Q. My Phalaenopsis orchid just finished blooming and I’m not sure what to do with the flower stem. Do I cut it? If so, where?
A. Proper pruning of the inflorescence on a Phalaenopsis orchid can encourage rebloom. The inflorescence of small plants should be removed at the base because it is unlikely that it will produce new blooms until the plant reaches a larger size. Inflorescences of larger plants can be pruned back to just above the lowest node on the stem, which may encourage it to rebloom within 8 to 12 weeks. Some gardeners believe that it is always best to remove the entire flowering stem to its base. If flowers grow smaller with age, remove the entire stem. And if at any time the flowering stem begins to discolor and turn brown, it will need to be cut at the base of the inflorescence stem and should produce a new flowering stem within several months.