Orchid Culture - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Garden Friend
Boston, MA
Question by sumnersandr
March 2, 1998
I purchased an orchid plant, in bloom, two years ago. Once it had completed flowering I cut the flower stem off at the base of the plant. The plant has developed new leaves, and seems to be receiving enough light, fertilizer, water, etc. but has failedto blossom again. I have repotted it once in bark chips as suggested with instructions. Did I destroy its ability to flower by completely cutting off the stem?


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Answer from NGA
March 2, 1998

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I have two orchids: a cymbidium and a phalaenopsis. I have had them for 8-10 years. They bloom on their own schedule...about once or twice a year, or so. Would you believe I have never repotted either of them? When they bloom, it is PROLIFIC, and the blooms last absolutely forever. They are such wonderful plants to grow.

I think you are spoiling them! Do NOT repot them for a few years! Only feed them when they are in a growth period--summer. I water mine from the bottom only. I take themand set the pots in the kitchen sink with water 1/2 way up the pot and leave them there to drink while I go shopping. I do this about once a week. I also spray the leaves while I'm filling the sink.

I don't think cutting off the stem destroyed their ability to flower. However, I will say that the stem stays "vibrant". They bloom again from shoots off the old stem. Any part of the stem that doesn't belong will die. It's quite obvious. It becomes dry and dead looking. Just cut that part off, leaving the good part.

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