You are here:

Orchids/Worried about the leaves falling off my pregnant orchid


Orchid Plant 1
Orchid Plant 1  

Closeup of Leaves
Closeup of Leaves  

My name is Jean, and I believe that I have a phalaenopsis orchid.   I have had this orchid for about 2-3 years, and about 1-1.5 years ago, a keiki started to form.  There are still no aerial roots on the keiki, but my poor mother orchid started to lose her healthy green leaves yesterday.  I had moved the orchid to a place with a little more sun about 2 weeks ago.  I moved it back to its original spot immediately when I discovered one of the two green leaves had fallen off.  While moving the orchid, the last leaf fell off.  I noticed that there were some small, white oval bugs around the base of the stem when the last leaf fell off.  The bugs looked liked mealy bugs, but there was no "tufts of cotton" or "honeydew".  I placed the orchid outside in the shade for half a day, and the bugs appear to be gone now.  

I have been trying to figure out what to do as I don't want the mother orchid or keiki to die.  Can you please give me some advice?

There are some pictures attached to help as well.

Thanks in advance!


Jean, I suspect that your orchid has root rot. You can verify this by removing the plant and its roots from the potting mix.  If my hunch is right, you should see collapsed roots.  Without healthy roots to support the plant, it cannot survive.  It is unfortunate that not all orchid fanciers are aware yhat they should repot their plant in fresh orchid potting mix every year, or two at most. I think there is little to no chance this plant can recover. There is a chance that, if the keiki is still healthy, you might try tying some damp moss about the stem just below the keiki to try to gerate some roots for it.  If you can generate some roots, can can remove the keiki from the old flower spike and pot it in fresh potting mix in a small pot. You will need to keep it in a humid environment.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Wayne King


Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.


Past/Present clients
Previously an expert on

©2016 All rights reserved.