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Cutting the Inflorescence

This is a discussion on Cutting the Inflorescence within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I am getting conflicting information from serveral sources I have researched online regarding the cutting ...

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  1. #1
    douglas is offline Member
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    Default Cutting the Inflorescence

    I am getting conflicting information from serveral sources I have researched online regarding the cutting of the stem of my orchid after the blossoms fall. I do understand I can either cut it down low, or try to get it to rebloom by cutting it up high. However one source advised not to cut any part of the inflorescence if it is still alive. Supposedly I am supposed to see if the end of it is dry and dead first, and only cut where it is dead.
    Judging from one earlier orchid I had, and one of my friend's orchids, it may not die anytime soon. The first stem I ever cut was still all green and juicy inside a week after the blossoms fell, and my friend's orchid rebloomed from the old stem with no cuts made anywhere (although there were only a couple blossoms from the second blooming and obviously the plant never got the rest it may have wanted.)
    Why do some sources advise not to cut until the stem dies? Do any of you have good results by NOT following that advice and cutting right after the blossoms drop and the stem is still green?
    I'm uncertain how to proceed but my last blossom just fell today.

  2. #2
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    If your plant is healthy and you want more blooms. Then either let it be or cut it above the 3rd or 4th node. Either way you do it. It wont matter.The plant will decide to rebloom, set keiki, or the spike will die off. Otherwise if you dont have a healthy plant, lack of roots and leaves. Then just cut off the whole spike off so the plant can redirect energy to new growth. This is assuming that your talking about a Phalaenopsis. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    smwboxer is offline Senior Member
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    If you are talking the typical hybrid phal, I'd cut the entire spike off. The old spike can rebloom but the blooming is never as full and nice as it is when you remove the old spike and let the plant make a new one.

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    It's a Phal. I do intend to cut the whole spike from the bottom. Based on the response here, I assume it is safe to do so right away even though the spike is still very much alive (without blossoms). I just don't understand why one article advised that it is only safe to do so after the spike has died off, which could take weeks or months, especially if the plant decided to rebloom that spike.
    Thanks for the response!

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    Lizgeo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by smwboxer View Post
    If you are talking the typical hybrid phal, I'd cut the entire spike off. The old spike can rebloom but the blooming is never as full and nice as it is when you remove the old spike and let the plant make a new one.
    I agree. When I left the old spike there, it bloomed the next year, but only 1-2 buds, and small ones too.

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    orcoholic is offline Senior Member
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    Douglas,

    Some phals bloom year after year off the old spikes. Most of them are in the yellow family. Perhaps this is why the writer recommends leaving the spike on til it browns.

    I agree that cutting the spike down at the bottom is the best option if you are planning on growing the orchid on. Cutting there, after the flowers fall off, gives the plant a chance to go through its normal growth cycle - growing leaves, spiking, growing leaves, etc. Cutting higher up to force another bloom immediately, disturbs this cycle and will hurt the following years bloom because the plants strength is drained by the double blooming.

    Mike

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by douglas View Post
    I just don't understand why one article advised that it is only safe to do so after the spike has died off, which could take weeks or months, especially if the plant decided to rebloom that spike.
    Thanks for the response!
    I can see two reasons:
    - The plant will reabsorb the nutrients from the spike.
    - More risk of infection or spreading diseases when cutting a green spike than a dead spike if cutting tool is not well sterilized.

  8. #8
    douglas is offline Member
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    those are interesting points Lambert. I didnt think about the nutritional aspect.
    I've already cut it, and I used scissors sterilized with a blue flame.

  9. #9
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    You've done everything right Doug, nothing to worry about. Your plant should grow happily and send new spikes in the given season with he right growing conditions. Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by douglas View Post
    those are interesting points Lambert. I didnt think about the nutritional aspect.
    I've already cut it, and I used scissors sterilized with a blue flame.
    Should do great for you, then. Good luck!

    Cheers,
    BD

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