When Do I Prune
OK, so our first step is knowing when we should prune. This is real easy because when your orchid flowers have died, this is when you grab your shears. It’s also when orchids are in a dormant period and have no blooms at all. Many novice orchid growers are very reluctant to prune their plants for fear of doing some real damage but if you follow these easy steps you’ll find that orchid pruning is not all that difficult.
The best months for pruning are early October or late November. Because orchid pruning is really shaping and controlling the size of your plant you can do ‘touchup pruning’ throughout the year. Be careful not to prune too late, for when winter comes, your orchid will be in full bloom.
Orchid pruning is a necessary task in caring for orchids and this means you need to prune your plants after they have finished blooming so that they will continue to produce healthy, beautiful flowers and new growths for years to come.
If you’re uncertain about the best time for pruning, your best bet is to prune them in early October or late November.
What is Your Orchid Type?
The second step is to know what kind of orchid you have. There’s a great variety of orchid species and each has different properties when it comes to plant growth and blooming. Uniqueness is always a factor when it comes to the pruning process. For beginners, if you have a Phalaenopsis type, you must prune it when the flowers begin wilting and the color starts to fade, however, other species will need pruning when the stems or other parts become broken or dried out.
Are You Using the Right Tools?
The third step is to have the right equipment for the task. You don’t want to use any old pair of scissors or knife to remove unwanted parts of your orchid as this may damage your plant. The most useful tool for this operation is the secateurs type scissors. Using this tool, you can readily prune the orchid stems without harming the plant. Make sure to clean and disinfect the blade with alcohol or a mild bleach solution to kill any bacteria on it before you start. You can also heat it over a flame for 30 seconds.
Decide Where to Prune
Now we know when to prune and what tools to use so the fourth step in orchid pruning process is to decide what parts of the plant you want to attack. You don’t want to cut parts unnecessarily. To prune your orchid correctly, start by cutting off a quarter of the actual branch where the flower stem is attached rather than cutting off the supporting branches. Only cut a one quarter of an inch from the stem lump. You should know that different species of orchids will require varying pruning techniques, so it’s important to know the species of your orchid before you start pruning.
Checkout the Roots
Lastly, you want to inspect the orchid roots. If the roots appear to have a grayish or green shade and look agile then they are in good condition. On the other hand if they have a brown coloration and are dull and mushy, you’ll want to prune them also.
So that wasn’t too bad. However, if you are still uncertain about some of these procedures, you can do a little more research on your own or ask the people who grow orchids professionally.