Some of the buds on my phalaenopsis on the one spike (the plant has 2) are malformed, I've attached a picture. Do you know what might have caused this? I'm worried that there might be some insect problem I might have missed, despite checking the plant pretty thoroughly. Should I be removing these two buds?
Elizabeth, it is not uncommon for malformation to occur on some phalaenopsis buds. There can be many reasons. Sometimes, the plant tries to form more buds that it can support so abort buds as a means of energy conservation. Another cause is a change in environment or orientation of the plant while buds are forming. Some plants are day length sensitive and go out of flower as day length lengthens. While insects may caause this condition, you should see some evidence of this. There are several branches on the flower spike that can lead to new buds so the loss may be made up for by the reflowering. You may remove the two buds, otherwise, they may just dry up and fall off on their own