Why Do Phals. Keep Losing Blooms?
In late June I purchased a "Just Add Ice" (Phal.) orchid. The windows in my living room face west, so I placed the orchid approximately 12 feet from the windows so it wouldn't get too much light. The temperature in my apartment is 72 - 74 F. day and night. As instructed, I placed three ice cubes in the pot once a week. However, after just 3 - 4 weeks, the blossoms fell off and the spikes turned brown, even though the same orchids at the store I purchased this one from are still blooming. Also, a good friend of mine has several Phals. and hers bloom for at least four months, some even longer. I cut the flower spikes back down to about two inches from the bottom, and then went to my local Home Depot and purchased another Phal., one which is larger and had many more blossoms on it. Well, after two days at home, the blossoms are wilting and several have already dropped off. I am devastated, and desperate! I don't know whether it isn't getting enough light, water, fertilizer, etc. (Also, I have a ceiling fan in my living room which runs on high all the time to keep me cool, and it does VERY lightly shake the blossoms.)
Please help me save my new Phal., as well as tell me how to care for the other orchid which I have cut back. I've read that you can force reblooming by reducing the temperature at night to 60 F., but I have no idea how to do that - I can't afford to air condition the entire house that much, not to mention I'd freeze, and the refrigerator is TOO cold!
I would appreciate any advice I can get.