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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:48 am
Location: Ohio


I have been gardening for years, vegetables mainly, but i seem to like orchids! But know pretty much nothing about them, I have had two orchid plants...leaves look great, but when it gets done blooming & the flowers fall off....the stem starts to go brown and dry? Am i doing something wrong or what do i do once the stem goes brown?

"Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise."

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Posts: 28183
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

The "stem" is the flower stalk and in most cases, it's job is done once the blooms are finished, so just cut it off close to the base as you can.

Sometimes, there is a little leaf-like structure along the flower stalk and a baby plantlet will grow from that node. If this happens, provide extra humidity and keep the baby growing attached until it's own roots start elongating, then what I do is bend the stalk over and pin the baby down (with ground staple or more often than not, Chinese food takeout box bail wire or wire coat hanger) in another pot of orchid bark mixed with potting soil. Once it's rooted and growing well, I cut it off from the mother plant.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

I have an orchid that looks identical to yours :) Once the last bloom drops I cut the stalk back just as applestar mentioned. I've had mine for a couple of years and it seems to start a new stalk every few months after I cut back the previous stalk. It's always exciting to see a new stalk poking its head up!
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Just as a matter of information, this orchid is a [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalaenopsis]phalaenopsis[/url]. Nice specimen! :)

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

(just noticed: I hit 7,000 here)

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