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I have eight or so phalaenopsis of varying colors. Except for my newest plants they have all bloomed multiple times under my stewardship.

The plant in question has at least twice, perhaps more times, put out blooms which are noticeably fewer in number (3-4) than all my other plants and also seem to last such a short time that it never has two open and not nearly dried up at the same time.

Is this expected behavior for some plants based on their genes, or is it possible that I'm treating this plant differently without realizing it?

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  • What is the variety name of the plant in question? I don't think a plant with weak blooms would sell well. People generally try to come out with strong flowering plants, so I think your plant has some othewr issue.
    – J. Musser
    May 31 '14 at 4:08
  • I'm not sure what variety it is. I bought it at the grocery store after the blooms fell off. There was no tag or anything.
    – dwightk
    Jun 5 '14 at 14:31
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+50

There are many cultivars of Phalaeonopsis, with more being introduced all the time, but unless you bought from a specialist orchid grower, most cultivars aren't named other than as Phalaenopsis.

Unless there's something particularly different about this plant (maybe generally smaller, flower form slightly different, etc) which would indicate a particular cultivar, it might be that you've just got a 'poor' grower because there's something not quite right with the plant, perhaps some genetic problem with vigour or something similar. This is not unknown with any variety of plant - sometimes, a plant just doesn't seem to be as vigorous and healthy as it's fellows, with no visible cause. Happens in all living things occasionally.

It's unlikely you're treating it differently than the others, unless you're giving it more care and extra attention because it seems it's the 'runt of the litter'.

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  • I have to add that plants flower more profusely if they are stressed, on the verge of dying...flowering takes a lot of energy. A healthy plant will flower, an older plant, once healthy might profusely flower in a last-ditch effort to spread its genes when it 'senses'? its last season. I am trying to say that lots of flowers does not mean health...does that make sense? Bamboo...you are gooood! Grin. This is so very much fun!
    – stormy
    Jun 1 '14 at 3:36
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I have limited experience here, but my 2 cents for what's its worth. If I am facing a plant that is struggling and I see one that is thriving I ask myself the following.

  1. Light - what is the difference between where the healthy and less healthy plant is. If one is one the left side and the other on the right side of a window you would be surprised impactful this can be.
  2. Air flow - Vents, direct sunlight, near an oven etc. can impact plants as well. Some will dry out much faster based on the environment. Little differences can matter, especially with small pots.
  3. Pot size - it does effect a lot of things such as soil.
  4. Water - not sure your watering process here, but replicate with both.
  5. Attention - less means more, I find if I see any plant struggling I focus more on it and sometimes that becomes a detriment. maybe I water a bit too much, or move it around too much.
    6 Finally soil - you did express the limited ones are newer, is the soil mixture roughly the same?

I would not say that is the ranking I use but its close, the less impactful first to the most (move a plant a bit vs. repotting it).

Orchids I generally have less success then others so I am hoping my thought process will help.

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