How to Prune Moth Orchids

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Pruning moth orchids is done by simply trimming back dead blooms right where the bloom meets the stem, as orchids can often shoot off more blooms from the same stem. Prune a moth orchid to encourage new growth with helpful advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardens.

Part of the Video Series: Garden Design & Care
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk about how to prune a moth orchid. Now moth orchids or phalaenopsis are probably the easiest orchids to grow and they're just beautiful and they reward you with such beautiful flowers. And there are some tricks that you should follow or some rules that you should follow when you're pruning them. And basically this stem right here and I've got this beautiful phalaenopsis or moth orchid at the Seattle Garden Show and it actually got too dry. So when I bought it, it dried out too much; I've lost some of the flowers. When you're cutting them back, don't cut into the stem itself. If you've got dead flowers, just cut them off where they met the stem and just go through and cut them off. Now remembering, they can break, dry off real easily too and now your tendency is to cut it all the way down; but what I found with moth orchids, a lot of times they'll keep growing and keep blooming. So you don't want to cut them down to the ground even if you think you've lost it; because they will grow more stems and more knobs and just by cutting off a couple of the dead and dying flowers; sometimes they will actually shoot off another branch and give you more flowers. Now when that is completely dead and really woody and you can tell there's no life to it, just bring it down and cut it down to where it's still alive. And when it's turn completely brown and just a stick, you can cut it to the ground. But what happens just by cutting some of the blooms off or cutting it down as it dies; the phalaenopsis is one of the few orchids that will actually keep growing more shoots and by cutting off the one shoot, it'll encourage new growth on another shoot. And it's really that easy. So my trick is if it's alive, do not cut it down. If it looks real rubbery, it's still alive; if it's really dry, then you can cut it down and then that way you will encourage more blooms on your moth orchid.


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