After flowers stop blooming. . . .
by Missy Palmer
Pink Empress Orchid
My Mom as a lovely Purple Orchid and wants to know if, when the flowers stop blooming, do you cut off the flower stem?
First off thanks so much for visiting my site.
If her orchid plant is finished blooming you can cut the spike. If you do not remove the spike, the flower spike will dry up and turn brown over time. There are some orchids that can re-bloom off of the same flower spike more than once.
Certain species of Oncidium such as the papilio can bloom off of a broken or cut back spike. The most commonly re-blooming flower spike is that of the Phalaenopsis (moth orchid). If your Phalaenopsis is of mature size such as 12" or more in leaf-span, cut it half way back just above one of the nodes (the little notches on the flower spike). It should branch out in 90-120 days with a new spike. Generally we recommend trying this only once per flower spike. Trying it a second or third time will result in less flowers. Cutting the flower spike completely off will give the plant more energy in order to produce a new flower spike with more flowers.
I hope this information will help you and your mom! :)