Orchid Wise

Do I Cut my Cymbidium Orchid Flower Spike or Not?

It’s a question I’m always asked…….should I cut my Cymbidium orchid flower spike off or not? So, what’s the answer?

Well, there is actually no right or wrong answer here. Your Cymbidium orchid flower spike can be enjoyed both ways!

Some Cymbidium varieties are favoured and sold by growers as a cut flower. These plants grow spikes that will survive for weeks once cut from the plant.  These are the spikes you will see and buy in florist shops throughout the year.

And some Cymbidium varieties are favoured by growers as a pot plant. These plants grow spikes that may not survive for long once cut, however will last a couple of months or more whilst left on the plant.

Both options have their uses, and their pro’s and cons…

Cutting your spike will save the plant valuable energy and enable it to put that energy into further growth for next season. Which can be very beneficial to a small young plant. But you run the risk of seriously shortening the life of the flowers if they are just in water and not suited to being a cut flower. If you do wish to cut it, try to use rainwater as your water source and change it every few days to keep it fresh.

Leaving your flower spike on the plant will use up a lot more of the plants energy. However if fertilised well and consistently, this shouldn’t seriously affect your plants ability to grow new shoots and flower next season.

The other option you have if you don’t wish to cut your spike is to bring your Cymbidium orchid inside for a few weeks during the flowering season.  Just make sure the plant doesn’t get too hot or dry out. They will need some humidity to be happy, but on the other hand, don’t stand them in water…..they don’t like wet feet! It is also a good idea to leave them outside at night to enjoy the cooler temperatures, which will help the flower spike last longer.

Some varieties will last well once cut and some not, but most of the time you won’t know unless you give it a try……it’s hit and miss!

So I guess it’s a bit of personal choice, and experimentation, until you figure out what lasts and what doesn’t.  It depends on your goal or aim for the plant too.  Either way you will still get to enjoy your flowers for a time!

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