Gardening Tips

How to prune an orchid

How to prune an orchid

These elegant plants with such striking flowers need specific care so that they show themselves in all their splendor, taking into account everything from the most suitable substrate and watering to pruning, this being one of the most delicate parts of their care.

For this reason, in this EcologíaVerde article we will show you how to prune an orchid step by step and, in addition, we will give you a couple of useful tips so that you can take care of them perfectly in an easy and simple way.

When to prune an orchid

Without a doubt, its more than 25,000 species, all of them with unique and differentiated features, make this plant one of the most used to decorate elegant gardens and to color our homes. One of the best known and which you can access without problems is the phalaenopsis orchidalso known as butterfly orchid. This, like the rest of the orchids, needs annual pruning to increase its flowering.

Orchids need constant maintenance to remove spoiled leaves and flowers throughout the year. However, you must carry out a pruning that always coincides with the end of flowering. No matter the time of year, the only important thing is that you do the pruning when the flowers begin to wither.

Although some wait for the stems to dry, we advise you to prune your orchid before the stem is more woody to activate new shoots in order to achieve greater flowering next year.

How To Prune An Orchid - When To Prune An Orchid

How to prune an orchid step by step

Before pruning, you must make sure to sterilize your tools to avoid possible diseases, such as fungi. If at any time these parasites appear on your plant, do not hesitate to consult this other EcologíaVerde article on homemade fungicides for orchids.

Also make sure that the hand pruning shears you are going to use are sharp enough to make a clean cut, to prevent serious injury to the plant. Similarly, confirm that the flowers of your orchid are dead or badly damaged, as well as that the top of the spike has a yellowish color. It is also recommended do not prune the orchid if it does not have a minimum height to consider herself an adult; in the case of the phalaenopsis orchids it’s about 30 centimeters.

Once you make sure of all of the above, follow these simple steps to prune an orchid correctly:

  1. Remove one by one all the yellowed leaves.
  2. Prune all dry stems from the third node, always counting from the base of the orchid.
  3. Cut all the wilted flowers also from the third node. Remember that it is very important that it continues to maintain the shape and structure of the original stem.
  4. Cut the roots of your orchid removing the dry or darkened parts. You may need to remove the plant from its container to make your task easier. Pull lightly on its stems and hold the base with your hand to gently pull it out.
  5. To finish, add substrate and spray the leaves and the base of your orchid with water.
How to prune an orchid - How to prune an orchid step by step

Orchid maintenance – basic care

To keep its fleshy flowers and large bright green leaves in good condition for as long as possible, you need to know the basic orchid care.

  • Orchids need a lot of light. This is essential for optimal growth and flowering for our plant. But be careful, never expose your orchid to direct sunlight as this could cause damage. Make sure that it receives light through a window if you are indoors, or in a flower bed where other plants act as a sunshade for it.
  • Keep it at a temperature that ranges between 20ºC and 22ºC.
  • Water it once a week and pay it every 15 days. Remember that orchids need their stems and roots to stay in contact with moist soil, but they don’t need large amounts of water, so water them carefully to avoid puddles. Use specific fertilizer for orchids to provide them with all the nutrients they need to improve their growth.
  • always use specific substrate for orchids. The thick roots that orchids have need a very fine substrate based on pine bark for their development.
  • Yes you just bought an orchid, make sure that it has several flowers and that it still has several unopened. In addition, you must change it to a container, preferably glass or transparent plastic so that it can carry out photosynthesis, and add several pebbles at the bottom, which will be the ones to hold the plant. Do not remove them completely from the pot, simply keep the roots in contact with the pebbles, which will be where the water and substrate accumulate for future growth.

Carrying out all these simple cares, the orchid will bloom several times a year and you will be able to enjoy its beautiful flowers and striking leaves for longer. If you are interested in growing orchids at home, we recommend this other article on Growing orchids on trees.

How to prune an orchid - Orchid maintenance - basic care

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