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Can you prune orchid shoots after flowering: an explanation for beginners

Alina MilsentLifestyle
Rules for caring for an orchid. Source: Created with the help of AI

Orchids are one of the most demanding indoor plants. In natural conditions, where there are no sudden temperature changes, these tropical flowers bloom and develop almost continuously, without the need for dormant periods. In indoor conditions, the frequency and duration of flowering depends on how comfortable you have created conditions for the plants and whether they are close to the natural environment of orchids.

The most common question is what to do with orchid shoots after flowering. OBOZ.UA figured out whether to cut them off.

Florists say that the answer to the question of whether to cut off the shoots or not depends on the plant variety.

First of all, let's consider phalaenopsis. They can bloom quite often, producing new pedicels and branching out old stems.

The shoot consists of flower buds and dormant buds. The latter are dormant until the first batch of flowers fades. New shoots can develop from a dormant bud. Consider three options for the development of the situation.

If the shoots are removed without waiting for them to dry out, then the plant will not have to spend energy on maintaining the life of the empty shoot. Pruning should be done at the root with a pre-disinfected knife or scissors. Please note that in this case, the plant will sprout new shoots faster.

If you do not remove the shoot, the arrow will have a growing tip in addition to flowers and buds. This increases the likelihood of new flowers. However, florists emphasize that this is only a possibility. You may not wait for it to grow and then still say goodbye to the faded pedicel.

You can come to a compromise solution and cut the arrow partially. This method involves cutting the shoot in the part of the bud attachment. Sleeping buds in the amount of 3-4 pieces should be left. In this case, there is a high probability that a full-fledged flower shoot will grow from the bud, although less powerful than the first.

However, it is worth noting that waiting will take away from the orchid's strength to support the stem, and will slow down the forcing of a new shoot. Therefore, when deciding whether or not to cut the arrows of a phalaenopsis, you should first of all pay attention to the condition of the plant - whether it can withstand the additional load.

Cymbidiums, oncidiums, and cambrids usually shoot no more than once a year and bloom for 1.5-3 months. The wilted shoot after dropping flowers must be removed.

Cattleya and dendrobium can bloom from 1 to 4 times a year, and the life of the shoot ranges from 2 to 3 weeks. It is better to cut off the flower stem if it begins to dry out.

Miltonia can bloom at any time, but florists advise cutting off the flower shoot as soon as the flowers fade. You should not wait for the last petal to fall off.

Pafiopedilum shoots bloom only once, and faded stems with one bud are advised to be removed immediately.

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