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Aborting Orchid Flowers - Causes & Solutions

This is a discussion on Aborting Orchid Flowers - Causes & Solutions within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I would be grateful if members could clarify what are the possible or probable causes ...

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  1. #1
    minda5 is offline Member
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    Unhappy Aborting Orchid Flowers - Causes & Solutions

    I would be grateful if members could clarify what are the possible or probable causes of abortion in orchid flowers - particularly phals and dendrobiums & what solutions could be suggested to prevent this ?

    Since last October (through our winter) I have had a number of phals & dendrobiums that have lost their flowers. Some of the buds on the flower spikes have turned yellow and/or just shrivelled up. This has occured both in the orchid house or indoors.

    Is this problem because of the low light levels? too wet at the roots? too high a humidity? Lower temperatures? plants too young? or something else I have not thought about or some combination of these?. I have noticed that with warm growing dendrobiums that I have been able to salvage some of the flowers on a spike by bringing the plants indoors, though not all flowers have survived the transition. A particular problem, as I see it, is that excess watering of dendrobiums is likely to cause kiekis. So at what stage do you start watering the plant (to support the flowers) when flower buds are forming? I would like an answer to my problem as my partner is not 100 per cent satisfied with my current efforts. What is the solution to a decent display?
    Minda

  2. #2
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    orchidlady is online now Senior Member
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    Phal. spikes in particular don't like cold, dry, or changes in conditions. If the plant is stressed or has rotted/dead roots the stress will cause bud blast. Lack of humidity or plant too dry, likewise. Also, if the plant is moved from one set of conditions to another the buds can blast. A possible, but less common reason is ethylene gas-a source can be ripening fruit like bananas. It can also happen occaisionally for no obvious reason, however, if it is happening regularly there is a problem.

    I don't grow Dendrobiums, so can't speak to those specifically. Some of the reasons above could potentially apply.

    Susan

  3. #3
    minda5 is offline Member
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    Thank you OrchidLady. Certainly conditions have not been good in UK since November. Particularly since December there has been snow, low temperatures & inevitably poor quality light & short day light length days. NB January 26th saw the first (very small) aquilega shoots growing in the garden so perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    Minda

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    orcoholic is offline Senior Member
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    Dens will lose buds in too cold temps too. In my experience they are at least as sensitive to cold temps as Phals. Maybe more.

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    minda5 is offline Member
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    Thank you orocoholic'
    I had not realised that they might be more sensitive to cold temperatures than Phals. Does this, however, apply equally to warm growing Dens as to say Nobile which naturally grow at much lower minimum tempseratures?

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    orcoholic is offline Senior Member
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    The warm growing ones are very cold sensitive. Temps below 62F can be a problem. The nobile are not that cold sensitive. They seem to be more susceptible to blasting if they get wet when they are small. Once the nobile bud is developed, it is a pretty reliable bloomer.

  7. #7
    minda5 is offline Member
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    Thank you orcoholic,
    You have clarified for me the sensitivity difference between warm & intermediate/cold growing dendrobiums. Nevertheless, I understand from what you say that I could still loose the nobile flowers, not so much from the lower temperatures, as from the blast caused by wet and probaly cold when they are small.
    Yours
    Minda

  8. #8
    minda5 is offline Member
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    Dear All
    I have now found reference in Baker & Baker on Dendrobiums (Glossary & section on flowers) who mention abortion problems (yellowing of buds) because of light, temperature, ethylene, fertiliser problems & even "bugs". The lighting interests me (because of a short winter daylight in the UK) though Baker & Baker do say that artificial light might not work? Anyone any ideas on this.
    Minda

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