Phalaenopsis orchids are also more commonly known as Moth Orchids. These lovely, delicate blooming plants have a difficult reputation, but this mostly stems from a lack of basic care information that could translate to a healthy, thriving orchid for years to come. In particular, when it comes to pruning Phalaenopsis orchids, there is widespread misunderstanding both about the need to prune and the method to use, as well as the timing. Use these simple tips from orchid experts to prune your Phalaenopsis orchid for optimal health and blooming.
Pruning is important for all orchids because it contributes to the health, longevity, blossom yield, shape, and strength of the growing plant.
Phalaenopsis orchids should only be pruned after they have visibly finished blooming for the year. At this time the plant becomes dormant and it is safe to prune without danger of destroying the buds that will become next year's blossoms. The sign that the Phalaenopsis orchid has completed its annual blooming is when the bloom stalk turns yellow or brown.
Once the bloom stalk has visibly begun to turn color, examine the stalk to locate the presence of small nodes or leaf like parts clinging to the stalk. Count back past three of these nodes or parts. Then, using sharp garden shears, prune back the bloom stalk approximately one inch above the next node. Take care to count only green, healthy nodes when performing this process. Dried out or brown nodes have no future bloom potential. This process may even encourage your Phalaenopsis orchid to produce another blossom before long. The plant may also produce new baby plants, known as "pups", from the pruning process, and it is possible to remove these from the mother plant and repot them to grow a new orchid.