All the flowers fell off my orchid. Is this normal? Tina C
Just like autumn leaves fall on Monument Avenue, orchid blossoms wither away only to return next year. The life cycle of orchids is well documented. Tiny seeds grow to maturity over many years at which time they become adult plants and bloom. The flowers last anywhere from several weeks to several months while hoping to get pollinated by bugs, birds, monkeys, or anything in the vicinity then fall off if unsuccessful. The plants then grow more leaves and roots over a period of 9-12 months in preparation for another blooming. If a flower is lucky enough to find a mate, new seeds form over the course of a year and drop on various tree branches where the process repeats itself. Most likely, the flowers on your orchid never found a mate and just died of old age. The good news is that the plant will bloom again, sometime in 2008.
How do I clean my orchid leaves and make them shiny? Cameron N.
Orchids are not known for their attractive foliage. At best, the leaves are a distant second to the infinitely interesting blossoms if a beauty contest were to be held. However, anything that a hobbyist can do to improve the low standing of the greenery is appreciated. Experts vary on their recommendations to clean orchid leaves. Wiping the leaves with milk is often mentioned but not everyone is excited about the potential for dairy spoilage on their beloved plants. A foolproof technique is to combine lemon juice and water (50/50), and gently rub the foliage with a cloth. Several applications may be necessary to remove heavy residue.