Pruning Your Orchid
The flowers have all died and when should you cut the stalk back and how far?
Pruning an orchid stalk (spike) should cause no harm to
the plant. However, 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 the old bloom stalk; you may just miss
some new blossoms or a baby plant.
Once the stalk turns yellow or brown, it is obvious that no blossoms
or plants will be produced. You can then cut it to within an inch
from where the blossom stalk originated on the plant. You can also
cut it there when it is green if you don't mind losing potential
blossoms. Another 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 do this, cut it back to about 1/4 inch above a node
(indicated by a small leaf-like bract clasping the stalk).
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