Friday, September 1, 2017
Caring for an Orchid after It Blooms
The owner of Dermatology Consultants of Wisconsin, Steven Armus also remediates natural areas as an environmental biologist, prairie technician, and owner of Native Prairie Restoration. In his free time, Steven Armus is a passionate orchid grower and a member of the Wisconsin Orchid Society.
Orchid care after flowering revolves around the stem that held the flowers. Also known as the flower spike, this stem can bloom one or two more times if left intact. However, this is only true if the stem is still healthy.
Healthy stems are green and do not show any signs of rot, such as soft points along the stem’s length. After the orchid has flowered, you can cut a healthy stem at the second or third node to promote another bloom, taking care to leave the stem partially intact.
If there are any soft spots along the stem, or if it has turned yellow or brown, remove it altogether. Doing so prevents the stem rot from spreading throughout the plant, and allows the orchid to refocus its energy on developing its roots. You can cut away the soft spot with a sterile blade that can either be discarded after use or disinfected with fire or alcohol. Be sure to cut at the base of the plant, and apply a fungicide to prevent fungal disease.