Pruning Orchids – Three Reasons Why
The task of orchid pruning should not be feared. For some reason most beginners have an unnecessary fear of the act of taking a pair of secateurs to their prize orchid. This article will help to relieve that fear by addressing the three main reasons why pruning orchids is important. So be brave and move on it really is easy.
Unlike many other plants orchids will need to be pruned at certain stages of their life if they are to thrive and flower to their maximum. If you neglect orchid pruning your plant will not die, but you will not get the best from your plant in terms of overall health and flowering.
Basic plant hygiene is a major consideration when pruning orchids. Orchids are quite susceptible to viruses and these can be easily spread from plant to plant during pruning. If you carry out a few simple precautions this is easily avoided. The main thing is to sterilize your secateurs or shears before pruning each plant, to avoid passing any disease between the orchids. This is easily done by washing in an alcohol solution or some household bleach. Wipe them down thoroughly before moving on to the next plant, and clean the work surface. This will minimize the risk of spreading any contamination.
Three Of The Reasons To Prune Orchids.
To Keep the Orchid in Good Shape.
Pruning orchids can simply be carried out in order to help shape the plant. The orchid may have become too big or badly out of shape. In these circumstances it is possible to cut the plant as desired, and if you do not go too hard this will have no negative effect. When pruning orchids in this way take care not to remove the flower stalks as this will reduce the flowers. An orchid does not need to be a perfect shape to look stunning.
To Remove Sources of Disease.
Any dead or dying parts of the plant can become a source of infection from various pests and diseases. It is therefore important to prune away any of these parts and also to remove any debris from around the orchid. Good plant husbandry is essential for the health of your orchid. Simply by doing this you will be keeping your plant safe from harmful attacks. The usual rules about keeping the shears clean applies, always think about simple hygiene when working with orchids.
Pruning Orchids To Encourage Flowering.
This section will depend upon the orchid types you are growing. Some groups of orchids will flower only once per year whilst others may flower many times. Here it pays to do a little further research to get the best orchid flowers. As a general rule it is recommended that you prune down the dying flower stalks after flowering to about one inch from the base. This leaves a growth point for next seasons flowers. This is usually carried out when the flowers have died and the stalk is turning yellow and wilting. It is highly recommended that you find out if your orchid type has any particular requirements when pruning after flowering.
So don’t be afraid when it comes to orchid pruning – it is really quite straight forward. If you start with these guidelines you should enjoy happy, healthy orchids with a multitude of fantastic flowers. If you are still not confident to give it a go check out my post on some great orchid books – you can find great step by step guides to help.Remember with orchids it’s always about the flowers.