Orchid Pruning

Orchids are delicate and have little foliage and blooms and because of this very little orchid pruning will ever be necessary.

The reason for orchid pruning is to remove non-productive parts of a plant that will in turn give more nutrients to the rest of the plant. So, remove only diseased parts, or dead blooms, leaves, roots, and stems.

Because of a process called trans-location in which dying parts of plants continue to feed the healthy parts by moving nutrients, it is important not to prune parts of the orchid that is still feeding it.

Do not cut healthy leaves off of an orchid. If there is any flesh left in a leaf or stem of the leaf it is still transferring nutrients to the root system. Instead wait until the leaves have yellowed and withered to the point you can remove them by pulling them slightly.

Orchid pruning also includes cutting the flower stem or spike. Please do not prune the stem unless it is completely dry and crispy to the touch. How far to trim the stem depends solely on the species of orchid. More specific information about the species of orchid is needed. I will give those details in later articles about specific species.

In addition, proper orchid pruning includes trimming the roots. Once again, do not cut off roots unless they are brown, shriveled, and rotting. When cutting the roots, cut off small pieces, and if a piece is cut that appears to be still alive, stop at once. After pruning orchid roots, water plentiful with water that is not too cold or too hot.

Orchid pruning should only be done while the orchid is in its rest state. This is also the best time to re-pot your orchid. If an orchid is pruned during its growth cycle, there is a risk that the orchid will go into shock or be damaged permanently.

Orchid pruning is best done with a clean sharp blade. I recommend using a scissor type pruning shear. Sterilize the cutting tool used after each orchid before using it on another. This is because fungus and bacteria can easily be spread between orchids. I also recommend hands be washed between handling each plant to reduce the chance of spreading disease and fungus.

Orchid pruning will allow orchids to increase the process of photosynthesis and thus grow greener leaves and more beautiful blooms. Pruning is an important part of keeping an orchid healthy and vibrant. The benefits of orchid pruning will be easily seen during the next growing season.