Pruning orchids is paramount to their well-being as it helps to focus the houseplant’s energy and vitality on the healthy material, so it is not wasted on wilted flowers and stalks – this will keep your orchids looking neat and healthy. Pruning dead orchid roots is also important, as they often develop aerial roots that grow outside the pot. These roots absorb moisture from the atmosphere and can become unruly when not maintained. Clean and neat cuts are important to maintain the health of the branch you are pruning. While knowing how to prune orchids for better growth is important, there are a few things gardeners should know before they start.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Patch’s Plant Doctor Richard Cheshire has shared that it is important for gardeners to know exactly when the “best time” is for orchids to be pruned.
He said: “Now orchids become dormant in the late autumn and through winter, where they shed old leaves and flowers to conserve energy for the following spring.”
The reason why orchids go dormant during this time is because of the cold temperatures they are exposed to.
The expert added: “Autumn is the best time to prune away any shriveled or discolored leaves to produce more growth. You can deadhead your orchid flowers at any time of year once they naturally crinkle up to promote new blooms.”
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Richard advised: “Cut directly beneath the flower once or at the base of the stem if it is brown and dry. Then wait until the leaves become loose before ‘pinching’ or cutting them away from the central vine.”
Cutting off any leaves should be done when the orchid is in resting mode, so plant owners should wait until the blooms are all dead.
If the leaf is diseased or wilting, then gardeners should cut it off. A diseased leaf can spread the infection to the other leaves and the whole plant.
Usually, the dead leaves will detach by themselves, but if not, you can cut it off gently, with sterilized scissors or pruning shears just as the plant doctor previously mentioned.
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For those who are facing issues with their houseplants Richard leads the Patch plant doctor service, giving customers free expert advice if their plant is looking a little worse for wear, doing something unusual or just needs a hand getting back on track.
Since joining Patch over two years ago at the peak of the pandemic, Richard has trained a team of plant specialists, streamed plant care webinars and Instagram lives, and hosted a number of in-person workshops.
Founder and CEO of Patch Plants, Freddie Blackett, told Express.co.uk: “Many plant owners see the telltale signs of a dying leaf and immediately reach for the bin, but it’s actually often possible to revive your plants by following some simple steps .
“That’s why we’ve created the Patch Plant Paramedics service to salvage your houseplants when you return from your holiday, rather than replacing them.”