Tag Archives: orchid not blooming

Orchid Not Blooming: Buds Not Opening

Hey guys,

Today’s question comes all the way from Scotland:

Dear Danny,

I am very happy I found your website, and could email as well.  I have a problem with my orchids here.  It was blooming ery nicely for two years, and this year, it even had more buds than last year.

But the trouble is – for two months already, the flowers were just buds and don’t seem to bloom, full bloom, I mean.  I thought I must have over-watered it, which I think I did because when I took it out of my pot, some of the roots were rotten.

And so I tried to remove those rotten ones, and put new mix of wood and broken clay which I found in our garden, plus some kind of moss.  But even with this, the buds do not seem to open up.  What shall I do?

Thank you very much for any advise you can give.  I am just a beginner and got so much satisfaction with my three pots of orchids.  Imagine, they kept on blooming from April to October last year.  And even this year, the two pots of orchids have still their flowers until now.

They have been there since April, and I think the flowers will last until October again.  Except, of course, for that other pot.  But you know, that pot of orchids buds were there since June, some have withered (three of them) but the other buds are still hanging around.  I just hope they will also open up.

God bless you, dear Danny.

Sister Mary

And here’s my answer:

Hi Sister Mary,

You’re spot-on with thinking that over-watering may have stopped the buds opening as this is the top cause of this particular problem.

Both cutting off the rotten roots and re-potting, as you have done, will usually help solve the problem. Ensure that the mix isn’t packed to tightly in the pot as orchids require good air circulation around the roots (in the wild, most orchids attach themselves to trees or rocks rather than growing in the ground like other types of flowers). A loose potting mix will also allow water to drain from the pot easily reducing the chance of root-rot.

A good fertilizer can also aid flower growth (check out my article on fertilizers here: http://blog.care-of-orchids.info/2011/08/22/orchid-fertilizers-how-to-fertilize-orchids/). I’ve heard that potash (ash from burned wood) can help with flowering because it contains potassium, which promotes flower growth but i haven’t tested it myself – if you try using potash, do please let me know how successful it is.

Other causes of buds that don’t flower can include insufficient light, low humidity or low temperatures, however as you have other orchids in the same locality that are doing fine, I would surmise that these factors would not be the cause.

On a side-note, the maintenance of the surrounding area when taking care of orchids is crucial to their success.  If you are in need of space or of quick maintenance, consider Raleigh tree removal as a great way to make this process an easy one.


If you have anything you’d like to share on this topic,please leave a comment below :)