Prune Your Orchids To Stimulate Growth

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Blooming, Care and Culture, Growing Indoors

So now that the flowers from your orchid have all died, you may be wondering when should I prune my orchids, or when should I cut the stock back, and how far do I cut it back? You may not be aware that this is part of the basic care of orchids, so consider this article “Orchid Pruning – Basic Plant Care 101.”

Pruning Your Orchid

Once you’ve notice that the stalk has turned a yellow to brownish color and there are obviously no signs that your orchid will produce any more blossoms; this is the time to prune!

You can prune your orchids within an inch from where the blossom stalk originated on the plant. You may also cut the stem if it is still a little green, that is if you don’t mind losing potential blossoms. The cutting is preferably done with a fresh, one sided razor blade, or a cutting blade that has been sterilized.

Your other option is to just remove the end of the blossom stalk to shorten the stalk, but retain enough so that it may bloom again. If you choose this method, cut the stem about 1/4 inch above a node (indicated by a small leaf-like bump clasping the stalk).

Pruning your orchid stalk (spike) shouldn’t cause any harm to your orchid plant. Although some orchids will produce new bloom shoots from the nodes on the old blossom stalk, or some plants will produce small baby plants (pups) from these nodes. The new plants may be removed and potted after they develop roots. Of course, some orchids do neither of these things. In either case, it doesn’t hurt the plant if you remove some new blossoms or a baby plant.

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7 Responses to “Prune Your Orchids To Stimulate Growth”

  1. Elliot Levine says:

    What is the solution used after I prune, preventing a virus?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      You can purchase a fungicide or simply use some cinnamon –which acts as a natural fungicide!

  2. Barb says:

    I have a ‘5 year’ orchid, it bloomed for a week then all the flowers fell off, and hasn’t bloomed since. This was a Year ago! What can i do?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      It sounds like it might have experienced Bud Blast. This especially can happen with Cattleyas, Phalaenopsis and Dendrobiums. Unfortunately, pin-pointing the exact cause is a little more difficult, as it can be anything from humidity levels, to light, to temperature, etc. Perhaps try moving your orchid plant to a new location in your house, giving it a slightly different environment than before. If you know what kind of orchid you have, make sure that it’s current environment matches the specifications for that type of orchid. Hopefully by trouble-shooting a bit you’ll discover what was making your orchid plant unhappy. Feel free to check our resources page for guides on orchid care:

  3. Diane lancaster says:

    How to know when your plant has outgrown it’s pot?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Typically when your orchid’s roots are starting to overflow from the pot. Most orchids can be repotted every 2-3 years, especially if their potting media has broken down and needs replacement.

  4. Jim Cassella says:

    What are the gray worm shaped growths at the base of my orchid plant? Should they be pruned?

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