Cutting Your Orchid’s Spike
After your orchid has finished blooming and all of the flowers have fallen off, there are a few orchid care instructions that you should follow. Although, if you see that the spike has begun to turn brown this is an indicator that it will not bloom again, and using a sterile cutting tool you should cut the spike about one inch above its base because if you don’t then it will just dry out and begin to rot.
One of the great things about Phalaenopsis orchids, the most popular type, are that they have the ability to rebloom over and over again. If you have a Phalaenopsis orchid, there are a few different options of what you can do regarding the spike. After the spike is done blooming, if it is still a healthy green color, the first option you have is to choose to do nothing and you can leave the spike as is.
The second option you have is to cut the spike with a sterile blade back to the first node where the first flower bloomed. By doing this, a new side shoot should emerge from this node. Many orchid growers do not recommend trying to bloom a Phalaenopsis orchid more than once from the same spike, because blooming your orchid repeatedly can exhaust the plant and may result in damaged leaves or flowers.
To avoid exhausting your orchid, after the side shoot’s flowers have fallen off, and to help your orchid redirect its energy into producing new leaves and roots, your third option is to simply cut the spike about one inch above its base using a sterile cutting tool. This can be done regardless of whether or not the spike had turned brown.
Whichever option you choose, you should always remember to use a sterile cutting instrument. You can sterilize the tool by using rubbing alcohol or heating the blade with fire. Once you have cut the spike you should always care for the cut surface with an antifungal treatment. This is something that you can pick up at the store or ground cinnamon can even be used.
Cutting an orchid’s spike for the first time can seem like a very scary task. By following these simple orchid care instructions you should expect, if all other care requirements are adequately being met, you can expect that your orchid will produce beautiful flowers its next blooming cycle.
Next Steps: Where do you go from here?
A couple options:
#1 – More Free Orchid Tips!
At a minimum, I strongly recommending signing up for our orchid tips newsletter (it’s free!). That’ll give you some additional (more detailed) step-by-step tips you can start using with your orchids right away…
#2 – Get Access to ALL My Articles on Orchids…
If you’d like to learn everything you need to know about caring for ALL types of orchids we also have something called the Orchids Made Easy Green Thumb Club.
The Green Thumb Club includes a number of different benefits – including weekly lessons on all different orchid care topics delivered to you in a special, password-protected members area. You also get the opportunity to get YOUR actual questions answered in my weekly “Ask The Orchid Guy” column, which you can check out here.
The Green Thumb Club costs less than a meal at McDonald’s – and ALSO includes all sorts of ADDITIONAL benefits, including exclusive discounts at orchid suppliers from 20-40% off as well access to our “orchid diagnosis tool” which helps you identify what problem might be plaguing your plant.
Because the club is backed by a full 100% money-back guarantee for a full 30 days, if after checking it out you decide that it’s not for you or that you didn’t get value you out of what you learned – no problem! Simply send us an email to let me know, and you’ll receive a fast and courteous refund. Put it this way: If you’re not happy, I’m not happy!
(By the way, this link here will give you access to 50% off the cost of membership. A little “gift” for reading this article all the way to the end :-))
All my best,
Ryan “The Orchid Guy” :-)
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