pruning phalaenopsis for flowering

Discussion in 'Orchidaceae (orchids)' started by jhancock, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. jhancock

    jhancock Member

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    I've heard two theories on pruning phalaenopsis plants - cut the stem all the way back to an inch just above the leaves (when the flowers have all fallen off) - is one theory. The other theory is to cut the stem back only to the first or second node where a flower formerly was. My stem is really long - close to 2 feet in height at where the previous flowers came out. I don't want to keep my plant from blooming again next year, if I cut it wrong. Can someone explain which way I should trim my plant's stem? Thanks so much!

    Jannah
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    All I've seen is warnings that cutting the stalk off after bloom will prevent subsequent flowering on same stalk. I'd leave the whole thing and watch what happens. If part of it dries up and dies back on its own then clearly that section can be dispensed with.
     
  3. jhancock

    jhancock Member

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    Thanks Ron! I'll just leave it alone then.
     
  4. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Just for the heck of it , and, being the eternal optimist I usually cut a phal stem only to where the stem seems to transition from 'live' to 'dead' in hopes of squeezing "one more" bloom out of the plant. Received a plant as a gift in the mail, with only three failing blossoms. My usual method of 'cut-off' was used, and WOW!!!, my phal went from two stems to seven. The blooms have gone from three dying to twenty one open now and thirty buds in various stages of growth. It was left in the same rather crowded pot and just watered. One never knows....
     
  5. jhancock

    jhancock Member

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    Hi Chuck,
    Thanks for your response. The stem is actually still alive, right now - the whole thing. It had 6 flowers that lasted from when I bought it in December until about a month ago, when they started dropping off slowly. The last one fell off last week. The stem is still "live" right now. I was just nervous about cutting off that stem and then the plant never flowering again. I guess if it's live, I should leave it alone? Thanks again.
     
  6. sainclara

    sainclara Member

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    Hello ya'll..

    I've just recently joined this site coz I received some phals and some cymbidiums as gifts... I have no idea why the flowers from the phals have wilted... but what do I do to revive them?? (my leaves look perfectly normal, and the stems don't look dead.. yet!)
    Can I just add some fertilizer and watch what happens? Or should I not waste my time and start cutting from the previous node below the last flowering stalk?
     
  7. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    If the stems are still green, there may be more life there. How frequently do you water and what kind of a pot is it in? Reduced strength fertilizer perhaps every other month is what I would do for my own, but then I know what their growing conditions are. Check your local florists who handle orchids, and then ask them for a reference person to whom you might arrange a visit for a little 'orchid conversation'.
     
  8. orchid10

    orchid10 Member

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    Good question. After the plant has finished blooming you can do one of 2 things:

    1) Cut using a sterilized knife down to a node that hasn't grown a stem and wait because often Phals will bloom again from this point.

    2) Cut the spike down to ~1" from the plant and continue your watering and fertilizing regime. This is my personal preference because I like to know that the plant is regaining some strength and putting energy back into root and leaf production instead of into flower production. Keeps everything healthy. After a short period of time (or even up to 1 year) you'll notice some new growth off the plant that looks similar to a root but more like a small "mitten." This is your new spike! It will take a few months to grow and then you'll be back in flower mode again with a happy, strong plant.

    Hope this helps...
     

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