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How to Prune Orchids


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If you are a homeowner with a yard or a garden, you may choose to adorn the areas with orchids. Orchids are colorful flowers found in nearly every region of the planet except the arctic conditions of northern Canada and Siberia. There are more than 20,000 known species of orchids on earth, which is more than four times the numbers of mammal species. With such a large group of flowers, most gardeners can find an orchid type to suit their needs. If you do opt for orchids, you need to learn how to prune them each year to ensure their optimum health.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • Garden shears (hand-held) or sharp sterile razor blade
    1. Wait until late fall to prune your orchids, when all the blossoms have died. The main stalk of the orchid will turn a yellow or brownish color, and dead branches will be dark. Removing dead branches ensure better blossoms the next year, as new branches will take the place of the sick or dead ones.
    2. Sharpen a pair of hand-held garden shears, or use a new pair. Clean your shears before using them if they are dirty. Some gardeners also choose to use sterile razor blades to make clean cuts. Use extreme caution if you use a razor blade instead of shears.
    3. Remove any black or dead branches, also known as blossom stalks. Cut the blossom stalk within 1 inch from where it sprouted from the main stalk of the plant.
    4. Find the bump-like node or spike located at the end of the healthy stalks. Cut 1/4 inch behind the nodes to remove it from the blossom stalk. This will give these particular stalks the chance to blossom again the next year. It will also spare the plant the effort of growing completely new blossom stalks. The least effort the plant has to make to blossom, the better the chances of more flowering in the spring.

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