How to Prune Cattleya Orchids

I have an orchid plant (cattleya) and the flowers are starting to die. What should I do now??

Hi Anne,

It’s not too hard to prune cattleya orchids if you follow a few simple steps:
1. It’s important to not be impatient and wait until the flowers have died and the spike attached to them has started to turn yellow.
2. This is the hardest and most important step. You need to find the old bud sheath.  The sheath is there to protect the immature orchid flowers. It can be either light brown or green. This bud sheath doesn’t fall off even when the flowers and spike die. Be sure the sheath you find is an old one and not a new one. Peak inside to see if the is a flower bud in there.
3. Find the place where this old bud sheath joins the stem (pseudo bulb). The pseudo bulb is that part of the stem that emerges directly above the soil. It is wider than the rest of the stem and looks bulb-shaped. The bud sheath and its flower spike originate from the pseudo bulb and are surrounded by one or two leaves.
4. Cut through the sheath and the spike as close to the base of the leaves as possible.
5. Look for any other old bud sheaths and remove them in the same way.
Please let me know if any of this is unclear.
Purple Cattleya Orchid
Cattleya Orchid