Q:

What should you do with your orchid plant after the flowers fall off?

A:

Quick Answer

Once the flowers fall off an orchid, either cut back the spike or leave it, depending on the type of plant. Moth orchids, which are the most common houseplant variety, may bloom again from the same flower spike. Other orchid species do not bloom again from the same spike, and it can be removed.

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Full Answer

Once the flowers fall off the spikes of most orchid plants, the spikes may be cut back to the base of the plants with a clean pair of shears or a knife. If a spike is not cut back, it usually starts to yellow and wither as the plant removes energy from the area.

Moth orchids sometimes bloom again from the same spike after the flowers fall off. Sometimes, they grow another branch off the main spike and flower from that. If the spike starts to yellow and wither, then cut it back to the base. However, if the spike remains green, it is fine to leave it alone. Some orchid growers may trim the spike by two nodes, and this sometimes encourages the orchid to begin flowering again within a few months.

After removing spikes or pruning, sprinkle the cut area with cinnamon to ward off fungal infections.

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