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These noble beauties have been captivating people for over 2,500 years. Today they are spread all over the world. For many lovers, the orchid is considered the "queen of flowers". These plants are usually quite easy to care for. For some time now, they have also found their way into many living rooms. There you can often find orchids on windowsills, but not everyone likes this place. In unfavorable conditions and improper care, the flowers can quickly dry up and eventually fall off.

Over the millennia, they were not only used as decoration, but also as a remedy and aphrodisiac, but orchids also played an important role in superstition. Over the last 150 years, over 100,000 different hybrids have been bred, including Phalaenopsis, Cattleya, Dendrobium and Cymbidium.

loss of buds and flowers

Why do orchids lose their buds and flowers?

Normally, the orchid will delight you with its beautiful, delicate flowers for a relatively long period of time before they then dry and eventually fall off. Sometimes it can also happen that the flowers wither after a short time after their appearance or even unopened buds and are ultimately discarded. There can be a number of reasons for this, from normal fading to care errors and pest infestation. Before appropriate relief measures are taken, it must be clarified in detail why the flowers are wilting.


  • beginning rest period
  • lack of light
  • cold temperatures
  • dry heating air / lack of humidity
  • relocation
  • dryness
  • waterlogging
  • wrong substrate
  • fresh fruit nearby
  • extreme sun exposure
  • pest infestation

If all buds dry at the same time, usually one can care mistakes to be run out. Sometimes the buds appear in a shriveled state, the buds do not open and dry up prematurely. A bud drop is also due to the fact that optimal care was not taken.

beginning of the rest period

With the rest break goes one natural wilt accompanied, whereby the shoot tips always wilt last. As a result, the dried flowers fall off and a lull begins. This is usually determined by the plant itself when it begins and ends. Sometimes it can take several months for this to bloom again. Special care is required during this period.

What to do?

  • Spend the plant in a cooler location
  • Less watering, but the substrate must not dry out
  • Stop fertilizing completely

If new shoots then form, the rest period is over and the orchid must then receive normal care again.

lack of light

In its natural environment, the orchid grows as a epiphyte (epiphytes). With its roots it clings to the branches of tall trees or rocks to get as close to the light as possible. For this reason, these plants must also be with us bright stand. Especially in autumn, when the days are getting shorter, there is often a lack of light. This means that photosynthesis can no longer be carried out by the plants. The result is that the existing flowers wilt, fall off quickly and hardly any new buds form.

What to do?

  • Find a bright spot, right by the window
  • In winter, from November to early March, give a place on the south window
  • Choose a location on the east or west window in spring and summer (morning and evening sun)
  • Protection from direct sunlight
  • Additional installation of daylight lamps or LED grow lamps directly above the flowers
  • Equip existing energy-saving lamps with reflectors
  • Use of daylight lamps and fluorescent tubes of light color 865
  • Lighting duration must be at least eight hours

tip: There must be sufficient light all year round for healthy growth, but no direct sunlight.

cold temperatures

Orchid loves it constantly warm

These noble beauties love a warm place with constant temperatures, as they are used to from their homeland. Even constant temperature fluctuations of just 5 °C are enough for a flower to drop. Especially in winter, there can be some problems with care. Leaking windows or excessive ventilation can quickly lead to the flowers falling off. In addition, a location directly above the heating is not really tolerated well. Here the heating air rises and causes draft, to which an orchid is also very sensitive. Even with a location on the windowsill, regular airing can quickly lead to damage. The plant then suffers a cold shock due to drafts. Ultimately, it also loses its willingness to bloom here. Caution is also advised when buying during the winter period, because problems can also arise here, the flowers can fall off prematurely.

What to do?

  • Bright location with constant temperatures between 18 °C and 21 °C
  • No prolonged temperatures below 15 °C
  • Place a thermometer near the orchid to check the temperature
  • Avoid location over heating
  • No draft
  • Do not tilt the window directly at the location of the orchid for ventilation
  • When buying during winter time, transport in transparent boxes or wrap thickly with newspaper

tip: If no buds or flowers are formed, however, a temperature drop of 5 °C during the night over a period of 4 to 6 weeks is advisable. This stimulates the growth of flower stalks.


Orchids come from regions with high humidity. The daily precipitation in the rain forests creates a humid and warm climate, which the plants also want on the windowsill. They feel comfortable with a relative humidity between 40 and 60%. A drop below 40% or an increase above 80% should always be avoided. The plants would otherwise react with a wide variety of symptoms, including shedding flowers.

What to do?

  • Avoid changing location
  • Fill coasters with expanded clay and water
  • Spray daily with lukewarm, lime-free water
  • Put full water bowls on heating in winter
  • Installation of electronic humidifiers in the immediate vicinity


Orchids are usually considered special location-loyal. The plants don't mind a single move. However, a constant change of location is always associated with stress and the orchids react by shedding buds and flowers because they are not able to quickly get used to the new conditions again.

tip: A change of location should therefore always take place after the flowering cycle.

drought and waterlogging

The individual orchid breeds also have different water requirements. A prolonged drought pulls you nutrient deficiency after himself. The first signs are limp hanging and shriveled leaves, as well as dried flowers and buds. If the aerial roots are still green and plump, then there is still enough moisture. However, if they appear silvery, there is a lack of water.

On the other hand, too much watering causes waterlogging and the roots begin to rot. They are then brown and mushy. The plant can possibly still be saved, but if all the roots are affected, the situation is hopeless.

What to do?

  • Water with room-warm, soft water, if possible rainwater
  • Don't leave water in the pots to avoid waterlogging
  • The bark substrate must be dry between waterings
  • In summer, dip the root ball once a week until no more air bubbles rise, drain the water well
  • Water more sparingly in winter
  • In case of waterlogging, remove rotten roots, repot in new substrate and do not water for 8 to 10 days, only spray with water.

tip: There are special pots available in specialist shops. Here the culture pot stands on a pedestal. The bottom of the pot must be filled with water. This avoids waterlogging. The evaporated water mists leaves, buds and flowers.

Wrong substrate

Most orchids live as epiphytes and form aerial roots. These are used to absorb moisture and nutrients from the air. It would not exist in normal potting soil and the flowers would dry up because the roots cannot guarantee a water supply.

What to do?

  • Repot in a special substrate made of pine soil, fine-grained humus, expanded clay,
    Lava Granules, Charcoal Ash, and Sphagnum
  • Water and fertilize 1 to 2 days beforehand
  • Pot the plant without draft, carefully remove the old substrate
  • Cut off damaged roots
  • Put expanded clay in pot as drainage
  • Insert the orchid with a rotating movement and then the substrate in portions
  • Water for the first time after five days, first fertilization after four weeks
high-quality orchid substrate

Fresh fruit

After-ripening fruit such as pears or apples release the ripening gas ethylene away. This accelerates the aging process of the flowers. They dry up and fall off. A sweet odor indicates the presence of the gas.

tip: A distance of at least one meter to orchids should be maintained or the fruit basket should be removed from the room entirely. After a few days, the aging process will stop.

Extreme sun exposure

Direct sunlight causes the water to evaporate quickly through the leaves. There is a lack of water, the flowers age prematurely, dry up and are dropped.

What to do?

  • Avoiding the blazing midday sun
  • Use of semi-transparent curtains and blinds

pest infestation

Orchids are not spared from sucking and biting pests either. The presence leads, among other things, to the weakening of the flowers. They wither and fall off.

What to do?

  • Isolate affected plants
  • Remove aphids with a damp cloth
  • Then spray the leaves and flowers with a soft soap solution
  • Swab mealybugs and mealybugs repeatedly with alcohol-soaked cotton swabs
  • Alternatively, spray leaves with a mixture of 10 ml spirit, 1 liter of water, 1 drop of washing-up liquid
Mealybugs on an orchid

tip: Natural control with Australian ladybirds can occur when orchids are indoors.

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