Orchid Care







Once Your Orchids Have Flowered

Once your orchid has bloomed, the flowering stem (also know as 'scape' or 'spike') will usually need to be removed. In many cases, this is important for the health of the plant and to encourage it to bloom well again, the following season. Read our guide below and you'll know exactly what to do when your orchid has finished flowering.

oncidium papilio
This stunning Psychopsis(oncidium) papilio hybrid can continue to produce new flowers on the same stalk for years! Do not cut off the stem once the flower has faded.

*There are some dendrobiums  called "nobile types." These produce flowers directly from the plant pseudobulbs. When the flowers fade simply remove them, or
allow them to fall off. Do NOT cut off the old drier pseudobulbs as they are part of the plant and may rebloom the following season.

*There are an increasing number of  tropical paphiopedilums  that produce two to five flowers sequentially and can continue to bloom from the tip of the flowering scape. As flowers drop off, the nodes form a 'zig-zag' pattern. These flowering stalks should not be removed until they have turned brown.

The rule below probably applies to most orchids.

"When all the blooms on your orchid plant  have faded, cut off  flowering stem about an inch from the base, or as close to the base you can easily get to."

Use a sharp knife and cut the stem at an angle—that's it! Once you've made the cut, discard the flowering stem. The remaining stem "stub" will dry up and fade on its own. Do not attempt to fully remove it, as you'll probably damage the plant. This applies to most of the commonly available orchids including:

Phalaenopsis (moth orchids)
Cattleyas (and related genera: e.g. laelis,slc, blc)
Dendrobium (applies to phalaenopsis type only)*
Oncidiums (and related intergenerics, e.g. Odontocidiums, Miltassias, Brassias, Colmanaras etc)
Paphiopedilums (slipper orchids)*

          phalaenopsis orchid flower stem

An old flower brown stem can be seen to the right on this 
phalaenopsis pictured above. As you can see, a clean cut was made  about an inch from the base of the plant. Two new flower spikes can be seen  to the left.  See how to grow phalaenopsis orchids for more information.




 More orchids on our 
 houseplants blog

Quick Links:
-What to do when flowers fade
-Why won't my orchid bloom?
-How to buy orchids like a pro

-Can I grow orchids in low light?
-How do I water my orchids?

-Where can I buy orchids online?

Visit Our Other Sites:

-How to Grow Moth Orchids
-How to Grow Slipper Orchids