Orchid flowers wilted – House Plant Journal

Orchid flowers wilted

Plant: Phalaenopsis (moth orchid)

How long have you had the plant? 1-6 months


About 2 weeks ago, I started realizing that my orchid flowers are wilted and dying. However, the leaves are quite firm and strong.

Light Situation:

Plant Parent: My plants are not in direct sunlight but they sit on a table that is under the AC/Heater supply grille. Duration of direct sun: 2 hours.

How do you determine WHEN to water? I follow the schedule I was told/researched for this plant; I water every Sunday.

Describe HOW you water: I do bottom watering in a pool of water.

Fertilizer? I’ve never used fertilizer.


Darryl: hard to see but the orchid appears to be potted in sphagnum moss. The decorative moss might be leaching green dye into the planting media.

Darryl’s Analysis

The current location where you have it is good in terms of light: as close to the window as possible is great.

Determining WHEN to water: given this light situation, watering exactly each week is probably suitable as the potting media would get to the right dryness level in a one-week time frame.

HOW you water: I’m not sure how deep this pool of water is for bottom watering but it might be easier to simply submerge the entire pot or fill up the decorative pot with water up to the brim, let it sit for an hour or so, then drain away the excess water.  In any case, the point is to fully soak all parts of the soil whenever it’s time to water – the goal is even moisture throughout the potting media.  Bottom or top watering – it doesn’t really matter how this is achieved.

For the long-term growth of your plant, you should use fertilizer – more info on fertilizers here.

Your orchid looks fine.  Even with thorough watering, the flowers will last a few weeks then die off – this is to be expected.  There will not be blooms on an orchid at all times!  Once all the blooms have fallen off, you can either cut the stalk at the base or higher up just below where the lowest flower used to be – there is a chance that another stalk can grow from the old one (although some orchid enthusiasts say this is highly draining for the plant and would recommend cutting at the base to wait for a completely new flower stalk to grow – allowing the plant to rest in between flowering).  Whatever you decide, you should see new blooms in a few weeks or months.

If you want to learn a healthy, balanced approach to houseplant care, check out my online course or my book.

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