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How to prune a phalaenopsis orchid

Updated February 21, 2017

Phalaenopsis, also known as a moth orchid, is one of the most common orchids grown in the home garden or as a potted plant. Its blooming cycle can last two to four months. If you prune the stems after blooming, it can bloom a second time during the year. Other types of pruning are helpful when caring for a phalaenopsis orchid, including root pruning.

Use a pair of clean pair of scissors or garden clippers to prune any unhealthy roots when repotting a phalaenopsis orchid. Unhealthy roots are brown, soft and mushy.

Prune off the top part of the stem after it has finished its blooming cycle and no more buds are evident. Do this only for mature phalaenopsis that have foliage at least 12 inches tall. Use a sharp, clean knife or clippers to cut the stem. Prune it down about 1/4 inch above a node that is about halfway down the stem, and then seal the wound with candle wax or cinnamon powder. This kind of pruning will encourage the plant to grow a new section of stem, which may bloom again in three to four months.

Prune away any diseased leaves, such blackened leaves caused by a fungal or bacterial diseases. Also, prune off leaves that are blackened due to hard water or overfertilizing. Use a sharp, sterile knife or blade to cut off the leaves to a healthy area.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Garden clippers
  • Knife
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About the Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.