What to do when an orchid is dropping buds, flowers or leaves?

Orchids are easy-to-maintain houseplants. However, like any other plant, care issues can occasionally arise, leading to the dropping of orchid buds, flowers or leaves. While this might be alarming, it also serves as a gentle warning from the plant. In this article, we’ll explain the reasons behind bud, flower, and leaf drop, so you can prevent it in the future.

What to do when an orchid is dropping buds, flowers or leaves?

When when an orchid is dropping buds, flowers or leaves, this can be caused by various factors. We’ll discuss them one by one below.


Why are the flower buds dropping from my orchid?

If the buds of an orchid are falling off, the plant might not be receiving enough sunlight or water. Place the orchid in a brighter spot and water it at least once a week. Temperature fluctuations, such as draughts, are also detrimental to orchids. If your orchid is new to your home, bud drop is likely a response to the changed environment.


Photo: Happy Monday Blog


Why are the leaves falling off my orchid?

If the leaves of an orchid are falling off, the plant may have been sitting in water for too long. This can cause the roots to rot, resulting in yellowing leaves that eventually fall off.

Also read: What to do with an orchid with yellow leaves?


Why are the flowers falling off my orchid?

Since orchids are tropical plants, they thrive in warmth. If they are too cold, both buds and flowers can drop because the roots become less active. Therefore, ensure that your orchid is always placed in an area with an average temperature of at least 15 degrees Celsius.

Also read: How to make orchids rebloom again?


Bonus tip

Keep orchids away from the fruit bowl. Ripening fruits release a significant amount of ethylene, which is not favorable for blooming orchids, and can also lead to bud, flower, and leaf drop.

4 tips to keep your orchid blooming for as long as possible

Caring for an orchid isn’t difficult at all. It’s a beautiful plant that doesn’t have many demands. With minimal effort, you can enjoy it for years to come. In this article, you’ll find 4 handy tips to help keep your orchid blooming for as long as possible.

Also read: The orchid from birth to maturity


How to keep your orchid blooming for as long as possible

Keeping your orchid blooming for as long as possible is all about the right care. As long as you keep the plant happy, it will reward you with beautiful flowers. There are thousands of different orchid species, with the Phalaenopsis being the most well-known. They don’t all require the same care, but there are a few general tips that will make most orchids happy. The guidelines below will take you a long way. Tip: when purchasing an orchid, always ask if there are any specific tips for the specific variety you’re buying.


Inspect your new orchid

Since prevention is better than cure, we recommend always checking whether an orchid is healthy when purchasing it. Are the roots green, the leaves smooth and 50% of the flowers are open? Then you have a healthy plant. Bad signs are: dark brown roots, misshapen leaves and many yellow buds.



What is the best place to keep an orchid?

Once at home, it’s important to find a nice spot for your orchid. The best place to keep an orchid is a bright spot, but not in direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause the leaves to burn, which we naturally want to avoid. Make sure not to place an orchid in a drafty area or near a heater. Also, be cautious with fruits, as some types of fruit – like bananas – emit a certain gas (ethylene) that can cause your plant to age faster.


How to water an orchid & how often?

The next important step in keeping your orchid blooming for as long as possible is watering. There are two methods of watering your orchid:

1. Immerse it in water

Remove the orchid from the decorative pot and place it in a container with water for 5 – 10 minutes, allowing the plant to absorb water. Take the orchid out, let it drain and place it back in the decorative pot. Preferably do this once a week.

2. Water it

Pour about 60 ml of water onto the soil in the orchid’s pot. During the summer, it’s best to water your orchid once a week, while once every two weeks is sufficient in the winter.

When watering your orchid, make sure there’s no standing water in the pot. This can be harmful to the plant, causing the roots to rot.



How to get your orchid to rebloom

Most orchid species bloom for an average of six to ten weeks. Unfortunately, all blooms come to an end. But don’t discard the plant, as you can make it bloom again. To get an orchid to rebloom, there are two things you can do:

  • Is the stem still green? Cut it off above the second bud.
  • Is the stem dead? Cut it off completely.


Place the orchid in a cool place and give it relatively little water. When the plant starts forming new stems and/or buds, move it to a warmer spot to encourage blooming. Water your orchid once or twice a week and occasionally mist it with a plant spray. Optionally, you can support the new stems with a stake and clips.


Also read: How to make orchids rebloom again?

Can I repot my orchid? A few tips and tricks

Most plants need to be repotted from time to time. Providing more space and fresh potting soil encourages growth and prevents root suffocation. But orchids are a bit different. While you can repot an orchid, it doesn’t require the same frequency as other plants. In this article, we’ll delve into the reason why and provide you with some practical repotting tips.

Can I repot my orchid?

Yes, you can repot your orchid. But unlike most other plants, orchids prefer to be snug in their pots. The tighter the fit, the more flowers they will produce. Therefore, it’s not a problem if you see roots creeping outside the plastic pot. You’ll know it’s time to repot when the pot starts to crack. In general, you should repot your orchid every two to three years.

Also read: The importance of the plastic pot of an orchid


How to repot an orchid

The best time to repot an orchid is in the spring, when it can recover most effectively. Be extremely gentle when removing the orchid from its old pot, to minimize damage to the roots. Start by eliminating any unhealthy roots and yellowing leaves. Then, transfer the orchid to a plant pot that’s at least 20% larger than the previous one, ensuring ample room for the orchid to grow comfortably. For this, use special orchid potting soil, also called bark. Ordinary potting soil is too dense, restricting the orchid’s ability to breathe.

Also read: How to care for an orchid



Finally, soak the orchid in a water bath for around ten minutes, allowing it to absorb a sufficient amount of water. During the first few weeks after repotting, monitor the plant regularly and water more frequently if necessary.


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What to do with an orchid with mealybugs?

Mealybug or aphid. All bugs that are not welcome on orchids. Of course, you hope your orchid will never suffer from it, but unfortunately it is a common plague on many types of plants. If it does happen, in this article we give tips on what you can best do about it.


What to do with mealybugs?

Does your orchid suffer from lice? Then here is a useful tip! To combat the lice, mix 90 ml of spirit, 140 ml of water and 3 drops of detergent or green soap. Shake well and spray on the lice. Be careful with the flowers, though, as it may stain them. You can also buy lice control products at the garden centre. Usually you have to repeat this a few times, as lice are stubborn.

Also read: Care tips from the orchid growers


How do you recognise mealybugs?

Mealybugs can be recognised by small white bugs of about 3 to 5 millimetres that secrete a substance that looks like cotton wools. Like almost all lice, mealybugs also secrete sticky honeydew. You can recognise this by the shiny speckles on the leaves of your orchid. The bug feeds on plant sap. It causes unsightly puncture marks on the leaves, but can also weaken the weakened one, making it more susceptible to other pathogens.



What causes mealybugs?

Mealybugs are strongly attracted to moisture. So if you have mealybugs on your orchid, it could well be that the plant is getting too much water. Aphids often appear in the winter months when the humidity in the house is too dry and the pot and roots too wet. Draughts can also be a cause. When fighting mealybugs, it is therefore important not to water the plant too much in order to further repel the aphids and eventually deprive them of nutrition.


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What to do with an orchid with yellow leaves?

If your orchid has yellow leaves, it’s a sign that the plant may not be in optimal health. Several factors could contribute to this issue, such as direct sunlight, being subjected to extreme temperatures (either too hot or too cold), or overwatering. In this article, we will explore these potential causes and provide you with the remedies!

What to do with an orchid with yellow leaves?


Direct sunlight

One of the causes of an orchid with yellow leaves could be direct sunlight. Orchids prefer a bright spot, but not direct sunlight. Avoid placing your plant too close to a window, or consider using sheer curtains to create some shade. However, be cautious not to place it in an excessively dark spot, as this may cause the flower buds to drop prematurely.

Also read: How to make orchids rebloom again?


Too high or low temperature

Another reason for yellowing orchid leaves might be a temperature imbalance. Orchids thrive in temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 ºC. They can tolerate slightly cooler or warmer conditions, but only for short periods. Try to maintain a relatively consistent temperature at home, as orchids dislike sudden temperature fluctuations.



Overwatering is another common cause of yellow leaves in orchids. Excess water can lead to root rot, resulting in the appearance of yellowing leaves. During the summer, water your orchid once a week, and in winter, reduce it to once every two weeks. To prevent root rot, consider using the immersion method. Simply immerse the orchid’s root ball and inner pot in water for 5 to 10 minutes. This method helps ensure the roots receive adequate hydration without becoming waterlogged.

Also read: 3 ways to water your orchid



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The importance of the plastic pot of an orchid

When you purchase an orchid, it comes in a plastic pot. Many people assume that this pot is unnecessary, so they discard it and place the orchid in a decorative plant pot. While this may seem reasonable, it’s not quite the intended practice. The plastic pot of an orchid actually serves a purpose! It helps your orchid thrive and stay healthy. Read on to find out how.

The importance of the plastic pot of an orchid


When you remove an orchid from its plastic pot and place it in a pot without drainage holes together with potting soil, the roots no longer receive oxygen. Since orchids have aerial roots, they require oxygen to survive. Additionally, overwatering can cause the roots to rot. Excess water has nowhere to go, leading to water pooling at the bottom of the pot. This results in the roots remaining wet, leading to rot. By using a plastic pot with drainage holes, excess water can easily escape.

Another advantage of a plastic pot is its transparency. This allows you to see the roots of the orchid at the bottom of the pot, so you can check if your orchid needs watering. Are the roots green? Then it has sufficient water. Are the roots grey or white? Then it’s time to water.


Also read: 3 ways to water your orchid



Repotting an orchid

For these reasons, you don’t need to repot an orchid too frequently. Repotting only is a good idea when the roots are growing out of the plastic pot, causing it to break. Use airy soil, preferably special orchid potting soil, because regular potting soil is too dense and doesn’t drain thoroughly enough.


Also read: How to care for an orchid


Upgrade your garden with Garden Orchids

With spring in full swing and the sun shining more and more, it’s time for a garden clean-up. Of course, this involves weeding and cleaning your garden furniture. Not satisfied with the results? Upgrade your garden with garden orchids! These exotic plants come in all shapes and sizes and are real eye-catchers. In this article, we’ll show you how to upgrade your garden with orchids!

Also read: These are the different garden orchid varieties


Upgrade your garden with garden orchids

If you can’t get enough of the exotic beauty of orchids, we have good news. These exuberant flowers are not only for indoor use! With easy-to-care-for and frost-resistant garden orchids, you can easily upgrade any outdoor space. Select the shape, colour, and height that you like!



Orchids in a large plant pot

To create a real eye-catcher in your garden, you can fill a large plant pot with garden orchids. First, place a layer of hydrogranules on the bottom so that they can absorb excess water and release it gradually to the potting soil. Hydrogranules also allow more air to reach the roots – and roots love fresh air. Then add potting soil and plant the orchids in it. Choose a nice spot in your garden and enjoy!



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Orchids in terracotta pots on the table

Another fun way to style garden orchids is to distribute them over various terracotta pots and place them in the centre of the table. In these pots, it’s also important to first place a layer of hydrogranules on the bottom before adding potting soil. Then play around with adding the plants: use different colours, place multiple small plants in one large pot, and vary the heights. This will create an interesting whole!



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Also read: Orchids on your terrace or balcony

Where should I place an orchid in my house? The 4 best spots

Wondering where to place an orchid in your house? Many people place this plant on the windowsill, which is not surprising as it’s a beautiful plant to show off! But there are more places where the orchid can be showcased. In this article, we’ll share the 4 best spots to place your orchid in your home.

Also read: 3 ways to water your orchid


Where should I place an orchid in my house?

The bathroom

You might not think about placing an orchid in the bathroom, but you should! Because orchids are epiphytes, they thrive in humidity. They do need daylight, so if your bathroom doesn’t have windows place your plant in indirect sunlight every now and then.


Photo: Anthura


The living room

Maybe the best place to put an orchid is in the living room. It’s a subtropical plant that likes to be in a spot with a lot of daylight, which in most homes is the living room. Be careful not to place an orchid in direct sunlight, because the leaves can get sunburned. Make sure not to place it near heating or in a draught either: the ideal room temperature for an orchid is between 15 and 25 degrees.



The bedroom

Indoor plants provide a calming environment and therefore are ideal for the bedroom. Waking up with such an exotic plant on the bedside table provides instant happiness! Just like in the living room, most bedrooms receive a lot of daylight. A good spot for an orchid!


Une orchidée pour chaque pièce!


In the (home) office

Research has shown that plants can have a positive impact on productivity. Plants in the workspace can increase productivity by up to 15%! People also complete tasks faster, without the quality deteriorating. In addition, plants have a positive effect on your concentration, because they reduce noise by 8%. Enough reasons to fill your desk or home office with a beautiful collection of orchids, right?

Also read: Add colour to your kitchen with the help of orchids



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What to do with the air roots of an orchid?

It’s common knowledge that a plant has roots, but the air roots of an orchid are a little less known. So you’re probably wondering what they are, what their function is and whether you can cut off an orchid’s air roots. Read all about it in this article!

Also read: How to make orchids rebloom again?


What are air roots?

Curious about what the roots that grow outside of the pot of your orchid are? Air roots are crazy-looking tendrils that look a little like tentacles, but they are perfectly normal! They are firm and white, and often grow downwards.



What is the function of air roots?

Orchids use their roots to absorb nutrients from the air, absorbing moisture and obtaining carbon dioxide they need to thrive. However, this is especially true in areas and climates with high humidity. In the average living room, this function is therefore less effective and doesn’t have a huge effect on the growth of your plant.

Fun fact: orchids are epiphytes, which means they grow on other plants – such as a tree in a tropical rainforest. They use their roots to attach themselves to tree branches high above the jungle floor, to attempt to reach the light filtering through the leafy canopy. So, many plants that we place in a pot are actually climbing plants!


Should I cut the air roots off my orchid?

Not everyone is a fan of aerial roots, as they can make the plant look a bit crazy. However, if the air roots are firm and white, they are healthy and you don’t need to do anything at all. Trim the ones looking brown and soft, but work carefully to avoid cutting too deep and harming the plant. Do the air roots really bother you? Then cut a few off, but not all at once. This way your orchid can slowly get used to it.



Also read: 3 ways to water your orchid

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