The Q&A Archives: Orchid care

Question: One stalk on my epidendrum orchid is losing its leaves. They darken and drop off. Why is this happening, and should I cut back the stalk to its base?
At this point there are two other healthy stalks.

Answer: I think the flowering spike is spent and should be removed from your plant. The natural process is, after flowering, the spike may be left on the plant and it will generally flower again in a few months. The spike is also prone to producing a keikis (baby plant) after flowering. Once these keikis develop their own 2- to 4-inch-long roots, they can be detached and planted individually. But eventually the spike will stop being productive. At this point you can cut it off the plant, down as far as possible so you won't leave much of a stub, which can be unattractive.

Enjoy your orchids!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by clintbrown and is called "Dicentra"