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A gardening question...

Josie

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I have an orchid that I received as a present. The blooms have fallen off. Do I cut off the stems? How long before it blooms again?
 

Fisher

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I am pretty sure you do not cut the stem. Orchids are parasites that grow on the host (i.e. the leafy part of your pot). Beyond that IDK. I kill everyone I get but I believe that if you cut that stem you kill the parasitic part--i.e. the part that flowers.
 

Gardener

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I am pretty sure you do not cut the stem. Orchids are parasites that grow on the host (i.e. the leafy part of your pot). Beyond that IDK. I kill everyone I get but I believe that if you cut that stem you kill the parasitic part--i.e. the part that flowers.
That is not true at all. The large majority of orchids from tropical regions are epiphytes, not parasites. They live on, but do not derive sustenance from the host plant. In more temperate climates, a few are parasitic, but most are simply terrestrial like any other plant.

As to the flowering stem, a few orchids will send out an axillary branch from the flowering stem some time later and continue to blossom, but most do not. For these, the flowering stem can be cut back, taking care not to cut into the foliage. As to the question, itself, orchids are such a massive and wide ranging family that it can be difficult to offer any more advice. Most of the orchids purchased over the counter at various places tend to be in the genera oncidium, odontoglossom, miltonia, phaelonopsis, paphoipedilum, cattleya, and perhaps a few others, and these all have different needs, so it would help to narrow it down.
 

Fisher

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That is not true at all. The large majority of orchids from tropical regions are epiphytes, not parasites. They live on, but do not derive sustenance from the host plant. In more temperate climates, a few are parasitic, but most are simply terrestrial like any other plant.

As to the flowering stem, a few orchids will send out an axillary branch from the flowering stem some time later and continue to blossom, but most do not. For these, the flowering stem can be cut back, taking care not to cut into the foliage. As to the question, itself, orchids are such a massive and wide ranging family that it can be difficult to offer any more advice. Most of the orchids purchased over the counter at various places tend to be in the genera oncidium, odontoglossom, miltonia, phaelonopsis, paphoipedilum, cattleya, and perhaps a few others, and these all have different needs, so it would help to narrow it down.

So it is "not true at all" except sometimes?:roll:
 

Bob N

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Josie: I found this on ehow.com with references at the bottom of the page; however, I would get more opinions on this subject to see if they coincide with the article.
 

Gardener

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So it is "not true at all" except sometimes?:roll:
You said Orchids are parasites, which is not true because the vast majority aren't.

You should try talking about something you know a little bit about instead of arguing with a professional.
 

Gardener

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This one.
THis is one of the orchids that is capable of sending out a new, axillary branch from a blooming stem. What you want to do is to look down the stem to the point you see a little node. It will look much like the leaf node on a rose or something, but smaller, of course. If you cut off the scape right above this point, sometimes the plant will send out a new flowering scape from this point. It helps to give the plant a little dilute liquid fertilizer, too, in order to give it the energy necessary to break the dormancy of that bud. THey aren't heavy feeders by any stretch of the imagination, but since they are grown in fir bark mixes, there isn't much in the way of nutrition there for them.


Don't overwater, don't scortch it with too much sun through the window, and you should do fine.
 
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