Fragrant orchids are everyone’s favorites, well at least most of us do prefer fragrant orchids. However on occasion we might notice some variation in this fragrance. Weather it’s an intensity problem, or even a different smell, sometimes our orchids smell differently from what we expect.

The first factor that contributes to this variation is: the age of the orchid. Young orchids might not be developed enough to have the fragrance everyone is raving about. Don’t despair, if your orchid blooms for the first time it might be less that what you hoped for, but in time it will get better and better.

Second factor: the season. Some orchids feel happier in cold climates, so a bloom in a warm climate might lack fragrance. Ofcourse the opposite instance is possible too, warmth loving orchids might lack fragrance in cold conditions. So if your cold grower blooms in summertime, maybe it will not be as nice as when it bloomed in winter time, but that is all normal.

Third factor: genetics. Seedlings are like twins, they are related, but don’t necessarily look alike. If they do look alike, maybe they have different personalities. same with orchids, some individuals from a particular bath of hybrids might be fragrant, some might not. There’s not much we can do here.

Fifth factor: health. If an orchid is not in tip top condition, the fragrance might not be in tip top condition either. The healthier the orchid is, the more chances of having that full potential fragrance we are all looking for.

Now these rules don;t always apply, orchids are their own persons, if I can call them like that. All are different and all will react differently, but sometimes this lack of fragrance can really be influences by some of the factors above.

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  • Elona 2 years ago

    Today I was looking at orchids in my local gardening centre and I noticed two Catts, both blooming, I had never seen these Catts before with their speckled purple blooms. I wanted one for my collection.

    although the two Catts were the same cultivar, one Catt had a beautiful scent while the other Catt didn’t have a scent at all. The orchids were identical except that one of the orchids had no scent. I decided to purchase the scented one and picked it up to examine it more closely. I gently pulled the orchid out of its pot and discovered tthe roots were totally desiccated . Even though the scent was amazing and the leaves looked healthy, the orchid had few if any viable roots. I was so disappointed. I was temped to purchased the orchid anyway just because the scent was to heavenly and then try to rescue it. But it was $45. I’m not paying $45 for a rescue orchid. On the way home from the garden centre I thought that maybe I could look at this orchid as if it were a bouquet of fresh flowers that would cost about the same $$$ and would last about a week and then get composted. I am sorely tempted to go back and purchase that heavenly fragranced orchid knowing that it would end up in the compost in a few weeks. I can”t get that fragrance out of my mind. I think I will go back and purchase it if it’s still there.

    • MissOrchidGirl 2 years ago

      Well Elona, it is a pricey Cattleya yes but what I can tell you is that Catts are very very resilient in most cases, I have quite a few videos with Catts having no roots, they all bounced back for me. So think about it more, if it is worth to pay 45 dollars, the orchid will need some time to recover.. also, look at the other non scented one as well, sometimes orchids don’t release fragrance due to environment and changes.. maybe the flowers were too fresh. Smell the other orchid as well when you go next time 🙂