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  • 2 Post By raybark
  • 1 Post By OrchidAddict

Bloom Drops off shortly after blooming. Temperature?

This is a discussion on Bloom Drops off shortly after blooming. Temperature? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I'm kinda stumped but I think I might have an idea. Correct e if I'm ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Bloom Drops off shortly after blooming. Temperature?

    I'm kinda stumped but I think I might have an idea. Correct e if I'm wrong, please. I've had multiple species of orchid blooming lately but most of them drop blooms shortly after blooming. Most don't even open fully. This applies to my Catt, Phal., Onc. and intergenitics. Could it be my temperature flcutuation? It's around 62 at night and 82 during the day. They're all growing well, spiking well, etc...am I right??

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    Such temperature variations are pretty standard, and certainly not in any range anyone would call "extreme", so I'd look elsewhere for an answer.

    Coincidentally, I was reading an article just yesterday that mentioned that some 30% of all premature flower loss (all flowering nursery stock) was due to the presence of ethylene in the atmosphere. Some potential sources of ethylene I'm aware of are ripening fruit, decaying vegetation, incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, and I have heard that tomatoes emit ethylene as they grow.

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    Thank you, I'll keep looking. It's weird though. If there's only 1 flower on the spike, it usually aborts. if there's multiple blooms, it's usually the first to open that aborts, the rest seem to be ok. I don't get it...

  4. #4
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    I'm inclined to agree with Ray re the ethylene gas. Since you are still having 'wintry' weather conditions in NY, I assume you would be using some sort of heating for the house. Your orchids could be too near the source of the heating ? (just a wild guess).

  5. #5
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    Hmmm...I have those same temp fluctuations, and I don't live that far from you (I'm in PA). How is your humidity? I've found winter to be a difficult time for orchids because everything gets so dry when you have to constantly run the heat. I have a Phalaenopsis schilleriana that just had two buds shrivel...I now have it sitting in a humidity dish...the rest of the buds seem to be going along okay now...I think they're going to open.

    The temperature fluctuations in themselves might not be causing the problem (in fact, they're probably helping to get all of your plants spiking nicely), but if there are high temp fluctuations with very low humidity, that could stress the plants more, I would think. Also, I find that with some plants, they need CONSISTENT light levels to fully develop flowers. Here in Pennsylvania, we go from a sunny week to a week with no sun at all pretty regularly in the wintertime, and I've had several spikes blast on me after a week of no sunshine. I have since employed artificial lights. The schilleriana that had two buds blast is now under the artificial lights as well as in the humidity dish, and the three remaining buds look poised to open.

    I actually have a little greenhouse that I bought for indoor growing during the winter so my plants don't dry out. I think it helps quite a bit. The only problem is that I still get bud blast when there's a week of no sun, so I'm experimenting with different lighting techniques...you should see my house...it looks like a lab. I have vandas in vases under grow lights in the dining room, next to a fish tank that I've filled with a lot of small plants to help hold moisture (no cover on the tank)...they're also sitting under the lights in the tank. Then, on my landing is my greenhouse, and also multiple shelving units to hold the orchids that really don't care much about growing conditions and would happily bloom in a dank, stinky mushroom house if left to it (these are the NOIDs that have been hybridized to heck...I think they might be part mushroom, actually...)

    Anyway, you're not alone...I've been having similar problems with my plants, but I'm very impatient, so once I noticed it happening to more than two plants, I started taking drastic action...I was so depressed when my Vanda coerulea's spike blasted after a sunless week that I practically cried over it. My husband had to talk me off a ledge to keep me from burying the spike in a tiny grave in the garden....

    The gas theory is a good one, but from my personal experience, my orchids don't give a whoopie-darn about ripening fruit or tomatoes nearby. In fact, my dad brings us so much fruit in the summertime (he has a large garden) that we sometimes have decaying fruit at the bottom of the pile and we don't realize it until we eat enough off the top to get to what's underneath. You can smell the ripe fruit throughout the house (it's usually a good smell, unless there's a bad tomato in the bunch that we can't locate...LOL), and the orchids don't seem to care. Of course, as the folks above said, there are obviously other possible sources of ethylene. Have you, uh, checked your home for random rotting vegetation lately?

    (No disrespect meant to the above theory...it just struck me as funny..."Look, honey, there's a decomposing mango tree under our bed! No WONDER something smelled odd!")

    I hope your situation improves. For me it seems that the keys to getting those flowers to open are consistent light and more humidity. But if you find an ethelyne monster in your house, please let us know... perhaps a simple ionic air filter might be a way to test that theory?

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