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When Do I Trim Orchid Stems?

Do I Trim Orchid Stems When the Blooms Fall off the Plants?
    Trimming the Stem When an Orchid Is Done Flowering

    Orchids in General
        Dendrobium orchids can produce five to 20 flowers per stem.    

        The general rule of thumb when cutting spent flower stems or spikes from orchids is to cut them off at the base. This should be done on cattleyas, cymbidiums, dendrobiums, epidendrums, paphiopedilums, phragmipediums and vandas. After these orchids have bloomed, they will not produce any more flowers on the flower spike. There is no need to leave the spike on the orchid until the whole thing turns brown. It can be removed as soon as the flowers drop and the tip of the spike turns brown. As long as the orchid is healthy and growing conditions are right, it will put out a new spike for the next bloom season.
    Phalaenopsis Orchids
        Phalaenopsis orchids are commonly called moth orchids.    Phalaenopsis orchids are commonly called moth orchids.

        Phalaenopsis orchids produce multiple blooms on the same spike. Most types of phalaenopsis can have the spike cut back to just above a healthy growth node when the flowers drop and the spike begins to turn brown. Growth nodes are raised triangular flaps of plant tissue on the flower spike. The healthy phal will grow new spikes from the growth node and bloom from those. Small, young phals that are less than 1 foot tall or those that are not growing vigorously should not be allowed to try to rebloom. Their flower spikes should be removed at the base of the spike as soon as the blooms drop. Some orchid growers always cut the spike off at the base to prevent reblooming regardless of the size, health or maturity of the orchid. Blooming saps energy from the plant, resulting in slower plant growth.

Orchids are beloved for their delicate blooms that last and last, sometimes for months at a time. After the bloom fades and drops from the plant, however, an ugly, spindly stem is left behind. While it does not harm the plant to remove the unsightly stalk right away, it may mean missing out on a few extra blooms.


    The stalk may be unsightly for a while, but it may produce more blooms depending on the variety of orchid. Leave the stalk in place for several weeks to see if additional blooms are going to appear. If the orchid is going to bloom again, the stalk remains green and small swollen buds appear below the site of the first bloom. If it is not going to bloom again, the stalk dies, turns yellow and then brown.

Partial Pruning

    Partial pruning gives the orchid some time to either produce new blooms or new starter plants. The majority of the stalk remains in place; enough is left for additional flowers, but the gangly ends are removed. Cut the stalk about 1/4 inch above the site or node where the lowermost bloom was located. Use sharp scissors or a sharp knife and take care to make a clean cut and not rip, pull or shred the stalk.

Complete Pruning

    Another option is to remove the entire stalk. This can be done either while the stalk is still green or after it has died and turned brown. Removing it while green removes any possibility of additional flowering for several months, but also removes the unsightly stalk. Cut the stalk about 1 inch above the base of the orchid plant. Use sharp scissors or a knife and make a clean cut. Do not tug or saw at the stalk or leave jagged or shredded ends.


    When the orchid begins growing new stalks after the removal of the old stalks, it needs fertilizer to aid in the rapid growth. Use a 20-20-20 fertilizer designed specifically for orchids. Apply the fertilizer according to the manufacturer's directions once per month during this growth period. It usually takes around eight months for the new growth to stop, and then the orchid blooms again.

How to Make an Orchid Grow Another Stem

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Orchids are tropical plants that can grow for years in the right situations. There are 30,000 different species, but the most popular are Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Oncidium and Cymbidium varieties, according to D&B Orchids. All of these orchids produce their blooms on long, narrow flower stalks and demonstrate the potential for reblooming in a given season. Trim flower stalks according to variety and maintain good nutrition to encourage new growth and reblooming.

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 Hope you enjoyed learning along with me!

*All the information provided above is from :



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