is dry.
  • Check for drainage holes in containers every time you repot the plant.
  • If you fear overwatering the plants, take the bottom-up approach by placing the terracotta potted plant in a water tray for a day.

5. Transplant Shock

The Orchids will suffer from shock if the timing of repotting goes awry, along with any change in the conditions provided to them.

Generally, the thumb rule of repotting Orchids claims to do it once every 1 to 2 years during the fall after flowering or during the active season.

But repotting the Orchids too often or at the time of budding affects the water uptake ability of roots as they try to adapt instead of bloom.
Image represents overcrowded roots in an Orchid
Overcrowding of roots may signify that Orchids require a quick transplant to a new pot.

Moreover, your Orchid may even skip its nutrient meals, showing a sign of distress, causing the flowers to fall off and hamper their appeal.

Immediate Actions to Take

  • Place the repotted plant in low light for at least 3 to 4 weeks before placing it in bright indirect sunlight.
  • Always change the potting mix during each repot, and never use the same mix again.
  • Avoid uprooting or transplanting your Orchid when it is dormant in winter.
  • Maintain the right balance between the components of potting mix. You can blend pine bark and moss in a ratio of 5:1.
  • Keep misting the leaves daily for two weeks after repotting in the daytime or morning so that leaves can dry before dark.
  • While misting, add 2-3 drops of phosphorous-based fertilizer once a week to the water, starting from the second week of repotting.

Should You Cut the Orchid after Flowers Fall off?

If your Orchid is losing its flowers due to distress from lack of care or undergoing a stressful situation, try to revive them.

However, if the falling off is after you have enjoyed the bloom of the season, better to trim the stems off to boost new growth for the following year.

Here the stem refers to the spikes that are flowering and arising from the base of the plant, which can be around 2 to 4 per variety.

Image represents a wilted spike of Orchid plant
Once all the flowers fall from the Orchid, the spike dries and can be removed to promote more blooms.

The buds flower on top or around these spikes. After the flowering cycle is over, the spike starts to turn yellow and then brown.

Simultaneously, the flowers wilt, fade color, become limp and flat, and then drop off each spike.

After that, the spike is no longer functional, and your Orchid goes into a resting period where it tries to regain the strength to bloom again.

Where to cut Orchid stems after flower Fall off?

Cutting off the spent spike and preparing your Orchid to produce more vigorous blooms for the next season is more reasonable.

It’s a simple process, requiring pruners, gloves, disinfectant, and a plastic bucket.

You can now start the trimming process immediately by following the steps below.

  • Choose the spike you want to remove, as different spikes need a different approach for pruning.
  • Remove the green spikes by cutting an inch above the node below the lowest bloom.
  • Similarly, remove the brown spike by snipping it all the way to the plant’s base.
  • If there are two spikes in a plant, prune off one spike at the base of the plant.
  • Meanwhile, cut the second spike at an inch above the node below the nethermost flower.
  • Collect all the spent spikes in a bucket and dispose of them by torching or composting.

Take reference from the video to get an insight into the process!

How to Prevent the Orchid Flowers from Falling off?

Usually, it may take around two to six months before your Orchid can bear flowers again after resting.

However, it depends on how you nurse the plant, as it all comes down to the primary care requirements.

  • Provide your Orchid plant with daily filtered sunlight of 2 to 6 hours, depending on the variety.
  • Prepare a well-draining and moisture-retaining potting blend using pine bark, moss, perlite, coco fiber, etc.
  • Keep pH levels between 5.5 and 6. You can add lime extract to raise the pH or add citric acid to lower the pH values.
  • Check the moss once or twice a week. Dry moss indicates that you need to water the plant.
  • Always keep the humidity level high (around 40-70%).

Trick your Orchid to bloom early after pruning. Keep it in a room set at 10°C lower than its usual temperature requirement at night, straight for 3-4 weeks.

  • Use distilled or rainwater to wet the soil for 15 seconds thoroughly and let the water drain for 15 minutes.
  • Avoid using urea fertilizer. Instead, aim for a balanced blend of NPK 20-20-20 of full strength once every month.
  • You can also ply the same blend but with half the strength and apply once a week during the growing season.
Image represents pests in Orchid flowers
Pests attack the Orchid flowers and make them fall off the plant.
  • Cater Orchids with nitrogen feed once a month in winter.
  • Repot Orchids once a year or two when the roots cram the pot and escape from the topsoil or drainage holes.
  • Aim for a pot 1 or 2 inches larger than the previous container while repotting.
  • Use neem oil for removing pests or disease infections once in 28 days. For repotted plants, spray once every 14 days until its growth.

From Editorial Team


The large, circular, symmetrical flowers are the most appealing part of Orchids, bringing the grower a sense of joy and relief.

So if the falling off of Orchid flowers starts, immediately safeguard it by maintaining the light, temperature, and water routine. But do check if it is a natural process or not.

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