Orchids tend to have dried and dead stems because of unhealthy conditions and because the plant lacks the nutrients it needs. But no matter if the leaves and stems are dry or not, trimming and cutting them is a good idea. A healthy plant will yield and produce more flowers, but after the blooms, the stems will start to turn brown. It is but normal for any Orchid plant to have wilted and dry stems. When this happens, you only have to cut off those dry and dead stems.
Old and dead stems of Orchids will only affect the health of the entire plant because dead tissues will be a breeding ground for pests, insects, bacteria, and fungi. Before infection and pests infest the plant, you may want to cut off dead orchid stems right after the last bloom dropped off. On the other hand, the improper cutting procedure will also damage the plant and eventually kill it if not treated right away. According to the expert florists and gardeners, cutting off the stems from the Orchid plant should be done by the following procedures:
Determine the Variety of the Orchid Plant
Different varieties of orchids require a different way of trimming, pruning, and cutting off of stems and spikes. It is important to know which type of orchid you have at home before you cut them off from the plant. The florist can help you identify your plant or you can check the internet by searching Google. On the other hand, determining your plant is also an important matter if you want to understand your Orchid plant to help it become healthier.
Inspect the Plant
While it is important to determine whether the Orchid flower plant is a Dendrobium which can bloom even without leaves, it is best to inspect the plant and look for the items that are ready for cutting off from the plant. Most of the dry and dead stems are in brown color. They turn brown after the blooms dropped off. Some plants have stems turning brown halfway while some stems turn brown completely.
Cut the Stems from the Base
Give your plant a clean cut by removing the old stems. It will not only make your Orchid plant clean and fresh but will also increase the vitality and long life of the plant. As old and dead stems are removed, the plant will be focused more on developing new stems and growing new spikes. Dead stems can be a cause of bacterial infection. If dead stems and leaves are not removed, the plant will become unhealthy because of bacteria build-up and fungi infection.
- Prepare the tools that you need for the cutting of the stems. You can use a sharp pruner or a straight-edge razor. To prepare the tools, you will need to sterilize and sanitize them using a water-bleach mixture, which is a combination of water and bleach. You can also use alcohol and cotton balls. Sterilizing the tools will help prevent infection or diseases from spreading in the plant.
- Cut the stem at the base. The long stem will no longer bloom after the last flower drops off. The stems will only get dry and will eventually die over time. If you want your plant to grow even healthier just in time for the next blooming stage, make sure that all these dead steam and dead leaves are removed from its base. Moreover, it is important to cut it clean to prevent damaging the plant. This is why you need to use sharp tools only.
- After cutting off the stems from the Orchid plant, it needs proper care. The first step is to provide the plant with the level of humidity it needs so it will grow again into a beautiful and healthy plant. If the plant is potted and meant for indoor growing, placing it near the window allows it to get enough indirect sunlight that it needs. During its growing period, especially after trimming and pruning, make sure that it gets the nutrients it needs by giving it plant food at least once a week in small amount or twice a month.
- Water is essential to keep the plant healthy. However, water should not sit on the pot because it will only rot the roots and kill the entire plant. In addition, the leaves should not be left with too much water. When you water the plant, water the soil only and avoid watering the leaves.
- Pruning is not only for the dead stems and leaves but also for the damaged roots and rotted ones. Those roots should be removed safely and properly from the plants during repotting.
- If you want your young Orchid plant to have stronger and firmer roots, bigger and healthier leaves, and larger beautiful blooms, cut the stalk while young from the base leaving at least one inch of the stalk. In just a few months, you will have a healthier plant that is ready to give you blooms in the next blooming season.
The Orchid plants benefit a lot from pruning and trimming, especially if the stems you cut off from the plant are dying or already dead. They become more developed and prepared as they get to store more energy throughout the dormant or resting period. When it is time to bloom again, your Orchid plant is sure to have more and larger blooms that you will enjoy for a longer time.