House Plants/orchids


Hello Again!

Thank you so much for your previous help. Every time I go out of town something happens to one of my plants! When I went to the East Coast my orchid plants were BEAUTIFUL! I've had them for 3 months. Upon my return I noticed the flowers were falling off. Now a week later one plant has lost all its blooms. The leaves and stem are still good. Do I cut the branches so it can bloom again? I appreciate you help very much.

Kind regards,

Hi Gilda,

There are literally tens of thousands of different Orchid species, each with their own growing habits and care requirements. By far the most common Orchid species is Phalaenopsis or Moth Orchid. Unless you tell me otherwise or post a photo here, I will assume that is what you have.

In general, Phalaenopsis Orchid flowers last for 1-2 months before dying back. You can maximize the flowering by providing lots of bright indirect sunlight and watering them properly. Watering instructions are problematic because most Orchids are grown in special Orchid potting mixes and are sold in sealed containers that do not allow excess water to flow through. Thus, I cannot tell you if your Orchid flowers died naturally or because of improper care.

The stem that holds the flowers is called a spike. After the flowers on any spike have died, then it is best to cut that spike off just above where the lowest flower was attached to it. About half the time, a secondary spike will emerge just below the cut and produce new flowers. Otherwise, you will have to cut off the spike entirely and wait another year before a new flower spike emerges from the base of the plant.

I have written a detailed article on Orchid care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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