Phals, or Moth Orchids, are the most popular orchid varieties in the world. One of their fascinating traits is that healthy Phal plants can rebloom. While some Epidendrum and Oncidium varieties can bloom again from broken flower spikes (the stems that holds the flowers,) this process is most reliable with Phals. Their flowers last for weeks or even months, and then start to fade. To force the plant to produce more blooms, find the nodes, which are the swollen “bumps” that mark each segment on the spike. Pick a node below where the original flower had attached. Cut off the flower spike just above this node.
Always use a clean, sharp scissors to prevent spreading plant diseases. Clean the blades with hot water and soap, rubbing alcohol, or bleach solution. Cut 1/4 inch (6 mm) above the node. Another spike may emerge beneath the cut. Its flowers will be smaller and shorter-lived than the first set.
Although this method may add a month to your blooming season, it really drains energy from the plant. In the wild, unpollinated orchids drop their flowers, and start to make energy for next year’s blossoms. When forced to rebloom, the plant uses up its energy reserves. If you’d rather keep your orchid long-term and enjoy years of flowers, I would advise you to skip this process. Instead, let your Phal return to its natural growth cycle. Cut the old flower spike as close to the plant’s base as you can without damaging nearby leaves or roots. Healthy plants will grow and produce even more flowers next year.
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