Posts Tagged ‘Pruning’

Two orchids are posted to the Photos page: Rlc. Iroquois Trail ‘Midfarm’ FCC/AOS and Phal. tetraspis. The velvety Rhyncholaeliocattleya flower, with its 6.5 inch wingspan, is a deeper red than the photo reveals.  The phalaenopsis photo shows the plant’s first bloom of the season – always a white background with quirky red markings.  

About pruning…Years ago someone told me never to remove the inflorescence on my Psychopsis Mendenhall. It’s good advice…even when you accidentally snap off a perfectly good flower. That happened to me about four months ago when I picked up the tall plant and its flower tangled in overhanging wires. I was tempted to remove the inflorescence – figuring that such a pruning would force a new inflorescence. I’m glad I didn’t because 10 days ago I noticed a new shoot sprouting along the truncated inflorescence about two inches below the severed flower. I don’t know if a new bud will develop…but I’ll keep you posted.

More about pruning…Many growers peel away the sheaths covering healthy, swelling cattleya buds. I did that, too, until I noticed that a strong sheath, which opens naturally at the tip to allow the flower’s unfurling, can provide needed support for a slender stem holding up a giant flower like Rlc. Iroquois Trail.

 And more…Think twice about cutting off a phal’s inflorescence, especially on species phals. My Phal. tetraspis, for example, remains dormant through the summer and then blooms on its old inflorescences during the winter. My tetraspis has five inflorescences (new ones are produced each autumn). You’ll know when to prune because the inflorescence will die and turn yellow/brown.

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