Subscribe to our blog to get articles delivered directly to your inbox

To Rescue or Cut Broken Orchid Leaves and Stems

June 28, 2010

It happens. You drop something on your orchid plant, or perhaps the whole pot gets knocked over or dropped. Maybe it gets damaged on the way home from the nursery, or a pet or child gets a little to inquisitive. Whatever the case, orchids survived and thrived in the wild for a long, long time, so they can’t possibly be as fragile as they seem. Here’s how to deal with broken leaves or stems with proper orchid care.

A broken leaf shouldn’t cause any harm to your Phalaenopsis orchid plant. But if you want to cut it off for display purposes, you should do it carefully. Use a sterile knife or scissor to prevent infection, and cut it a half-inch from the central stem.

If one of the flowering stems has broken, you might be tempted to wrap some tape around it and pretend it didn’t happen, but it’s not likely to stay unnoticed for long. Besides, leaving it like that invites infection, which could do a lot more damage.

Instead, cut the orchid flower spike above where it has broken, and put it in a vase with water, like you would with any cut flower. Then, remove the remaining broken flower spike down to the base of the orchid. This will encourage new flower spikes to grow.

Many orchid lovers recommend putting some cinnamon on the broken end for it’s antimicrobial properties. New blossoms may take up to a year to appear, but as long as the leaves and roots of your orchid are healthy, you will get new flowers eventually!

If you have any questions about your Just Add Ice Orchid, feel free to post it to our Orchid Care Forums!

New specialty orchids delivered - Shop from home!