Orchid Care After Flowering

Yes, it's sad to see the last flower drop from our beautiful orchid bloom. Let's talk about orchid care after flowering. Now that all the flowers have dropped, what do we do with the flower spike stem? The answer for most species of orchids is that we are simply going to cut the stem close to its base. However with Phalaenopsis orchids, it is possible that we can coax another bloom from the flower spike stem. With the following technique we can oftentimes get a secondary flower spike growth, or in some cases get a Keiki which is a new or baby orchid. 

Secondary Flower Spike/Keiki Technique

With Phalaenopsis orchid this simple technique is simply to prune about 1/2 inch above the last leaf node on the flower spike and below where the first flower node was. Make the cut with a sharp sterilized razor blade or pruning shears at a 45 degree angle. Sterilize the razor blade or pruning shears with rubbing alcohol and dust the fresh cut on the flower spike with cinnamon to prevent damage from molds or infection. This simple technique sometimes results in a new flower spike or Keiki.  Some times a new flower spike will grow from the leaf node just below the pruned cut or sometimes it may come from a leaf node below. Give the plant a few weeks to see if a new flower spike develops. At this point, if no spike or Keiki develops and the stem just turns brown and dies, you can just cut the spike back as close to its base where it emerges from the stem of the orchid. 

Repotting: Orchid Care After Flowering

After your orchid has finished blooming, this is a good time to annually change and refresh the potting medium. Changing the medium or repotting during bloom often times shocks the orchid and causes the flowers to drop and we don't want that after waiting almost a year for our cascade bloom. For the long term health of your orchid, it is a good practice to get into doing this after its annual flowering period. 

Prune Dead Roots

Take the orchid out of its container, carefully remove all the old medium from around the root system. Gently spray the roots with water to clean off any small debris from the potting medium. Carefully inspect the entire plant for any pests or other problems as it is best to treat any issues now before repotting. Inspect the root system and prune any old, dead, or withered roots with a sterilized pruning shears. If you have many plants, make sure to sterilize any cutting tools between making cuttings on other plants, so as not to contaminate or spread any potential disease. Once these steps are complete, you can now repot your orchid. 

Grow Medium

If you purchased your orchid from a nursery or retail store, most likely your orchid was planted in the grow medium that works best for its species. As a rule of thumb for best practices in orchid care after flowering, it's best to repot with the same type of grow medium that your plant came with. As you gain experience with growing and caring for orchids, you can always modify the grow medium to your liking such as if you wish to air mount or use self watering partially hydroponic systems.

Continue Best Care Practices

Continue best orchid care practices after flowering and in a few months, your orchid will start to produce a new flower spike. Give your orchid its proper growing conditions and it will reward you with beautiful flower cascades, year after year. For more information on best care practices follow the links in the navigation and if you like our page, sign up for our monthly news letter to get orchid care made easy tips and to continue to grow your knowledge about orchids. 

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