Pruning Orchids

Pruning Orchids: How To Prune Orchids

Pruning an orchid, as happens with the rest of the plants, is not only convenient, it is also necessary. 
With pruning we eliminate the parts of the plant that are already dead, and those that are an obstacle to their growth, with the intention that (in the case of orchids) grow stronger, healthier and produce a greater flowering.

Table Of Contents

  • 1 What do we need to start pruning?
    • 1.1 Tips before you start pruning an orchid
  • 2 Prune the orchid floral rods
    • 2.1 Prune the floral rods of the Phalaenopsis orchid
    • 2.2 Prune the floral rods of the Oncidium orchid
    • 2.3 Prune the floral rods of the Cattleya orchid
    • 2.4 Prune the floral rods of the Dendrobium orchid
  • 3 Prune the roots and leaves of the orchids
    • 3.1 When and how to prune the leaves of the orchids
    • 3.2 When and how to prune the roots of orchids

What do we need to start pruning?

Before pruning we must do with the necessary tools and utensils, lest in the process we realize that we have forgotten something, and leave the orchid in a situation of helplessness

  • Scissors sharpened and disinfected, to prevent the spread of any disease
  • Charcoal or cinnamon powder to disinfect
  • Pot , if necessary to perform a transplant
  • Substrate suitable for orchids

Tips before you start pruning an orchid

  • Before you start pruning sterilizes the tools, to prevent the spread of fungi and bacteria
  • The roots of the orchids are only pruned in their resting state
  • Never remove the healthy parts of an orchid
  • There are orchids that enter periods of rest and it may seem that some areas are withering. When in doubt, it is better to do nothing, consult a specialist

Prune the orchid floral rods

Depending on the type of orchid you have, you should proceed to prune the flower sticks in a different way.

Prune the floral rods of the Phalaenopsis orchid Among the gardeners there is a lot of controversy whether it is necessary or not to prune the floral rods of the Phalaenopsis . 
As a rule, you can remove the flower sticks once the flowering has finished and as long as the orchid has not developed any keiki , has no knots or the floral wand has dried. 
If the floral rod has developed a knot, the usual thing is to cut over the knot, so that we favor the appearance of a new floral rod or a keiki.

When a new flowering occurs from an old floral stick, the flowers are usually smaller and of lower quality,that is why some gardeners prefer to eliminate them completely once the flowering has finished. 
The advantage of not completely eliminating the floral stick if there is a knot, is that we can cause a second flowering, without needing to wait a full year.

Prune the floral rods of the Oncidium orchid

We will proceed to prune the floral rod of the Oncidium orchid once all the flowers have withered, which usually last about eight weeks.

pruning orchids

We will look for the base of the floral spike that joins the pseudobulb and cut it just above, being careful not to damage the pseudobulb. 
In this way we favor the appearance of a new pseudobulb, which in turn will generate a new floral stick.

Prune the floral rods of the Cattleya orchid

As is logical, we will wait until the flowers of the Cattleya have withered and fall from the orchid. The spike must also take a yellowish tone before proceeding with its pruning. 
We will follow the spike to the yolk pod, which is a thickening that protects the immature flowers until they begin to grow and bloom. 
We will cut at the point where the pod joins the stem. Be careful not to cut a pod that has not bloomed, nor the leaves, nor the pseudobulb.

Prune the floral rods of the Dendrobium orchid We will wait for the flowers to wilt and the ears to acquire a yellowish or brown tone. 
We will eliminate the spike, but we will leave intact the stem , which will only be pruned when a pot transplant is carried out, or they die completely.

Prune the roots and leaves of the orchids

For a correct development of our orchids, we have to be constantly vigilant before the appearance of any symptom that warns us of problems, which is better to stop before they become irreversible. 
Most of the time, simply by pruning the damaged parts of the orchids, the plant continues its development without problems. 
We may find ourselves in need of pruning leaves, roots or both.

When and how to prune the leaves of the orchids The orchids are susceptible to attack by bacteria, leaving withered and yellowish leaves,in these cases it is better to remove the leaves completely.

how to prune orchids

We can also find leaves that have black spots , which may be due to some fungal diseases, excessive fertilization, excessive irrigation or use hard water for irrigation. 
Depending on the size of the black spot, we can remove only a part of the leaf or if necessary, remove the leaf completely.

When and how to prune the roots of orchids As a rule, only the roots of the orchids are pruned when we are going to proceed with their transplant, and this must be done when the orchid reaches its resting period, in the autumn. 
It is easy to detect the damaged roots, they will have a brown color.

how to prune orchids

Once cut we will proceed to disinfect them with coal dust or cinnamon. 
After pruning the roots we will leave the wounds healing for one or two days, in which you should not irrigate.
The first irrigations are better done with boiled water, to make sure that it does not contain any type of germ that can be absorbed through the roots.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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