Reblooming vs New Leaf Coming In

by Dan

I am a little confused as to what I should do. My orchid has finished flowering and I read that I should cut the spike above the second node so it can rebloom eventually. Now I just noticed there's a new leaf growing and I also read somewhere that if there's a new leaf forming you should cut the spike all the way down to the stem for the orchid can focus on growing a brand new spike and the leaf. What should i do? I own a Phalaenopsis.

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Jul 17, 2011
Should I Cut The Spent Flower Spike to Help It Bloom Again?
by: Melissa

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your question. It is a good one.

I understand that you are confused as it is a little hard to decide which way to go.

Maybe I can help you decide. If you cut the spent flower spike above a node it will make it easier and more reliable that your Phal. will bloom again. The node to make a spike already exists and most often the plant will eventually push a spike from the node and re-bloom. And it will usually happen a little quicker than if you cut the spike off completely, maybe by a month or two for most Phals. So doing it this way really increases the chance that your plant will produce a flower for you to appreciate again. So that is the attraction of cutting the spike this way.

However, the new leaf is indicating that the plant is now putting energy into growing. You have a choice but I agree with what you read that says that to leave the spike is harder on the plant.

I do leave a spike with a node from time to time when I wish to increase the chances that I will see a flower from that "particular" orchid. But, as a rule, I cut the spike all the way to the about an inch above where it enters the crown. So mostly I opt to not stress the plant at all and hope that I provide the right conditions for my Phals. to induce spikes and re-bloom.

Right now I have 10 Phals in bloom. Two of them I cut the spike leaving the node. One is a seedling cross and it flowered for the first time last year and the flower is unusual. The other is a multibranched pink Phal. that has lots of flowers and I just could not resist. ;-). With the multibranched Phal. I can see that I have stressed the plant.

I will not do it two years in a row for either of these plants. And generally do not do it repeatedly for any plant.

So, it is up to you. If it is a really special flower and the plant is very healthy I would consider cutting the spike above the node. If it is not really healthy I would opt for the increased chance to improve the health of the particular plant and cut it off completely.

Hope this helps!


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