How to prune an orchid correctly is indeed one of the fundamental requirements in orchid care. Every orchid plant is required to be pruned at a certain stage of their growth to ensure it stays healthy, vibrant and blooming repeatedly. Unfortunately, a lot of novice orchid growers are very hesitant and have no idea how to properly do this task. Yet, it’s so crucial to know how to prune orchids the right way if desiring to have beautiful blooms every season.
There are huge numbers of orchid species and each orchid pruning procedure varies depending on the orchid type. Some will need just their leaves and flowers pruned while others will need pruning care for their roots. Basically, there are two different types of orchids according to their growing preference and they are called monopodial and sympodial orchids. Each type requires a particular pruning method.
Sympodial orchids grow parallel within a pot, somewhat like a creeping vine. The stem is called a rhizome and will recline across the surface of the potting mix and roots will develop along its length and sprout forth downward. They will yield pseudo bulbs which are thick vertical stems. Common sympodial orchid types are Dendrobium, Cattleya (or Laelia), Cymbidium, Oncidium Miltonia and Pahiopedilum. Pruning a sympodial type of orchid is generally done when repotting an orchid plant. It is imperative to examine first the orchid root system. Healthy roots are firm and white and have light-green growing tips. Dead or damaged roots are easy to notice, being either dry and crispy or wet and mushy. Make sure that all the dead, dry and/or damaged roots are removed. Soggy and light brown manifestations are a sure sign of dead roots.
Monopodial orchids are plants with a single stem that develop continually in one direction from the terminal sprout every year, producing a couple of leaves each season; it has neither rhizome nor pseudo bulbs. Common monopodial types are: Phalaenopsis, Vanda and Angraecum. Pruning monopodial orchids focuses on orchids leaves, dead blooms and branches.
Start pruning once the stalk of the orchid turns yellow or brown by cutting an inch from where the blossom stalk originated on the plant. Prune branches by trimming the top blossom stalk source by 1cm and prune dead flowers throughout the blooming season for all orchids.
Generally, the best time for orchid pruning is either after a plant has flowered or before its active growth period which usually falls during the period of early October to late November. If an orchid plant is not pruned during these months, this orchid will still start to bloom; however, it may not have any new growth the next season. Prior to pruning make sure to sterilize each tool, such as a sharp blade, small knife, single-edged razor or secateurs, by either immersing in a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution or passing it through a naked flame to avoid the risk of infecting the orchid being pruned with diseases. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands and work gloves thoroughly before touching the orchid plant. If you do this all correctly, you’ll be rewarded by an impressive show of flowers the next growing season.
Provided by EzineArticles.com