Orchids are one of the most beautiful and popular tropical plants that exist. The delicacy and color of its flowers, as well as the sweet aroma emitted by its petals, are some of the characteristics that we like so much. And of course, we care so much that they are healthy, that it is normal for some doubts to arise as time goes by.
For example, we might ask what to do when orchid stems drybecause when that happens, the plants can lose a certain attractiveness. And it is logical: the most beautiful thing they have are the flowers, but when they wither, only the leaves remain, in addition to the roots. What do we have to do?
Do orchid stems need to be cut?
It is usually the custom to cut as soon as the flowers wither. This is a common practice in nurseries and florists, as this increases the chances that these plants will be sold, but in a house is not something that has to be done without having thought about it well before. And you have to keep in mind that everything that is green is because it still has living cells and chlorophyll, so it still performs photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants transform the Sun’s energy into sugars and starches, that is, into their food, which they will use to grow. For this reason, even if a stick is drying out, if it is still green, I do not advise cutting it, unless we want to cut off what is dry.
What to use to cut them?
Every time we go to cut or prune orchids or any other plant, we must be aware that there are microorganisms that we cannot see with the naked eye, but that can do a lot of damage if we take the necessary precautions. Of course, I am talking about pathogenic viruses, fungi and bacteria.
Therefore, we have to clean and disinfect what we are going to use to cut the stems of our orchids with, for example, dishwashing soap and a little water. Then, we dry them and we can prune.
Now, what is the most useful to remove the rods? Since they are very thin, we can use kitchen or sewing scissors; that is, it will not be necessary to buy pruning shears for this, since the ones we have at home are sufficient.
What types of stems do orchids have?
We cannot confuse the floral rods with the roots, since they are very different:
- flower wand: sprouts between the leaves, grows upwards and is green. It has a very short life expectancy, since when the flowers wither, the stem dries up.
- Roots: they grow below the leaves and tend to do so downwards, that is, penetrating the soil or the substrate. In addition, they are whitish green in color, and live much longer than the flower rods; in fact, we will only see that they are wrong when the orchid has a problem (excessive watering, for example).
As they dry out, while the flower stem begins to turn yellowish and then brownish, the roots appear to “thin out” and appear dark white or sometimes black, depending on whether the orchid is epiphytic (such as orchids). Phalaenopsis) or terrestrial (like the Ophrys).
How to take care of orchids after having cut their stems?
Now that the orchids no longer have flowers, we may want to know if we have to take care of them in any special way or not. The answer to that question is that it depends on whether we have been fertilizing them and the temperatures it is doing, since if, for example, it has been fertilized, now that it does not have floral stems we will have to stop doing it; and if we are already in autumn or winter, we will have to make sure that the plant does not get cold putting it in the house if we had it outside and if frosts are recorded in our area.
As you can see, there are several factors that must be taken into account when caring for orchids, since there are many species, and different types, depending on where they grow. But In general, you should know that these are plants that must be protected from the sun or direct light, that they need a rich and light soil.and that they should also be watered with rainwater or drinking water every few days, except during the cold months, which will be when we space the irrigations.
Thus, even if they do not have rods, we will not have to worry too much because if we give them that basic care, we will surely see their flowers again when the time comes; that is, in spring and summer.
Orchids are plants that can be difficult to maintain, but they are so beautiful that they are definitely worth spending time on. Therefore, we hope that when you see a dry stick again, you will know how to act by following the advice that we have explained here.