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Droopy Orchid Flowers? 3 Common Reasons & Explanations

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Do you have droopy orchid flowers and are wondering what happened? There are many reasons why you can get droopy orchid flowers, but in this post, I’ll talk about 3 of the most common reasons. Keep reading to learn more.



1. The Flowers Reached the End of Their Life Span

Phalaenopsis orchid flowers can last a very long time. I’ve had my orchids blooming for a good 3 or 4 months at a time! But just because they last a long time, doesn’t mean that they’ll last forever.

Usually people get concerned when they buy a moth orchid at the store, bring it home, and then the opened flowers start to wilt.

When you buy an orchid with most or all of the flowers already opened, you don’t know how long they’ve been open. It could just be that they’ve already reached the end of their lifespan and there is nothing wrong at all!

Orchid flowers that have run their course.

If you can, I always recommend purchasing an orchid where only the bottom flowers have opened or are starting to open. Try and avoid buying plants where all of the flower buds have opened since you will have reducing flowering time.

You may not always have the option, but it is something to consider.

While it is true that orchids don’t like a drastic change in their growing environment, it shouldn’t affect the individual flowers that were already fully opened.

Now, if you just brought an orchid home and the unopened buds start to dry up and fall off, this is called bud blasting, which takes us to the second reason below.

2. Bud Blasting

When a flowering Phalaenopsis orchid is moved to a completely new environment, the unopened flower buds may respond by drying out and not opening, and eventually they will fall off.

This is called bud blasting and is pretty common with moth orchids.

Bud blasting in a moth orchid

Bud blasting can occur when there is a big change in the plant’s growing environment resulting from:

  • Extremes in potting mix moisture. If you let your bark mix or sphagnum moss go terribly dry, or even stay super wet for a long time.
  • Abrupt changes in temperature. A quick trip carrying your plant to your car from the store in cold weather will be enough to cause bud blast.
  • Moving your new plant to an area with very low light.
  • Moving your new plant to an area with very low humidity.
  • Pests.

3. Imbalance in Moisture

If you have neglected your plant and the bark mix or sphagnum moss has dried out for a really long time, this can also cause any opened flowers to prematurely droop. You will also likely see bud blast as well as droopy orchid leaves simultaneously.

Moth orchids don’t like to dry out completely. Unlike many other orchids that have pseudobulbs (enlarged organs where they store water and nutrients), moth orchids lack these so they don’t respond well to drying out for extended periods.

Bark mixes will tend to dry out more quickly than sphagnum moss, so you’ll have to adjust your watering accordingly, and please don’t use ice to water your orchids!

Check out my blog post on how to water orchids for more information.

Now you might also be wondering…what do you do with the flower spike after all the flowers have dropped off? Will it bloom again?

The answer is yes, it can! While you can cut the entire flower stalk off (your orchid should regrow new flower spikes with good care), you can also trim the existing flower stalk as this will encourage new side branches of flowers on that original stalk.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on droopy orchid flowers. Have you experienced this before? Comment below. I’d love to hear!

Diane Magaret Cherney

Thursday 25th of April 2024

this is the best article on orchids I've seen yet - very helpful. Look forward to more.

Raffaele Di Lallo

Friday 26th of April 2024

So glad that you enjoyed it Diane!