How to Prune Orchid Plants After Flowers Die

What do I do with my orchid plant after it finishes flowering?

Hi Laurie,

Yellow dendrobium orchid
Dendrobium Orchid

First of all never cut into an orchid leaf since this can cause the rest of the leaf to die. Never cut into an orchid bulb since this hurts the entire plant. Always use very clean and if possible sterile tools when pruning an orchid plant. This helps prevent plant diseases. Dipping your pruners in bleach is a good way to sterilize your pruning tools.

Once the orchid flowers die, there are several different things you can do.

1. You can just leave the flower spike alone and do nothing. New flowers may emerge from the tip or a totally new stalk may grow from the base of the old stalk.

2. You can cut the stem back to the second or third node. Hopefully a new flower spike will grow from where you made the cut.

3. Or you can cut the entire stem off  at the base of the plant. If the existing stem is yellow, brown, or shriveled, you should definitely cut it off at the base. Removing the stem helps the roots to develop and encourages new flower spikes.

Also, cool nighttime temperatures help an orchid plant to bloom again.

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