Once Your Phalaenopsis Orchid Flowers Have Flowered

moth orchid Fly Spot
This harlequin phalaenopsis will stay in bloom for several months.


Phalaenopsis
 can  be rebloomed from the same 'just-bloomed' spikes by going down to the first node below the lowest bloom on the spike, and cutting the spike off about half an inch  above this node. This should only be done on healthy  robust plants. Flowering uses a lot of energy and only a strong plant can bloom again within the same season.

A few phalaenopsis species by nature,  rebloom on old flowering stems. Flower stem, or spikes on these should not be cut off. Examples are Phalaenopsis bellina, cornu-cervi, fasciatia, hierogylyphica, modesta, and zebrina. These flowers all tend to
 1) be star shaped, 2) have small lips and 3) bloom on shorter stems near the base of the plant and are usually barred or striped in darker colors. 

Once your moth orchid has bloomed, you should remove the flowering stem. By this we mean when most of the flowers have faded. Most phals will continue to bloom from the tips but a long stem with one flower on the end is not very attractive. Its best to remove the stem and let the plant put all its energy into producing a new flower stem the following season. 

Use a sharp knife and cut the stem at an angle—that's it! Once you've made the cut, discard the flowering stem. The remaining stem "stub" will dry up and fade on its own. Do not attempt to fully remove it, as you'll probably damage the plant.

         phalaenopsis orchid flower stem

An old flower stem stub (light brown) can be seen to the right on this  phalaenopsis pictured above. As you can see, a clean cut was made   about an inch from the base of the plant. Two new flower  spikes can be seen  to the left. Once these have finished   flowering, they will be cut off just above the first node  from the base of the plant. The nodes are encased in   a lighter colored sheath that looks like a white band.

Many phalaenopsis have been bred to produce branching sprays. Branches will often develop off the main stem naturally, and its fine to let these flower and enjoy the blooms!