Cutting an Orchid Bloom Stem

Should I cut my orchid stem back, after it’s done blooming?

Updated 12/11/17

This post will cover what you should do with your orchid stem once your orchid is done blooming. When I say “done blooming” I mean ALL the blooms have fallen off and your orchid stem is turning brown. The stem may only turn brown half way down the shoot or it may turn brown completely. The picture below is a Phalaenopsis spike dying back after blooming, it is brown half way down the shoot.

After your orchid is finished blooming you WILL want to cut off the shoot (stem) that produced the blooms. You will want to do this because the process of an orchid blooming takes energy from the plant. By cutting the shoot back it conserves any energy that is still going towards the shoot which allows the orchid to focus its energy into growing new leaves and new roots. Orchids work in a cycle between new roots, new leaves and the production of blooms.

You have two options in this scenario;

  • Option #1 – (THIS IS THE METHOD I USE) Cut the orchid stem at its base, way down by the leaves. I cut it about half an inch from the base. By cutting the shoot back entirely it allows the plant to gather more energy for a greater bloom next year. I always use this option because I am looking for a fuller bloom in the coming year. I especially do this with a young plant or one with a smaller or weak root structure so that it can gain a bit more energy for the future. I also don’t wait for my orchid stems to turn brown. I immediately cut it back once the blooms have fallen.
  • Option #2 – Cut it back right below the brown part of the stem. If you choose to cut the shoot halfway (just below the brown part) you may have more blooms sooner because sometimes orchids do give off a second bloom, from a dying shoot, but it will often result in smaller blooms. Also this has been very rare for me which is further reason why I choose option #1. Β In this case you would want to cut it right above a node (shown below). I know a lotΒ of people who choose this option, IF the plant has a large root system. That way it allows the plant to potentially branch off an existing shoot.

A node looks like a half envelope on the orchid shoot.


How do you cut an orchid stem back?

  • You want to use a clean sharp cutting tool
  • Clip the shoot
  • Then sprinkle cinnamon, yes the natural stuff in your cabinet, on it to help it fight off bacteria. Cinnamon is a natural fungicide.
  • At this point you may also want to repot your orchid because your orchid will focus on growing new roots and leaves as it prepares for new flower spike in the Fall. By repotting it you are giving it fresh new mix that has extra nutrients (all orchid mix breaks down overtime and needs to be replaced).

Here is a great video, from that will guide you in cutting back your orchid stems.

Hope that helps,


Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at with pictures of your orchid.

384 Comments on “Cutting an Orchid Bloom Stem

  1. Thank you, for the article. It was very helpful. This is my first orchid (phalaenopsis) and it was given to me by my boss and when the blooms died, fell off, and the shoot started turning brown I thought it was dying. I am still if’y on the roots and re-potting. Afraid I will get rid of roots that are still healthy. Surprised me to see that the roots are firm and white (they are visible or overgrowing so it definitely needs to be re-potted but I am nervous. Should the roots be so dry/brittle? I did however, cut the stem all the way back because it was entirely brown. On the tag that came with the orchid it says to water with 3 ice cubes a week. But sometimes I feel like it isn’t getting enough water. Would it hurt to actually water it?

  2. Hello Hannah,
    As an avid orchid grower and garden writer, I often cringe at most online orchid advice. However, after ready many of your wonderful articles I have to say your advice is spot on-you get everything right as far my own experience with orchids go! I am also glad you debunk all the silly myths out there, which really do annoy me. Everything you talk about will ensure everyone can have beautiful orchids, and keep them that way. One of my older Phal’s always shocks me by having flowers that last 10-11 months each year!!
    One thing I would like to add about flower spikes-I do cut mine just as you do- but I have one I never cut. It has been green for about 5 years and produces beautiful blooms 2-3 times per year on the same spike! It has a couple branches now on it as well. I read once there are a few out there like this. Have you heard of this? Keep up the fantastic work, I am so impressed with you! πŸ™‚

  3. Hi,
    I bought a blue phal full of blooms and it even had little blue petals growing out from the stem, which made me think i would have new blooms. The blooms have all fallen off now but the stem went all dried up with the little petals on it looking dry too. What went wrong? Were they not new blooms? Please tell me what i should do. I don’t know wether i should cut the stem or not. I water it once a week and give it enough light i think.

  4. Thank you your comments were so well explained I now know how to look after my first orchid!! Wish me luck!

  5. Thank you for your informative article and that you published it for free! So clear and helpful.

  6. I had some beautiful flowers prior to hospital stay and now after viewing your tape, I want to continue with my orchids again. They have been dormant for a year. Can I get them to develop flowers again?

    • Hi,

      They typically bloom once a year. Make sure they have plenty of drainage, only water them when dry and give them dapple sunlight.


  7. Hi hanna,
    I was looking for the exact thing since few day . Ur Video and article has helped me in taking care of my orchid .
    It was indeed informative .

  8. I have a phaleanopsis orchid that has produced a keiki at the top part of it’s bloom stem. After keiki started forming plant continued to flower. Blooms have fallen off and now am wondering when I should trim back the stem, also when should I consider cutting the keiki and repotting? I have read articles that say to do after roots are 2-3 inches long others that say to leave the keiki as long as possible. Most of the articles though show keiki growth at the base near parent plant not at the top of the bloom stem. Any advice/help you can offer be greatly appreciated as this plant has been doing very well for a year now and has flowered three times since I was given the orchid.
    Thank you

  9. Thank u for your orchid trimming video. It was very helpful.

  10. No new spikes for many months from my Phalaenopsis orchid plants – no direct sun; cut some back to base; watered every 7-10 days when they seem dry; repotted x2; don’t know what else to do. Help????

  11. Hello Hannah,
    Great video, thank you! I left the full stem over the winter after the flowers fell off. It is still green. I now have a new stem growing from the second node from the base, with so far 4 tiny blooms appearing. There is nothing growing from the green stem above this node. Should I cut the stem above, and if so, how far from the new stem should I cut?
    Thank you!

      • Hi Hannah, my orchid has flowered and looks beautiful. I’m a little concern because you advise to the cut the stem until it has finished blooming…my flowers haven’t begun to fall off, however, the stem is almost entirely yellow…should I still continue to wait until they fall off or go ahead and cut them at the base?

  12. Hi….thanks, that helps (especially with the pictures).
    I’m in Phoenix AZ, so dry air is a problem….. any tips?

  13. Hi I have a stem that has buds on it but at the top it is turning g brown not sure what to do at this point part of it has broke off. Will this kill my orchid ? Will my flowers bloom?

  14. What if there’s a node with a secondary spike? Where to cut?

  15. I have so many questions about my orchid. You answered 99% of them. Thank you so much for your informational video. I will continue to listen and or read about things you write so that I can have a healthy Orchid. The blooms are completely gone now. The leaves look like they’re not getting enough water! I’m not real sure how to repot it yet but I will research it. I have a green thumb so why have a challenge now also. Again thank you

  16. Good afternoon, I watched​ your video and my plant is due to be cut back. Do I place the plant in the same area that it was or does the plant need to be in a dark area or should it have more of sunlight? What’s a good temperature for it too rebloom? Thanks

    • Hi,

      I have a post on a light requirements – it basically needs to be near a window for natural sunlight but not in direct sunlight. Orchid leaves can get sunburnt.


  17. my mil has a lot of orchids and she takes very good care of them. They bloom beautifully for her. She told me not to cut off the stem unless the whole stem had turn brown. Apparently most of her orchids are able to grow more flowers from the dying stem. The flowers are just as large as the initial bloom.

    • Hi,

      That is wonderful! I am glad that works for her. With mine it seems to work better if I cut them to the base. I say whatever works for you then go ahead and do it! Best of luck,


  18. Hi, my Phalaenopsis was done flowering a couple of months ago but the spike is not turning brown but seems to be producing new nodes as I didn’t cut if off. I am not very experienced with orchids so I am wondering if I should still cut the old spike now to get a bigger bloom on a new spike or will I leave the old spike and hope that it will produce flowers again? Thanks

  19. Hi, I just received a cornu cervi phal today, but the roots are kinda squidgey in a few places, and the leaves and base have black spots. The aerial roots and leaves look great besides the black speckles and the plant is producing 2 bloom spikes. I can’t decide if I should cut off the bad stuff and repot it now, or wait till its done blooming… the person I bought it from says the black spots on the leaves are normal, but I don’t really believe them!

    • Hi,

      You can always send me a picture at

      No the spots are not normal. Is it potted in a pot with a drainage hole? How much and how often are you watering it?

      Repotting it while it’s producing spikes could cause Bud Blast because it shocks and orchid. So you would probably want to wait unless it’s rotting.

      Read the post on my blog, “read this first.” It should be at the top and also my one on watering.


      • I’ve only had it one day so I haven’t watered it yet. The pot does have drainage holes and slits down the sides too. I actually ended up repotting it today with new bark after washing the pot because one root was really bad off. I read that cinnamon can help so I sprinkled some on the roots… you think that’s ok?? The seller gave me a partial refund after I told them it was rotting, so fingers crossed that it lives, but not a huge loss if it doesn’t I guess. Thanks for the help! πŸ™‚

  20. Hello Hannah, I live in FL and have a a couple dozen orchids hanging outside in baskets or attached to trees. A few phals will develop a spike, but then it turns brown and fails to develop buds. What causes that and how do I fix it? Thanks!

  21. Hi! Lovely blog Hannah!!

    I’m a fairly new orchid owner and one of the buds on my single spike orchid has begun to wilt. My light and watering is pretty on point (thanks to your advice blogs!!). But my question is, should I immediately cut off a wilting bloom to the spike or wait for the bloom to fall off?

    The plant sits near a space heater by the window, and I usually keep the room on the warmer side about 70-75 degrees in the winter. I have a good drainage pot with bark and water when it feels dry (usually about every 10 days or so. No sign of rot or other distress.

    I haven’t dealt with a wilting bud before, so I’m curious as to what you suggest. I saw your blog on cutting back the spike after ALL the buds have fallen off…but not sure what to do in the interim time with 1-off wilting buds.

    Thanks much!! PS – loveeee this blog! I’ve truly learned so much!

  22. Hi again Hannah, I have a phalenopsis which had three flower spikes. All the flowers have dropped now, but none of the spikes have gone brown as I would have expected. On one stem there is what looks like a tiny green bud at the end but it doesn’t seem to be growing. On one of the nodes there is another tiny green bud, but this has been there for over a month and also doesn’t appear to be getting bigger. On my other orchids the new spikes that have come from existing stems have grown quite quickly. I don’t know whether to just leave all the stems as they look healthy or cut them all down! Can you advise please?

    • Hi,

      It probably used up a lot of its energy producing three flower spikes. That is a lot! I have only ever seen two. It may have the energy to grow those last buds but I would cut them all back to let it transfer it’s energy to growing new roots and leaves.


    • Hi,

      It probably used up all its energy growing three spikes. That is a lot! I have only ever seen two. It may have the energy to grow those last two buds but I would cut all the bloom stems down to let it transfer its energy to growing new roots and new leaves,


  23. Hi Hannah,

    I have a Phalaenopsis orchid that I had cut back completely. It took roughly 5 months to grow a new spike and bloom. It looks very healthy and has been blooming now for around a month and a half but I just noticed last week it’s starting to grow new stem pieces off of the spike. There’s a new stem at the tip with 3 or 4 new buds and then on the other side of the flower blooms there’s 2 new stems/spikes that have emerged out of the nodes in the spike. I’m assuming with this new growth that the flowers will start to die soon? Or do you think that they continue to grow and bloom and the other flowers will stay? If the flowers do die – should I cut the plant back to where the flowers died? Or leave it so that the growth on the tip can continue? Or should I cut it back right now so that all of the energy can focus on these 2 new stalks pieces that have emerged from the spike?

    Hope you understand what I mean. Wish I could attach a picture. πŸ™‚


  24. Hi Hannah, one of my orchids I’ve had for at least 5 years. It originally had two spikes, one which eventually died and I cut back. The other spike, still the original one the plant came with, never dies, and has continued over the years to grow a spike or bloom from it, with lots of flowers. It has rebloomed many times over the years. My question is, should I cut this spike back to the base? It is very healthy and dark green, and has aerial roots and three healthy leaves at the top of the spike. I’m so nervous to cut it back and find that it won’t grow another spike. Can you please let me know what you think? Thanks so much!

  25. What should i do if the leaves on my orchid look ad I’d they rotting?i realized the orchid started getting a discoloration on its leaves shortly after i purchased it and noticed the pot didnt have a drain hole. I just transferred it to a different pot and put new orchid soul mix in and moistened soil mix with warm water that has orchid food in it. My blooms are alnost at the end of their life and i have one new leaf starting to come out. Shoulf i go ahead and cut back the spikes to replenish the leaves that look like theyre rotting to conserve its energy?

      • What does the peroxide do. I clicked on the link but it didn’t load nothing up. I love flowers but orchids are so hard for me to grow. Im not sure where to place them in my house. I live in Louisiana so its very humid here. Not sure if i should bring them outside. Every 1 ive bought has died so im hoping this one makes it. The under sides of the leaves are turning red. Its planted in the moss mix so i try to wait til its dry before watering. Any pointers you can give me. Thanks

      • Hi,

        Peroxide ariates the roots. Orchids need dapple sun. If it’s super hot outside and/or they are in full sun then they should come inside.


  26. Hi Hannah, very new to orchids but love the challenge. I have an orchid (present)which has been flowering for about 4 months. One stem, flowers fell and I cut it back to the base, but whilst the other still has two flowers it has turned yellow\brown on the main stem for about 3 inches mid way, it is still green below and above including the current flowering offshoot. Should I cut this one down or leave until the two remaining flowers fall please. Many thanks, great site!

  27. Hi, I have one orchid that came with 2 stems in full bloom. I never cut them back when the flowers fell off because there was a 3rd shoot popping up from underneath. Now that third stem have bloomed for several months and I trimmed it back when the flowers fell off. It seems as if I lost the 3rd stem because when I cut it back it still went purple/brownish to the base. There is nothing left of it at all. What should I do with the other 2 stems that still seem to be green and healthy?

  28. Hi Hannah,

    Great post and even greater that you reply to comments! I have an 18 month old double spike Phalaenopsis which I’ve had for 6 months. I cut one spike to the base after flowering and left the other. Now a month or so after cutting, I have new roots appearing and two new flower shoots growing from the lower nodes of the remaining spike.

    My question is – should I cut the spike above the new flower shoots to encourage them to grow, or leave well alone? The nodes above show no signs of new growth.

    This is my first experience caring for an orchid, so your advice is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

  29. Very thorough and helpful! I was worried my poor little plant was dying. 😦 So glad to see it’s not! Thanks for the info and the clear presentation!

  30. Hi Hannah, I’ve cut back my stem on both orchids last year and haven’t had a new shoot yet, it’s been growing a few new leaves on both but that’s all 😦 what am I doing wrong?

  31. Hi I’ve cut two of my orchids back one is a singular stem and the other a double. The singular stem and one on the double have gone a light reddish colour am I going to lose them? I haven’t done anything different. The singular one was a double last year but I lost one of the stems and don’t want to lose this one. Thanks

    • Hi,

      After orchids are done blooming the stems should die back completely. Then when new stems grow they grow from an entirely different spot. You want to cut the stems down to the base,


      • Hi hannah thanks for your reply is that at the first node bit I cut to then? As I’ve done it at like the second one up from the Base I know bast year I didn’t cut them right down to the bottom and my other stem I lost on my double never grew back from anywhere else.?

      • Hi,

        I cut them down the very base. Like below all the nodes. I have never had a double stem grow naturally. You could use probiotics and fertilizer from if you want. They are my favorite site.


      • Ok cool thank you I haven’t repotted any of my orchids yet I’ll cut them back down to the base and hope they grow. Many thanks

  32. Hi Hannah,
    I have an Orchid for 6 month. After all of its blooms fell, I repotted it, but it lost all of its stems. I repot it again and try to fertilize it. I see a new leaf today but still there is no stem. I try to spray water on the leaves. how can I encourage it to stem?

    • Hi,

      Orchids typically bloom once a year. I would not repot it again and wait till the cooler months to see if it sprouts a new stem. When it does produce a new stem it will be from an entirely different spot then the original stems,


  33. I have a phalenopsis orchid that I got for Mothers Day . It was a double spike.
    The flowers have all fallen off as a new leaf is growing . I cut back each stem as I followed the video you have . It seems the stems where I cut them are turning brown past the cuts. Did I do something wrong ?

    • Hi,

      No you didn’t do anything wrong – the stems turn totally brown and will break off. That’s the natural cycle. When it blooms again it will shoot a stem up from an entirely different spot.


      • Thank you Hannah , I don’t want to lose it , it was a special gift .

  34. Hi Hannah – I have been caring for my orchids using your advice and finally they seem to be turning a corner with new leaves and roots and even one with a new spike! However I have one orchid which i need help with – I cut the stem below the brown part and above a node when it started dying off – one of the nodes has a small browny red thing sticking out but it doesnt seem to be growing and i am not sure what it is? if its new growth I want to encourage it but having googled a lot i can’t find any examples of this! Could you please advise? many thanks Nicola πŸ™‚

  35. My Mom was given an orchid when she was in the hospital. We brought it home because she was too sick to enjoy it. The orchid entered into its resting period, so I trimmed it once all the blooms fell off. It has two stems, and I trimmed both with regular scissors. Both stems are turning brown quickly. I dont have a green thumb, so can you help me by telling me what I did wrong and what I can do fix it?

  36. I was wondering if you can advise me please.
    I bought 2 orchids at a large garden show a few weeks back. We have had humid and damp weather the past 10 days and I had to rescue them by bringing them in from the garden.

    My problem is that both have now started to show light brown flecks/dots on the petals and the orchid is starting to look weary.
    Is there a way I can rescue these plants even if it means cutting them right back?

  37. I just wanted to ask if it is normal for an orchid to keep blooming all year round every year? The reason why I ask, is because I seem to have such an orchid. I don’t don’t do anything with it other than watering it when it is dry. I’ve had this orchid for well over 5 years and I bought it from Tesco.
    I cut of some of the dying of shoots for the first time ever after finding your blog so hoping that will not kill it. LOL
    What can I do with leaves which are not so green and dry at places?

    Thank you so much for this blog. It is fantastic! x

  38. I bought a phalaenopsis orchid at walmart about 4 months ago. It had alot of flowers on it but the pot was tiny and I was new to orchids so I repotted and about a week later all the flowers had fallen off. I eventually cut off the stem, it had turned brown all the way down. The leaves are still growing, a dark green and a few new ones in the middle that are a purplish green. I didn’t know it wouldnt immediately start producing new flowers, as I am new to orchids, this is my first one. The only window I have to place it in is a west facing window, go figure… but it is behind other plants so is not in direct sunlight. I feel it is growing nicely but my question is when can I expect new flower growth? I cannot find the same answer online, everything I rewd is completely different. Should I put it in the corner of the room where no sun really hits or leave it where it is? The leaves are not as big as the ones in your pictures, they do not droop over the side of the pot, they are flatter and only come out of the pot about 2 or 3 inches. I have not fertilized it either. I have read dormancy can be 6-9 months!! Which is fine but I really want to see new flowers bc i did not get to enjoy the ones that were on it when i bought it because they fell off so soon. It being summer, the a/c is on in the day so it stays around 71Β° and at night the window is open so it’s about the same, maybe a little cooler. Im just afraid I repotted too soon and will never see flowers again. Please give me your input and advice as to what to do.

    • Hi,

      Orchids typically bloom once a year and in the fall.

      You want your orchid near a shady window. Not direct hot sunlight but also not total darkness.

      It’s up to you to use fertilizer – it helps but not necessary.

      I have links on fertilizer, light requirements if you need them on the blog.


      • Thank you. It seems I am doing everything right lol.

  39. I’ve had my orchid for a while now. All the blooms have fallen, but the stem still looks dark green and has never changed color. It also started a new bloom bud at the end, but it never grew and is still there now months later. Should I cut the stem? I’ve had orchids before but this is the first time the stem hasn’t turned brown!

    • Hi,

      If it were me I would probably cut it. I like bigger blooms the next season. This helps transfer the energy.


  40. Please help, y is over a year and a half that my orchid does not Bloom. I removed the brown spike by cutting it off at the end/roots
    I give them food etc. The plany/leaves are growing get new leaves but no flower and no new spike

  41. This is very helpful and well written. Thank you so much for your contribution, Hannah.

  42. Hi. I have a small orchid that I bought a few months ago. (probably Phalaenopsis. It was an Ice cube orchid.) that is starting to look very cramped in it’s tiny (maybe an inch and a half) diameter pot. There’s a root growing out of the only drainage hole in the bottom, and is actually growing in a way that it’s basically dividing itself in half on the plastic. The problem is that it has been blooming continuously since I bought it. It dropped flowers once but then immediately started forming new buds on that flower stalk and sent up a second one a few weeks later. The constant blooming, i think, is killing the plant, as the leaves have begun to turn yellow-ish. I was wondering if it would be okay to cut off both flower stalks and repot the plant while the stalks are still blooming and have unopened buds?


  43. Hi Hannah,
    Just recevied my first Phal plant yesterday.
    After reading your blog I got the nerve to remove the plastic covering, remove the pot from the pot and find the drainage holes. The moss is neither silver or green, I would say it’s goldish brown. I want to keep my plant and learn how to take care of them. What do I do?
    What ever is under the top moss feels a little damp but lookinng at the moss coming thru the wholes on the bottom looks dry, very dry.
    Thank you,

    • I don’t want to be rude or disrespectful to the person who writes this blog, but I have several issues with some things she recommends. Like repotting after you cut the spike. I’ve read several pages (that include The National Orchid Society) that say you should wait. They say that you only need to re-pot the plant every 1-3 yrs. Again, I have only been doing this for 6 months, but everything I’ve read and watched from other Orchid websites, contradict this blog…so I just wanted to let you know and perhaps look around first. Again, I mean not disrespect.

      • Hi,
        My name is Hannah and I write this blog. Most of the information on here is in direct reflection of The National Orchid Society (however not endorsed by them – I am a simple housewife and mother).
        I give two options on cutting the stem. One is what personally helps me and many other growers and the other is what others use.
        I also say to repot every 1-3 years. The only reason I suggest repotting a new orchid is most of the time they are sold in pots that strangle their roots and suffocate them to death as shown here…
        No Drainage
        One you initially repot them from their “death sentence” then you don’t need to repot then again for quite sometime. Which is good because I have a lot of orchids and that would take awhile
        As far as “everything you have read and watched from other orchid websites, contradicts this blog” well that’s a whole other can of worms. If you like you can email me at and I can go line by line, blog post by blog post and show you how they are in accordance with other orchid websites. That is certainly something we could do. It would take quite a while. In the mean time check out and see if some of things I say match up with them.
        Thank you for the feedback and I hope you learn as much I have studying websites while nursing your 6 month old orchids. Aren’t orchids just the best!
        Best of luck,

  44. I know this is an old post…but it has been very helpful to me πŸ™‚ Thank You for sharing πŸ™‚

    • Hi,

      I can’t figure out how to change the dates on my post without it messing up the eternal links. All of them are actually current and up to date. Thank you for the sweet compliment,


      • You’re Welcome πŸ™‚ I had an orchid in need, typed in google and BAM…at your blog I was πŸ™‚ Answered my question instantly πŸ™‚

        Can’t help you on the date issue though 😦 I wouldn’t worry about it though, the information is what’s important πŸ™‚

        Thank You Again ❀

  45. No questions here. I just wanted to say that I’m so excited for my orchid’s blooms to fall off so I can repot and help it grow larger and healthier next year! Before reading your site I was hesitant to cut the stem and to repot, it seems counterintuituve, but now I understand. Your site is the most clear and useful orchid site ever. Thank you!

  46. Hi, I go an orchid for mothers day last year. I never cut back the stem on my orchid. It never turned brown or yellow and I have never owned one so I didn’t know you should trim them back at all. I have 2 shoots branching off my original stem that look like they will put in new blooms this spring. Should I wait to cut off the top part of the shoot that bloomed last year or go ahead and trim that back to the new shoots? All leaves are still nice and green and sturdy no big roots coming out of my pot. What do you suggest I do about trimming?

  47. I cut my orchid down to the too the base from now all I have is green leafs after it bloomed. Now it will not grow a new stem. Have I killed it. Now I just have green leaves. Help

    • Hi,

      When it blooms again it will grow from an entirely different spot. You have not killed it. Orchids typically bloom once a year.


  48. Hi Hannah, thanks for your great article! I have 9 orchids (I think they are all Phalaenopsis) of various sizes- none of which are blooming right now. How often should I water them? At first I did it every week…but I haven’t been doing that lately because sometimes they’re still damp after a week has gone by, and I read that I should wait until they’re dried out before watering again. Should I water them once a week regardless of if they’re dried out or not? Thanks! πŸ™‚

  49. My mom sadly passed away Sept 11, 2015 and someone sent a “Just add ice orchid” for me to keep after the funeral. The one long stem had beautiful bloom’s on it but after about a monththe bloom’s fell completely off and after the long stem begin turning yellow, then brownish I completely had to cut it down to the base. The stem has never regrown in the least but the leaves sprouted out another beautiful big leaf and it’s now been 5 months with 3 beautiful healthy leaves but no stem. PLEASE help, will the stem ever grow back and rebloom ?? I’m still keeping it because the leaves are huge, beautiful and alive.

  50. Hi Hannah, I have a phal with two stems, they flowered for ages when I got it, and then fell. The stems still look healthy and I didn’t cut them back as they appear to have tiny buds at the top, but these aren’t getting any bigger and have been the same size for a few months now. In that time the orchid has grown a new healthy leaf. Should I cut the stems back?

    • Hi,

      It’s really up to you but I like to cut them back after they have bloomed so it transfers energy to the plant. It may not have the energy to bloom again or it could. It’s really up to you to chance it or let it go into its active growth period which is when the leaves and roots grow.


  51. I have a orchid which the stem has kinda forked off. One part of the ” fork” is turning brown with no flowers on it anymore ( it did have quite healthy flowers earlier). But the other ” fork” still have really healthy flowers.
    Should I leave it alone till all the blooms die and then cut at the base. Or cut off the browning ” forked ” part of the stem ?

  52. I had an orchid with the stem dying and so I trimmed it back just above the next healthiest node but now it feels like it’s drying out there so to speak. Where I cut it is no longer healthy and green– just kind of dried out… It’s not all the way down the stalk maybe just 2 MM from the top. Is it dying? Did I do something wrong? The plant is generating new leaves so it’s still alive.

  53. Hi my phalaenopsis orchid has started getting leaves off the original flower stem. This started happening before I cut back the stem this year. I have this plant since 2014 August and cut the stem after the glowering that year. Then in 2015 the flowers didn’t want to fall off. It dried up and remained firmly attached. The when it did fall I saw new shoots so I assumed more flowers, but no it leaves. Even on the brown stem. Please advise what is the best way to continue taking care of it. Must I cut the leaves or leave it

  54. Hello! I was given an orchid and have done my best to care for it. The stems turning colors. And I would trim, but the nodes on the branch seem to be growing, as if it may blossom. What should I do? Also, my leaves aren’t perky and have wrinkles. Is that over watering?

  55. Hello, I have an orchid that was given to me by a friend who “didn’t know what to do with it”. It has bloomed several times since I have had it. But the last time that it bloomed, when the blooms fell off the stem turned brown and fell off. How long will it take for another stem to grow?
    Thank you so much

    • Hi,

      That is normal and you will want to cut the stem down to the base. Orchids typically bloom once a year and when it does it will be from another spot.


  56. I got my orchid in December and it’s still living till this day. But them stem turned all the way brown. Do I have to report my orchid plant?

    • The stem will do that – it’s normal. You want to cut it down the base and when it blooms again it bloom from another spot. You can repot it now if you like,


  57. Hi Hannah,

    I got my orchid back in September and it went into the resting phase around January, but I never cut back the stems starting to turn yellow, and did not re pot. One of the stems had another shoot that did rebloom 1 flower. Should I now wait to cut the yellow/brown stems? Or can I do it now even though some of the plant is trying to flower?

    • You can cut down any stem that isn’t flowering. If the flowering is apart of the same stem you can cut the brown part off or leave it and wait till the whole thing is done flowering to cut it,


  58. Hi Hannah-
    I just repotted my little orchid only a few months before it bloomed–should I still repot it after it is done blooming as you state above since I’ve done it so recently? Thanks so much!

  59. I have just inherited an orchid that has multiple blooms is about 3-4 years old. It blooms beautifully and has sprouted some new leaves along the way BUT it has some old very dry wrinkly leaves as well. Is there any way I can get rid of or cut off the unsightly ones. It would make the orchid so much prettier. This orchid has never been transplanted–simply watered,etc. and also sat in a very cool window ledge. Hope you can advise!

  60. Hi! This was such useful information. I need your advice: should I use fertilizer for my phalaenopsis? If yes, then what kind of fertilizer and how often should I do? May I also give that after cutting off the spikes?
    Thank you so much in advance!

  61. My orchid has new growth lower on the shoot. Should I cut the old growth above to encourage the development of more blooms or just leave as is?

  62. Although I haven’t tried this yet, yours was the only site that had a picture of my browning orchid, and I will surely give this a go! Wish me luck!!!

  63. I have an orchid for two years that bloomed constantly. It had very large flowers. I had to move it out of the window it was in for two years. Blooms stopped and I miss my baby. I do not have a window at home that is equivalent to the window at work. It is still alive but no flowers. Help

  64. Hi there,

    I was given an orchid and put it on the window ledge where it was exposed to steam from the slow cooker over several days. Now most of the flowers have fallen off, but the stem is still green. What should I do to bring it back to good health?

  65. Hi Hannah,

    I bought an orchid with two spikes growing parallel. Each spike forks into two branches at the top and has several branches along the way up, all with blooms. When I bought it, it was mostly buds that all opened. Well, I managed to keep it alive and then all the blooms dried out and fell off slowly, which seemed normal. I waited for the spikes to yellow, but they never did. Now, I have new growth on every branch, including buds, and a couple new branches. I plan to let it keep growing — should I expect a smaller bloom? Would you cut the spike, even though it has so much new growth?


  66. Hi Hannah,
    Forgive me if someone already asked this… I actually have 2 orchids:
    1. The blossoms fell off my orchid at work, but the stem still seems healthy & is growing! I can almost watch it grow. I’m hesitant to cut such a healthy, growing stem. It’s in my cubicle at work; fluorescent lighting. What should I do?
    2. My orchid at home has rebloomed & has sprouted “air roots” (?) at the base of the blooms (not at the base of the plant, but up the stem!). Those blooms are starting to fall… It sits at a window w/ southern exposure.
    I water both orchids on a 10-day rotation.
    Thanks so much for any advice you can give. πŸ™‚

  67. Hi Hannah! I love your site! I have five orchid plants currently sprouting new leaves and roots. My fingers are crossed for blooms next a year.
    Here is my question: Is the “Cinnamon” that we buy at the store, which is really Cassia, just as effective as “True or Ceylon” Cinnamon? Or should I buy some true cinnamon?

  68. Thx for this awesome post! I have cut our orchid as described and hope that it will bloom again, soon:D

  69. New to Orchids and I have knack for killing most everything. I have a clay pot with what appears to be 3 separate Orchids. One stem had mushy, almost slimy leaves at the base that I tore off. Since then all of its blooms have dropped and the stem is brown from the base up about 3-4 inches and the top where the blooms were is also turning brown now. I am unsure if the plant has died and I should separate it from the other two or if I just need to cut the stem down near the base? The other two stems in the pot (that have different bases) still have blooms although they’re starting to wilt and drop. Their stems all appear green still but the leaves are turning yellow one one with only three blooms left, and the other stem with 6 blooms, the leaves are starting to become wilted and starting to change color. Please help!! I dont want to kill these beautiful plants!! I can send a picture if need be? Thanks in advance!

  70. Thank you for all the information on orchids. It was very helpful. One question: my orchid was in a clear pot when I bought it and I noticed that the ones in your video were also clear. Is that important?

  71. My Orchid lost it blooms in feb, It since has grown 2-3 big leaves and now notice it growing off the old spikes with buds. Should I cut off the spikes about the buds? They are still green.

  72. My orcharids have fallen off I have cut them .I really don’t know is it right I love them and tslk to them.i will send a pick please advice.

  73. Hi, I have an orchid I purchased a while back. I’m really new with taking care of flowers and this was my favorite one so far. About 3 weeks ago the flowers fell and I have one yellow leaf out of three. Does that mean it’s dying? When and where do I cut it to make it rebloom again? What should I use for the soil to repot? And how big of a pot should I get for it? Sorry for all the crazy questions:). I’d like to send a picture of my orchid to show what it looks like to see if my orchid is okay. I’d like some advice and an opinion please and thank you !!

  74. Hi, I have an orchid I purchased a while back. I’m really new with taking care of flowers and this was my favorite one so far. About 3 weeks ago the flowers fell and I have one yellow leaf out of three. Does that mean it’s dying? When and where do I cut it to make it rebloom again? What should I use for the soil to repot? And how big of a pot should I get for it? Sorry for all the crazy questions:). I’d like to send a picture of my orchid to show what it looks like to see if my orchid is okay. I’d like some advice and an opinion please and thank you !!

  75. I have an orchid that I think may be too far gone. Could I upload you a picture . Thanks for the site it’s very informative 😊. Shawn

  76. Hello Hannah, thank you for such an informative site!!

    I’m new and in my first year of growing orchids and have a question. I have a yellow/magenta phal that eventually dropped it’s blooms, oh, 2-3 months ago, but the tip never turned brown. It’s still a deep green like the rest of the stem and I thought it was a bud months ago but it hasn’t bloomed or appeared to be growing. In the meantime, new roots have started to grow and a new leaf grew to match the other established leaves at ~6in (that was fun to watch!!). I purchased this plant in maybe… Feb/Mar and would like to see a rebloom or new spike. Should I cut the current spike even with the healthy looking tip? (Pot has drainage and is fortunately clear. I water by flooding when roots are silver, more often in this SoCal summer!)

    I also purchased a phal with 1 stem and 2 side branches a while ago (Apr?), each with beautiful large white blooms (yellow in the center if I remember right). I was really nervous about this and haven’t cut the main stem even though the tips of all 3 branches have dried. I will definitely cut the stem back now, but do you think that delay may affect the plant growing a new spike? The pot is also clear with drainage holes and I’ve seen lots of new roots growing (including an aerial one) and just today spotted 2 leaves growing from the base (as opposed to one leaf growing from the top in my other orchid).

    I accidentally killed the first orchid I purchased in Jan (no drainage so I tried repotting after the blooms fell, root rot abounds) so I’m very nervous about cutting the stems on my two surviving (thriving?) orchids. I will purchase fertilizer to start feeding them too. I know you recommend repotting after purchasing a store bought orchid but will they be ok since I can see most of the roots? Extremely hesitant considering the last time I tried, maybe next year? The larger phal was bought in a flower district by a individual grower but the smaller one at Home Depot.

    On a side not, my boyfriend bought me a full bloom miltoniopsis from a farmer’s market last week and it’s hanging in there as we both get acquainted and adjust (only one bloom dropped so far, others look a little crispy with a few leaves getting yellow tips; I’ve since moved it to a slightly shadier spot where my yellow phal is. Also where one of my cats can’t nibble it, he doesn’t mind the other orchids but apparently liked the taste of this one!). Do you have any in your collection? I’m trying to gobble up as much info on this cute species as possible (smells a little citrus-y, so CUTE).

    Many, many thanks,


    • Hi Momo,

      Thank you for the compliments on the site.

      I would cut the stems back on all of them. Cutting the stems back help to switch its energy to the plant itself. If you don’t ever cut them nothing will really happened. They would probably break off at some point but it won’t effect it blooming again in a negative way. The only positive thing about cutting them sooner is you may get bigger blooms next year.

      You can wait to repot them until after they bloom again. FYI you probably didn’t kill your other orchid by by repotting it. It was probably suffering from being overwatered and then transported to a store with no natural light. When we buy these orchids they have been through a lot of trauma before we get them and then we think we killed them.

      As far as your miltoniopsis orchid – no I don’t have one but here is some good information on them from my favorite site.

      Hope that helps,


  77. I have been raising orchids for about three years now and have had excellent luck. One Orchid I have at work has had 28 blooms on it since May. It is now just dropping some of the blooms. My question is I have one plant at home that has two new orchid plants growing off two stems. What do I need to do? Leave it as it is or should the orchids be removed and potted. I dont want to kill my orchid so advice is appreciated.


  78. Wow! What great info! Thanks so much! I’ve been reading your posts for about an hour now! I received a gorgeous large moth orchid for Mother’s Day, and it still has beautiful blooms! ….in one of the stems. The blooms in the other stem have fallen off recently. My question is- can I cut back the stem now with no blooms even though the other stem still has blooms? Or should I wait til the blooms all fall off of the second stem too, and then cut both stems back at the same time? And I know your preference is to cut them all the way down, but I so love the blooms and Would love to see if I can get a second bloom. I welcome your thoughts and advice- thanks so much! Cindy H

    • Hi,

      Yes you can cut the non blooming one back – it won’t affect the other one. Thank you for the sweet component about the blog!


  79. Hi Hannah!

    Your site is so informative and I appreciate your willingness to share everything you’ve learned about caring for orchids😊.

    I bought a “Little Lady” orchid from Trader Joe’s about a month ago. When I brought it home, of course, it was in full bloom. It stayed this way for no more than about 8 days and then all the flowers dried up and fell off. I was surprised how fast the blooms fell off but I figured it was perhaps due to the shock of being in a new environment ( Its in indirect light on the top of a bookshelf that faces a West window). I checked its roots and they look pretty healthy, just some minimal root decay as the sphagmoss was really wet when began to pull it away from the roots. I have since re-potted it into a clear plastic cup with good drainage holes and used a bark based orchid soil. My question to you is if I should go ahead and cut the spike down to the base now? The stem has no signs of turning brown at all and it’s been about 2 weeks since the flowers fell off. Is it safe to cut the stem now or should I really wait for it to turn brown? Lastly, you mentioned that forced orchids take a year to get back to their natural bloom cycle so am I correct not to expect a bloom until Fall 2016 since I bought it in June?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Erica,

      Thank you for the sweet compliment.

      Yes it’s safe to cut the stem back now and that is usually how I do it.

      Natural schedules of orchids – they typically bloom in the fall. So your schedule would not be when it was forced to bloom but when it should naturally bloom. So potentially it could shoot up another spike this year. You will have to wait to see how much energy it has.

      Your repotting was totally correct – good job!

      Best of luck,


  80. Hannah,
    I purchased my first Paph. a few days ago, at the time a spike was preparing to flower and was a little brown on top but I just thought that it wasn’t finished growing. A few days later it has gotten worse and the top of the spike is getting shriveled and more brown, however whenever I try to bend it to see if it is dried up it seems firm. Is it dying or still growing?

  81. Hello,
    I am a beginner, I received an orchid as a gift a few months ago, the blooms that were on the orchid already fell off, and even without knowing to cut the stems I had two buds come back and bloom successfully, and now seem like they are about to fall off as well. Once these last two fall off there will be no more blooms left. Once these last two fall off would it be best to cut the entire stem at the very base? It has four very healthy, large, green leaves, and two branches that do not have any blooms on them other than the one that has two, but they still appear to be green and healthy as well. Also, I was wondering if it is important to trim around the “nodes”? It seems that the plant matter growing around them is dead? I didn’t know if it would be more beneficial for the plant to trim the parts that appear to be dying or if it’s just part of the “node.” Any help is greatly appreciated!
    Thank you so much,

    • Hi,

      I would recommend cutting them back to the base because it produces bigger blooms next year (the energy transfers to producing leaves and roots which in turn produces blooms). Also when it blooms again it will bloom from an entirely different spot.


  82. I have an orchid that i got as a gift. It bloomed fine but i didn’t know i was meant to cut back the stem after the flowers had fallen, so now i have a stem with new leaves growing from the top of the stem. The leaves at the bottom ( normal growth) have died and fell from the plant. Please advise me on what i should do to rescue this plant

  83. I’ve had this orchid for over a year, it seems like every time I go to cut it back after it’s completed blooming, it’s already blooming again, which is getting quite frustrating. I wait for the blooms to fall, then wait for the stem to turn brown (it never does) and the next day it’s already blooming again. I’m still not sure when to cut it back.

    Its at a South facing window and it seems happy there, leaves look great. Every since I’ve had this poor thing it’s never stopped blooming.

    • Wow that is a lot of blooms!! Is it potted in a pot with a drainage hole? How many months has it been on bloom. I would enjoy it because most people only get a month or two.


  84. Hi, Hannah! Your site is AMAZING! Thank you for all you do for us! Your information has saved 2 of my orchids but I’m at a halt with my 3rd. I don’t know what to do with it. There is 1 main stem and two branches (I don’t know the technical name) grow from it. One has run its course and all the blooms have fallen off (it had about 5). The 2nd had 7 and now I’m down to 2 blooms. What do I do with the barron branch? Do I wait until the last of the blooms fall off and then cut it at the base? Thank you so much for your time. And again, we cannot thank you enough for all you do πŸ™‚

    • Hi,

      Great job on your other orchids! You can wait till this loses all the blooms to cut it off or cut the branch that has already lost its blooms. Either way you will be fine,


  85. I have two questions! 1 I’m not sure what kind of orchids I have.. I have one that has a brown spot on a leaf, it’s covered mostly by another leaf but I wondered if something was wrong with it? 2. What do you do if roots are growing out the top and getting quite long? Thank you

  86. Hi,

    I am hoping you might be able to help. My orchid had an old cut dried stem of about 1/2 inch lower than all of the leaves. I have managed to pull that off by mistake and now there’s a hole in my plant from where it snapped. Is there anything I can do to help heal it?

      • Thanks Hannah! I thought that I might have done irreversible damage

  87. I’m assuming after I cut the stem back to it’s base roots I will still need to water whenever its very dry? The instructions said an ice cube a week, but wasn’t sure if that was just when the blooms were on the orchid or if it went dormant and didn’t need to be watered once the flowers fell off.

  88. Hi!

    My orchid stem looks look the first stem you showed (the greyish/brown one). It finished blooming 3-4 weeks ago and i’ve just continued to water weekly. However after watching your video, should I cut the entire stem off and repot it now?

    Thank you!!

    • Hi,

      I cut them back to the base. It’s my personal preference bc I like their full energy to go to growing new leaves and new roots. You can repot it now or wait till the next bloom cycle. Is it potted in a good plastic pot with lots of drainage holes?


  89. Hi!
    Your blog has helped me a lot with caring for my Orchid! I recently repotted it before the blooms had fallen off the pot the Orchid came in was a plastic cup too small for the roots and with no drainage and I wanted to get it out of that right away as to avoid root rot. The pot it’s in now is larger and it seems like there is plenty or growing room for the Orchid. So my question is since I’ve already repotted it like 3 weeks ago would I need to do that again when my blooms fall off? I’m also concerned that my Orchid roots are dying and I don’t know how to tell if it’s okay! Please help!

    • Hi Shay,

      You don’t need to repot it again so soon. I repot my orchids after I first get them (because I don’t like the pots and the mix they are sold in) and the blooms fall off. And then again in about two years. Repotting them when they are in bloom may make the blooms fall of prematurely (because it shocks and orchid) but it won’t hurt the orchid.

      The only reason I would repot is if you put it a huge container. Orchids like to be snug. The roots need to be touching the sides of the orchid pot. If you are in between sizes you can add white packing peanuts to the pot to absorb extra room. Orchids don’t like a lot of “room to grow.” In nature they are clinging to trees etc and are in very tight spaces.

      Orchid roots can rot very quickly if overwatered and most places overpack them with mix and water to make them last to the store. Unfortunately this can lead to them rotting and dying. You want to cut off ONLY black mushy rotting roots. Let your orchid completely dry out and then only water when it’s super super dry.

      Hope that helps,


  90. Hi Hannah, I just came across your blog and I had a question about my orchid. I was taking on of the dead flowers off the stem and I accidentally broke the top bit off! I’m too afraid to do anything that might hurt the plant. It has one stem with another that shoots off of it, the shoot still has a few blooms on it and when I broke the little part off I broke off the last bud on the main stem. Should I trim it to the base or not?

    • Hi,

      Is there a way you can send me a picture at If not we can figure it out here.

      Are there no more buds at all?

      If so then you can cut the whole stem off at the base. It won’t hurt it. When it grows a new stem (probably next year) it will grow from an entirely different spot.

      If there are still buds then just leave it alone.


  91. Hi,

    I recently cut off two of the stems half an inch above the second node of each stem and then sprinkled cinnamon on them. The stems are not looking as green as they used to be. Is that a problem? Should I keep the cinnamon on covering the cut? Is watering the same amount (every 7-10 days) alright? Thank you!

  92. Thank you so much for this blog post! I felt panic when I saw the stem turning brown after all the blossoms had fallen off. i thought the plant was dying. I googled for help and found your blog. This is a tremendous insight and help for me, so thanks!

  93. Hi Hannah, So ive purchased my first orchid several weeks ago and it has been doing just fine. But one thing…I purchased it and it came with 2 spikes one of them seems to be more mature or older…and the younger spike has tried to bloom two small buds at the end but they both ended up shriveling and falling off. Very upset about this. The young spike is currently trying to bloom two baby buds that ive identified and i want them to bloom. Assuming that the plant is using alot of energy maintaining both spikes, i was wandering if i should cut the older spike back to the base. P.s. I forgot to mention the older spike is currently in an ending bloom with two still opening flowers at the end. My orchid has 4 very green and healthy leaves down at the base. What should i do? P.p.s Both spikes are pointing in completely opposite directions. Should i send a picture it may help.?

  94. Hi, I’ve had my orchid for about A year now. It was beautiful but it has never blossomed again and now the stem is starting to turn black…HELP!!! It was a gift from my husband and it’s my favorite flower what’s wrong with it and what can I do to get back to being healthy…..:/ I hope you can help me….

  95. Hi there, I hope that you can help! I have a orchid that I got last year and it bloomed perfectly and then started growing new branches that started to produce new buds earlier in the year. I think I did the totally wrong thing and trimmed back the older branches (not the main stem) but they hadn’t turned brown (I didn’t realise that they should be). Now I have the branches with a couple of buds on that haven’t done anything for a couple of months now and I’m not sure what to do?! They don’t look dead and look like they could flower, if I only knew what to do?!
    Hopefully you have the answer – fingers crossed!

  96. I had my orchid in my kitchen window and it bloomed all summer a friend told me to cut the stem back so I did to the base and it has since grown one new leaf and now started a second one but no sign of a new stem? What should I do some say repot but I don’t know what to repot it in as it looks like wood clippings mine is in?
    Please help

  97. Hello, I received my first orchid (phal) as a gift in November (potted on moss). It bloomed beautifully until about a month ago. Now, the leaves are beautiful, thick, green. The stems are nice & green too except for the top few inches which are now brown. I cut one off – just the brown part. & dabbed with a bit of cinnamon. I got scared & left the other alone. Is that where to cut it, or should it come all the way off? It seems strange to cut off the beautiful, green stem. Thanks for any advice!

    • Hi Suzanne,

      If the blooms are gone then I suggest cutting both stems back to the base. When they bloom again a shoot will grow from an entirely different spot. This way the orchid can focus on growing new leaves and new roots in preparation for new blooms later.

      Make sure it’s not in a pot without a drainage hole…

      And water it only when is VERY dry…

      Hope that helps,


      • Thank you! It’s in a decorative pot with a drainage hole as well as a plastic container. Should I be repotting it or at least cleaning it up & keeping in same pot? Also, out of curiosity, what would happen if I just left it with the stems cut only at the brown part, leaving the green stem? Your site is helpful & interesting!

      • Hi,

        The stem would eventually turn completely brown. And you would have to cut if off anyway. It’s still green because the orchid is giving it nutrients. When you cut it off it then transfers those nutrients to the plant.

        Orchids like being in clear pots with lots of airflow. The outer pot kinda traps moisture and doesn’t allow for air flow. I would remove it. You can repot it now or wait a year till the next bloom season is over. You never want to repot an orchid while its in bloom. If it’s not growing out of its pot you can wait till next year.

        And thank you for the compliment,


      • OK, fantastic! Soooo…just to make sure… Would you repot it now or wait til after next bloom? I’ll cut the stems to the base? You’re super helpful!

      • I would repot it if it’s growing out of its current pot and/or it’s been in its current pot for two years. You can send me a picture at if you like and I could tell you right away πŸ™‚


      • Ok..I received it in November as a gift, so I don’t know how long it’s been in its pot. I don’t see that any roots are growing out of the pot, it has moss all around it. I’ll send pic later, thanks!!

      • Okay:) when you send the pics give me a reminder of our discussion on here so I know for reference.


  98. Just a quick thank you for this site. It is so helpful for a beginner, like me!

  99. Hi. After reasonable success with my dozen orchids, people are bringing me their sick ones. I have just been given one with brown leaves but two flower stems with what looks like new leaves spouting from nodes. Do I keep watering the mother plant until others are big enough to pot on? Roots are looking quite brown and unhealthy. Is it a lost cause? Last one that came from this home had been left outside overnight and was frozen solid!!

  100. Hello,
    I have an orchid plant with its initial shoot that has already given off two new shoots after the flowers dropped. I trimmed them back to just above the new growth and they were doing great until the dreaded bud blast. All the buds (that were about to bloom) shriveled and fell off. Very sad. I think this happened because I moved the plant to make room for our Christmas tree. The plant is now back in its original spot and seems happy. I left the plant alone and now new buds are growing off the tips of both these shoots. During all this, a new shoot grew from the base. This shoot now has many small buds.

    My question is, should I cut off the original shoot to encourage better growth of the new shoot? I have another orchid that has a new shoot growing with no other shoots and it is growing so much faster (and bigger). I feel like I am stunting the new shoot by keeping the old ones as I assume it takes a great deal of energy to maintain both. I am just worried the change might upset the new shoot. Any advice woud be helpful! Thanks!

    • Hi,

      You can cut back the old shoot to provide more energy… It does take a lot of energy to maintain two shoots. It shouldn’t effect the one that is growing well if you do this.


  101. Hi, Looks like this site is just what I need. I just got my daughter an Orchid she was driving me crazy about it. We are definitely not the green thumb girls of the family but I’m trying. So the Orchid looks really nice but one stem is turning yellow, I don’t know what to do. I just repot it but its 4pm here in FL I don’t think I should water it now. I think I should wait to morning? Please teach me to care for these beautiful plants.

  102. Good Afternoon! I have a lovely orchid that has one spike. From this one spike, there are three additional “branches” of flowers. The flowers at the top of the spike have fallen and the spike has begun to turn brown. So far, the brown has stopped just above the topmost of the three branches (which are all still flowering).

    Should I cut the brown off above the top branch? Or just wait until all flowers drop and cut the whole spike? So far, the other branches have given no indication of dropping their flowers any time soon.

    • Hi,

      You can choose either option. I would just wait till all the blooms fall off and cut it back to the base but you can cut the brown part off if you like now,


  103. Once I cut back the stems & repot my orchid plant should I water the same as I had when the plant was not in the resting stage? Thank you for the information you provided above. Very helpful!

    • Yes,

      I water my orchids the same way year round. Meaning I water them when they get very dry. So if its Summer and super hot then maybe I water more but its totally based on how dry the mix is. I do not water unless its super super dry.


  104. Hello,
    I cut the stem at the second nod but now the stem left is going brown…..what should I do now ?????
    Thank you

  105. I just bought an orchid. A small one, the full name starts with a “P” and it’s long and I don’t know who to pronounce it! Anyway, I just moved it from my window to under my light on my dresser because I felt as though it wasn’t getting enough sun for long enough in the day. The blossoms began to fall off and the stem started to turn a yellow/brown color also. (It has two stems, the other still has 4 blossoms at the middle and bottom of it, but the top of that one has started to brown as well.) If I trim back the stem that no longer has blossoms on it, do I still need to replant it even though I just got it? Also, am I able to trim the top of the other stem even though there are still blossoms there?
    Thank you for your help!

  106. Hi Hannah! Completely love your website, I’m on my first orchid journey at age 22 and have kind of fallen in love totally, already. It’s been four days! So maternal…

    What worries me is the visible roots, that keep trying to escape out, are silvery green and not sure how to get moisture to them as they are resting on top of the bark… I will send a photo now – rest of roots are nice and green however!

    I’ll email you now x

  107. Hi there, I have two orchids that have no stems! One of them bloomed twice and seemed fine but they both keep producing beautiful leaves and shoots but that’s it. it’s been like this for about a year. What did I do wrong?

    • Hi Hamlet,

      I would love to help! Orchids bloom typically once a year. So if they bloomed a year ago then you should expect them to produce bloom spikes this Fall.

      If your orchids are producing new leaves and roots then it is healthy and growing.

      As long as you are watering it correctly and your orchid has proper drainage then it will eventually bloom.

      How to water


      Some of mine took a few years to bloom especially the ones that were not taken care of before I got them.

      Many times when we get orchids into our homes they were mistreated before we got them. Mass production of orchids in green houses forces them into bloom (which in itself does not hurt orchids) and then they are shipped to stores. The shipping process is taxing to orchids and then they are placed in grocery stores etc. that over or underwater them and give them zero natural light.

      And A LOT of places sell orchids in pots with no drainage which exacerbates all the problems stated above because the roots are basically trapped in water and begin to rot (even though the blooms may look beautiful at the time).

      Then we get them, they begin to suffer and we think we have hurt an orchid when actually it was all the stuff that happened to it before we got it. It’s very frustrating but not our faults at all.

      Hope that Helps,


  108. Hi, I’m a newbie orchid owner. I was bought a lovely double spike phaelenopsis for valentines day and it has produced many, many lovely flowers since. It has just dropped it last flowers and I noticed its underneath leaves are yellowing and it is starting to produce a new green leaf. The taller spike had a second stem growing off it which has competely browned off while the top is still a normal colour and the shorter spike only had the one stem and has completely browned off… My question is, should I cut both back down to the base now or just the shorter spike? Thanks, Christine

    • Christine,

      Hi – I would love to help!

      I like to cut my stems down the base once they are done blooming because the orchid will no longer give any energy to the existing bloom spikes (the green part) and thus transfer it’s energy to growing new leaves and new roots in preparation for next years bloom spike.

      Some people like to cut only the brown part back in hopes that it may bloom again this year. I have found that by cutting it back immediately after the first (and normally only) bloom it produces bigger and better blooms the next year.

      It’s your call – if it does flower again it will do so soon and if not the whole bloom stem will go brown soon – so you would know either way what is going to happen pretty quickly.

      Beginner general info:

      I have a post on orchid leaves turning yellow – which is normally natural.

      Also make sure your orchid is potted in a pot with a drainage hole – I have a post on this.

      And make sure you are watering it correctly.

      Hope that helps,


      • Thank you so much for your speedy reply. I think I will cut them both back down to the leaves, it’s only a young plant and having watched the above video I think that would perhaps be the best idea this year.

        Your website is fantastic, everything I need to know to care for my precious orchid… I have recently bought my mum an orchid and have just recommended this site to her as I’m pretty sure she’s convinced she will kill it lol!

        I always figured orchids would be really difficult to maintain but they’re such hardy, pretty things! I think I need to buy a few more!

        Thanks again πŸ™‚


      • Christine,

        Orchids are very hardy and once you get the hang of them – they are very easy to grow! Phals are a good start – I have found them to be the easiest. Just make sure they have drainage (a lot are sold in non-draining pots) and you are watering it only when it’s dry and you should be good. Orchids like to be flooded with water and then almost totally dry out before being watered again. As shown in How to Water post.

        Drainage + don’t water it too much = happy orchid.

        Best of luck,


  109. HI, I love your page, no wonder why I’ve killed 2 of my orchids already…I was doing everything wrong 😦 I just cut the stems on my new one and repotted…the roots were rotting…hopefully I can keep this one alive…

  110. Hi Hannah- great site! I have just started learning and growing orchids (started with Phal’s) and both have done extremely well. I studied your site and learned so much. My question is that I have a Phal that has had 2 beautiful spikes which produced about a dozen blooms over a 7 mos period. The stems are now browning and dropping blooms and I wanted to cut the stems back but it has 2 leaves that have grown from the nodes. 1 is larger (approx 3″ long)and another just starting on a different node. What should I do? Leave it alone or cut the stem off above the node that is producing a leaf?
    Any insight is helpful and again- great site!

  111. Thank you soo much for this post! I tried twice to grow orchads from a starter stem and potted it myself and did neither one grew or even greened up.

    I found my beautiful Paphiopedilum Orchid at a Food Lion of all places and it grew and had lovely blooms for two months and then the blooms started to fall off (which I expected), and then the stem started to die (even though the stem had already started growing a new shoot to rebloom) and brown (killing the new shoot). I was so upset, thinking that I just didn’t have the skills, knowledge, or knack for caring for this beautiful plant!

    I had an indoor plant book that I read and reread for insight into what might be causing my lovely orchad to die and it told me nothing! I began to believe that orchads were indeed just too delicate for me to care for.

    Thankfully I googled and found your post! I have cut one stem all the way back and used the cinnomon as suggested. I am also going to be repoting it as the roots are poking up out of the soil medium (which was how it was when I bought it, and didn’t know that was a sign the plant was giving me it needed to be repotted! HeHe). I’m now much more confidant and eager to see this lovely plant grow and thrive.

    Thank you again so very much for saving my darling plant and easing and educating my mind that I can and am properly caring for my orchid.

    • Hi,

      I felt exactly the same way when I started caring for orchids six years ago! I had no idea what I was doing and there wasn’t a lot of helpful information for beginners on the internet. Now my orchids are so easy to care for (easier then most of of my other plants). I am glad this site can help you and let me know if you have questions.


      • What a wonderful website!! Informative for a begginer as Myself. Just watched video on cutting back dying stem to new growth node. No cinnamon but see what will happen. Thanx for being there for us myfirstorchid! My plant only has 2 leaves left but opted to try for one more flowering. New growth healthy but a young plant and just transplanted from spagma to bark. Will keep you in touch.

        Tim in Calif.

      • Hi Tim,

        Thanks for the compliment and I completely understand being a newbie – I had no idea what I was doing six years ago and couldn’t find anything helpful for beginners.

        No big deal on the cinnamon – it’s nice to have but when I cut my stems back they are already dead so it really doesn’t matter so much.

        I have had plenty of orchids with only two leaves end up doing really well. Cutting their stems all the way back helps to because then they can concrete on growing new leaves.

        Best of luck,


  112. So I cut my two stems back and I have watered like you said! I have a beautiful new leaf growing! I lost the Bottom leaf so I knew I’d see a new one! I’m very excited, mostly because I have always thrown my orchids out after I thought they were dead! When do you think I’ll get a new shoot??

    • Amelia,

      That is wonderful!! So glad to hear everything is going well! You may not see a new shoot for quite sometime. They normally bloom once a year. My Phalaenopsis orchids start producing shoots around November. Sometimes a little earlier. I love their leaves so I don’t mind when they are not in bloom. Good luck,


  113. I was given an orchid with no bloom, the two stems were cut all the way down to the leaves, will it ever bloom again? How long will it take to bloom again? Other than that the orchid has grown a healthy leaf and is doing well.

  114. Brilliant advice, thank you. I have had a miniature orchid for several years and the latest stem has 8 blooms but I’ve never cut them back and it is way too tall now. Thanks to your advice I will cut it right back after these have fallen as I think the reason why my leaves go brown is because all the energy is going to the very long stem.
    I also had an orchid as a gift that bloomed once and then the stem died. I have looked after it now for 2.5 years and it has only just produced a new stem! I’m so excited that my patience paid off πŸ™‚

  115. I have a moth orchid that I got a couple of months ago. The roots started to turn brown because it didn’t have proper drainage so I had to cut a good chunk of them off and then repot the plant into something that’s better. The overwatering cause little flies to show up as well. Now I don’t know if my plant is watered well or not. It was a gift and I got it while it was blooming so the stem is still very tall but only no flowers. Should I cut it? The leaves are a dark green and the plant is in a bark mixture. I’ve had to repot it twice within the last four months. This was an anniversary present so it means a lot to me and I don’t want it to die! Please help!!

  116. I have a two step orchid. One shoot is trying brown both shoots
    Flowers are falling off. No new leaves are growing. Shoe roots are bright green some or white. How should I cut this. And who should I be watering it and what’s the best living condition in my home! Thank you

  117. Hi there,
    A couple years ago I had a beautiful orchid in full bloom- once the flowers dropped off and no more grew, I was told to cut the stems off near the base of the orchid. I did this, continued watering and fertilizing it like normal but I haven’t been able to get it to re-bloom. The ‘stems’ are less than an inch from the base and are brown and dried up [like hard sticks] but no signs of new growth and no new stems. There have been several new roots and new leaves, and the leaves are super thick and green, so it’s definitely not dead. What can I do to get it to grow new stems and to get it to re-bloom? I am determined to get this to happen πŸ™‚ Should I cut the two stems completely off, flush to the base? I currently have the orchid in my bathroom, by my sink, not in a window, could this have something to do with it? And how often should I water it and use a fertilizing agent? Thanks so much! I hope I can get it to re-bloom soon πŸ™‚

    • Hi,

      I would love to help.

      It’s so frustrating when this happens. I had an orchid that just bloomed, this year, after not blooming for three years!!

      FYI: Many times when we get orchids into our homes that were mistreated before we got them. Mass production of orchids in green houses force them into bloom and then ship them to stores. The shipping process is taxing to orchids and then they are placed in grocery stores etc., that over or underwater them and give then zero natural light.

      Then we get them and think we have killed an orchid because of all the stuff that happened to it before we got it.

      Okay now for your questions:
      I am going to cut and past some of your questions to help keep then separate –

      “The ‘stems’ are less than an inch from the base and are brown and dried up [like hard sticks] but no signs of new growth and no new stems.”

      – This is very normal and what they will look like. New growth/stem will be from an entirely other part of the orchid. Those old stems won’t re-grow.

      “There have been several new roots and new leaves, and the leaves are super thick and green, so it’s definitely not dead.”

      That is great news!! Definitely not dead at all.

      “What can I do to get it to grow new stems and to get it to re-bloom? I am determined to get this to happen. Should I cut the two stems completely off, flush to the base? I currently have the orchid in my bathroom, by my sink, not in a window, could this have something to do with it? And how often should I water it and use a fertilizing?”

      Stems: I cut mine as close to the base as possible without clipping anything else. Some of the stem will remain because it’s impossible to clip all if it without clipping the root or other leaves.

      However this will not effect it’s future blooms – if you already cut it back.

      Light – it needs to be placed near a window. It needs natural light – this could be the problem. I do like putting orchids in bathrooms though because of the high humidity but they must also have natural light.

      Fertilizer – definitely helps but is not totally essential for orchids to rebloom.

      In these situations it is hard to tell why it is not re-blooming. All you can do is try to give it the right amount if water, light and surroundings and wait.

      I have links on the blog on all of the above subjects if you need to look at those.

      Let me know if you have further questions and I hope that helps,


      • Thank you so much for your quick, thorough response πŸ™‚ I am quite confident that it will re-bloom, at some point! I do have one further question – where I live in Newfoundland, Canada, the weather is quite cold this time of year, will that affect the temperature of the orchid when I place it on a windowsill to get more light?
        Thanks again!


      • Your welcome! It has been so cold here in the Midwest – 17 degrees currently without the windchill. As long as the window is shut it will be fine. It can be near a cold window as long as it is still inside the home.

        My orchids are near a huge bay widow – it’s about 72 degrees in my house. My orchids have all thrived (after many years of attention).


  118. Hi

    You mention:

    “Option #1 – Cut the orchid stem at its base, way down by the leaves.”

    Does this mean to literally cut right at the base, or should I leave some of the stem?


  119. Hi, I would so appreciate help. I have had a orchid for three years now. The first stem, the year I received it, bloomed great. When it died, I cut the stem off. Well, no new stems are growing. It grows slow, but has grown three new leaves, just no stems for flowers. Am I doing something wrong? Thank you.

    • Lisa,

      I would love to help! This has happened to me as well and I know it’s very frustrating. Some of my orchids took years to rebloom. The good news is it’s growing new leaves which is awesome and a good sign that it is thriving.

      How are you watering it?
      Where is it placed in your home/office? Near a window?
      Have you ever repotted it?


  120. Hey there!

    I own my first orchid since 4 months now and some time ago it suffered root rot and a stem started to turn yellow. I took it out from its pot, cut the rotten roots and repotted it in new medium. Ever since I only spray it instead of having the water run through it because I’m scared this would recur… It seemed to do fine but now there are other stems turning yellow and drying out even though there are still closed buds everywhere! The leaves seem healthy as well as the buds, no signs that it would be too dry or so…so I don’t understand why the stems are turning yellow with complete closed buds >_< is it dying?!?

    I hope anyone can give me an answer on this, because I'm getting really desperate here…

    Thanks already!

    Ha Ly

    • Ah and I changed its location from kitchen table to window. Unfortunately I have no idea what kind of orchid that is… My mother has a dozen orchids. she doesn’t do a thing with them and they are flourishing. I have one, water it and BAM! It seems to die… I don’t understand xD”

    • Hi,

      I would love to help. Root rot is pretty severe and devastating. I have a post in this and it needs to be treated with peroxide even though it was repotted. Many people get their orchids and they are already experiencing rot before they got them.

      You want to repot (like you did), treat them with peroxide of physan 20, and continue to water them normally. Rot does not just go away once it’s repotted and sadly orchids can die from this even if treated for it. I hope this is not the case with yours.

      As far as it trying to bloom – it may be experiencing bud blast because of the rot. Here is my link on that.

      Your welcome to send pictures to and I could help further.


  121. Help. I have two new spikes growing from my plant. I was trying to attach them to stakes and cut one off completely at the top lost about 2 inches of the brand new spike. Neither of the two have bloomed…just growing up really tall and was trying to support them with two separate stakes. I am so disappointed this is the first time I have actually had one spike let alone two. 😦 Now what should I do?

    • I am so sorry! This happened to me this year a well and I was so devastated. In my case I left it alone and it produced another bloom spike from a node right below where it have been knocked off.

      Hopefully yours will have enough energy to do produce another spike from that spike. Again … I am sorry.


      • Well we can hope it will grow another spike. I just didn’t know if I needed to do anything special. Thank you for the response and Happy New Year.

  122. I’m writing an essay about the conception and life of orchids and I was just wondering, if the orchid had completely died and there was no way I can do anything to save it, what will happen to the orchid? Is it predated? Do recyclers such as carrion consumers, fungi, bacteria, etc. remove it? Thank you so much and it would help me if you can answer it.

  123. I have a orchid which has dropped all its flowers but it has started to shoot of again from the stem can I cut it above that shoot .

    • Dave,

      Hi… I would love to help. Is the stem above the shoot brown? If it’s still green then I would not cut it just yet because it may still spike somewhere else. But if it’s brown then yes you can cut it.

      I would dab a little bit of cinnamon (the common household spice – natural fungicide) on the cut part. If you don’t have this then that’s ok.

      Let me know if you have further questions,


  124. I recently repotted my first orchid(phal) according to the directions that came with the orchid.I then put it in a semi-dark room for a week. I noticed this morning that 2 of the three leaves are turning yellow and then fell off. The spike is turning yellow also. What is the next step to help this orchid survive?

    • Ann,

      I would love to help but need to know some answers…

      Was it in flower/bloom when you repotted it? If so is it in bloom now?

      How are watering it and is it back in “indirect” sunlight (like in a window)?

      Also how long did you have it before you repotted it?


  125. Hi Hannah,

    I really enjoy your blog, and being an orchid newbie I feel like I have learned a lot so far. So, thank you for that. I purchased a beautiful Phalaenopsis this summer in full bloom, and the blooms recently fell off. So, I know you would recommend repot and cutting back the shoot. I am hesitant to repot because I have also read not to repot unless the orchid is outgrowing its pot. I would like you to share more information with me regarding this. My orchid has several leaves and is looking really good, so I guess I am just a little intimidated to mess with it too much. I recently placed it on a humidity tray that I made myself. Right now, the weather is becoming cooler, and I am wondering if it is possible for my plant to be prompted to grow a new shoot since it is the right time of year? However, my gut tells me that it is probably too soon since the plant just dropped its blooms. I am also questioning where to cut the shoot back to. I will send you a picture, and I would really appreciate your feedback. Thanks!


    • Kristen,

      I would love to help! Your orchid pics were great! Seemed like it had a lot of blooms on it!!

      You can wait to repot next year. I do that sometimes with new orchids because they have already been moved around a lot and have been through a lot of changes and I don’t want to ad to that.

      But the people who say to wait till they are growing out of their pots – I would disagree a bit. I believe they need fresh mix about every two years to be on the safe side. Plus it’s good to see how their roots are doing and sometimes by doing this I have found really sad roots and had to go down a size in a pots. Phals liked to be potted snug.

      It could spike again… If you live where it’s getting cool at night – you can crack a window and give it some lower temperatures and it may “cue” it to spike. Mine normally did not but this year I have three that have spiked twice in a year – which is new for me.

      I have a post on cutting the stems back. I always cut them at the base right by the leaves. Some people wait and see if the current spike may produce another spike but mine don’t normally do this.

      Let me know if that answers your questions,


      • Thanks! I guess I’m just not sure where to cut it back to if I want to see if the current spike will grow a new spike. It looks like there were a couple new spikes that branched off the main one in the past. Are there guidelines for where to cut back to? Do I snip off that shorter spike completely? Hope that makes sense! Thanks again!

      • You will be able to tell pretty quickly by the color of the stem…. It will turn brown and it will be pretty obvious that this stem is done blooming and that its dead.

        If it stays green for a long time and has an additional shoot from the existing main stem that maybe never produced a flower – it may additionally flower in this case.

        It also may stay green closer to the base of the plant while the upper stem turns brown. In this case clip it just above a node (node is explained in that post I sent you).

        So basically what I am saying is that by waiting and watching you will be able to tell what is going on. If it turns brown its dead. If its still green then maybe it will continue to bloom.

        Hope that makes sense.


  126. Hi, I recently purchase two Orchids. They are beautiful, but I guess I didn’t know a whole lot about them because I had no idea they die off and only bloom once or possibly twice a year. That is really interesting. My one Orchid is almost done dropping it’s flowers. Should I repot it after I clip the stem down? Is it necessary to repot the Orchid? Thanks!

    • Maria,

      You want to repot most orchids every 1 to 2 years to give them fresh mix, to check out their roots, clip rotten roots and make sure there in the right size pots etc.


  127. Hi
    What do I do when one of the flowers on my orchid plant dies? Do I cut of the flower and stem? Or just the flower, leaving the stem?

  128. Hi, I have about 6 orchids in my flat all flowering well. About 5 months ago I noticed what looked like a tiny strand of grass next to my largest one after a while it grew so I looked it up and turns out it had had a ‘baby’. Now this ‘baby’ is the tallest out the bunch and growing stronger by the day however it now has what looks like little seedling bushes bursting out of the stem. I have never seen this before as I have only ever bought them from the shop so this is all new to me. Can anyone tell me what this is? Is it good? Thank you πŸ™‚ karley

  129. Hi

    I cut the stem above the node a few months ago and it started to grow another spike, but after a while it went really dry and died. Do you know why that might be and should I cut it again above the next node down?



    • Milly,

      Sometimes an orchid has enough energy or produce another spike but doesn’t have the energy for blooms. This has happened to me – where a spike produced another smaller spike but nothing happened.

      I always cut my spikes down to the base to conserve the energy for next years blooms but a lot of other people do it your way.

      It’s up to you. Good luck!


  130. Hi there, my Phalaenopsis is in its second year and has plenty of flowers, which started to drop off in the last couple of weeks. There are still lots of live flowers and plenty of sap, but the whole main stem is dark brown and has been for a while. However, hasn’t turned to a dead, dry paler brown like its two flower stems did last year. I didn’t cut those two in time and this year the plant only grew one stem. What should I do this time and at what point?


    • Janie,

      Hi:) I would love to help.

      I cut my stems back when the last flower drops off. I don’t wait for the stem to turn completely brown.

      I guess I figure that the stem will eventually die anyway and I don’t want to wait and watch it slowly turn.

      Plus I figure that it gives more energy faster to the plant to begin concentrating on root and new leaf growth.

      Hope that Helps,


      • Thanks, Hannah! I think I will definitely do that. However, do some orchids have brown stems all the time? My one only seems to have green stems before it flowers.

      • Janie,

        Is it a Phalaenopsis orchid? I have a lot of them and their stems normally are green until the flowers fall and then they turn brown. Other orchid types can be different.

        Hannah πŸ™‚

      • My orchid has a brown flowering stem. And then it turns red.

      • John,

        Are there flowers still attached? Or are you just stating that what’s it looks like and I may want to add that some orchid stems turn red after?


      • I already cut the spike. When it had flowers on, it was brown. When the last flower was shriveling up, it started turning brown So I guess some spikes are brown and turn (…could be anything) colour and some spikes are green and turn brown.

      • Sorry, the stem dies back and turns red. I think I had a typo there…

  131. thank you so much for all this information. I am just beginning to hobby orchids and my first one is just now starting to lose blossoms after 4 months of bloom. I did not know about the repotting so I will look around for the mix so I will be ready for that step. one of the stems is still in full bloom but one branch is done. thank you.

    • Sharon,

      Your welcome and good luck! You do want to make sure that all the blooms fall first and enjoy them because normally it won’t bloom again for a year.

      Have fun,


  132. I don’t know if you’re interested but have you heard of growing orchids from seed? Especially since you have a WHOLE bunch of orchids you can make hybrids of your own! You can Google “how to grow orchids from seed” and it’s the second one. For pollinating (hybrids!) you can YouTube it. And I know this really sounds like a commercial but I don’t know how to express it in another way.
    Sorry that this such a long comment.
    P.s. I don’t really don’t know why I put it in this post maybe I should have put in it in Keiki “Baby orchid”

  133. Hi
    Love your posts. Great info
    I have a great blooming orchid the I found has an colony of tiny ants. what is the best way to clean them out? my plant is now beginning to lose its beautiful blooms after 3+ months. Is this from the ants or a natural occurance?
    Thanks Liz

    • Elizabeth,

      I would love to help:)

      The flowers dying back is probably due to normal patterns. Most likely the orchid was in bloom before you got it and blooming for 3 months is great!

      The ant business is a problem though. I would follow the post I did on Orchid Health and pest to remove them. When your orchid looses it blooms you can repot it after to make sure all the pest are gone.

      Is your orchid inside? Are there ants all over your house (or just on the orchid)? And I know this sounds dumb but are you sure they are ants?


  134. If you don’t wait for a spike to turn brown, no apical keiki will sprout. Healthy orchids can still have keiki, I think. Sorry if it sounds rude, I don’t mean to.

    • John,

      That is true. I guess my goal is to produce bigger and healthier blooms for the following year instead of growing babies. That’s why I cut them off to conserve energy… But you make a very valid point.


      • Hi Hannah,
        I bought a beautiful orchid a few weeks ago. I think I put it too close to the heater and some of the petals got burnt, but now a couple weeks later and no even using the heater the petals on some of the othwr flowers are gling black. I’ll email you a photo. Thanks heaps πŸ™‚

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