After an orchid (Phil.) has finished blooming, where and what part do you cut off?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Laquita: There are over 28,000 species of orchids. Phalaenopsis orchids, also known as a moth orchid, are commonly found in the trade. They are quite stunning while they are in bloom. There are different opinions about what should be done with the stem after your orchid has finished blooming. Some say that with older plants you can cut the shoot back halfway just above one of the nodes and the orchid can potentially produce secondary flowers. The chance of this happening is low and the flowers will not be as large or last as long as the first ones did. This process will take three to four months. The more common practice is to remove the stem all the way down to the base of the plant. Leaving an inch or so is fine. This will allow your orchid to concentrate all its energy on the roots, foliage, and producing a new stem that will eventually bloom again. It is a process but for now continue to keep your orchid in a space where it will receive bright filtered light. A south-facing window is ideal. Do not want to allow the orchid to completely dry out, so depending on the temperature and humidity of your home, your orchid should be watered about once per week. Continue to feed your plant with your favorite water-soluble orchid fertilizer once a month. Using a half-strength dose of food is fine. It is always better to under-water and feed than to over-water or to over-feed your orchid. It should be repotted every two years with a good quality orchid medium.