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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where do I cut my Oncidium after it blooms?

Your Oncidium orchid has finished flowering. It's time to remove the flowers. Now you're asking: Where do I cut my Oncidium orchid after it flowers? Here is the answer in 5 steps:

1. Choose a cutting tool. The best choice is a pair of hand pruners or a single-edged razor blade. Which is best? See my earlier post about cutting tools for orchids.

2. Know what you are cutting. Spike or stem? The spike, or inflorescence, is the reproductive part of the plant. A stem is one of the vegetative, or non-reproductive, parts of the plant. You are removing the spike not the stem.

Below is an Oncidium-type orchid with several mature shoots. On Burrgeara Pacific Command 'Ekolu' a mature shoot consists of a oval-shaped pseudobulb (which is part of the stem) and two leaves. 'Ekolu' can produce several new shoots each year and every newly matured shoot can produce a flower spike. The flowers last about eight weeks before fading. Then it's time to remove the entire spike.

In the foreground, a finished spike with the leafy pseudobulb that produced it.
3. Ready to remove an old spike from your Oncidium? Trace the spike from the flowering end to its origin at the base of the pseudobulb--nestled between the pseudobulb and a leaf. [below]
See where the spike emerges near the base of the oval pseudobulb?
4. Hold the spike with one hand and make your cut with the other [below]. Make your cut as close as possible to the pseudobulb without nicking the pseudobulb or your fingers. It's okay to leave about an inch of old spike behind.
Cut your spike here.
5. Take care of your tools. Wrap your razor blade in duct tape before throwing it away; or clean and dry your pruners before putting them away. You're done!

Check here to see where to cut your Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid) spike.
Wondering where to cut your Cattleya spike? Find out here.
to find out where to cut your Dendrobium spike, click here.


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