Why Are My Orchid Flowers Wilting?

Updated February 21, 2017

Orchids are tremendously popular as indoor and greenhouse plants. The plants and their flowers have specific blooming lifespans, which end with the flowers fading and new shoots appearing. Wilting flowers do not signify the death of the plant, but rather an important part of its lifespan.

Orchid Growing Conditions

Orchids, for the most part, require humidity, relative warmth and quick-draining soil. Most orchids don't tolerate direct sunlight or standing water, and can suffer from drafts and cold temperatures. Rare breeds of orchids can be grown outdoors in lower temperatures.

Structure of Orchid Plants

The most obvious aspect of an orchid plant is its long, straight shoot. Each shoot grows several orchid blooms and is surrounded by wide, firm leaves. Due to their lack of stability, those shoots are often supported by a small stake.

Caring for Orchid Plants

Orchids require up to 12 hours of light every day to continue growing. That light can come from artificial UV lighting or sunlight. If orchids are grown in natural light, though, they must be protected from direct sunlight; they are usually grown in north and south-facing windows. Successful orchids are those that are watered only about once a week, when their soil becomes dry.

Lifespan of Orchid Shoots

Orchids are unique in the flower world for the longevity of their blooms. Orchid shoots and their blooms can last up to several months if they're not disturbed. Once orchid blooms have lived out their lives, though, they shrivel and fade like all other flowers. That death is followed up by new growth and does not signify the death of the plant.

New Blooming

After the lifespan of any given shoot ends (the shoot has grown, bloomed and then faded and died), the orchid will start again from scratch. If the plant receives the right care, nutrition and temperature, the roots sprout a new shoot, which grows up and goes through the whole process again.

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