Seeing your Phalaenopsis orchid produce beautiful blossoms is a joyous experience. Although the flowers can last for months, they will eventually fade. Dead flowers do not only give your Phal an unpleasant appearance; they can also spread diseases to other parts of the plant or nearby plants. Follow these instructions to remove dead blossoms from your orchid:
- Before you start removing a faded flower from your Phalaenopsis orchid, you have to make sure that it is indeed dead. If the flower spike is drooping and discolored, and its edges have turned brownish, it is time to remove the flower. Many orchids have more than one bloom on a stem-like spike. Since blooms usually start opening from the bottom bud, the first signs of fading should be found on flowers that are located at the lower part of the flower spike.
- You can remove a dead flower from your Phal by cutting it off with a sharp pair of scissors. Make sure that the scissors are properly sterilized.
- Place the blades of the scissors around the stem of the dead flower, where it attaches to the flower spike. Cut swiftly to produce a sharp cut.
- Throw the severed bloom in the trash, so that it will not spread diseases to the plant or other nearby plants.
- Continue removing each faded flower along the flower spike.
- It is also OK to let the blooms just naturally fall off if you would like the keep them attached as long as possible.
- To trigger reblooming, you can cut the spike about half an inch above a node. New blooms may emerge from this node in two or three months.
Watch this orchid care video to learn how to trigger reblooming in Phalaenopsis orchids.