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The orchid is a houseplant that needs proper care. In addition to watering, dressing and transplanting, it also includes pruning of leaves.
This article will tell you which orchid leaves can be pruned and how to do it correctly, as well as you will be provided with step-by-step instructions for the process and told about the consequences of this procedure. You will know when to trim all the foliage and a lot of other useful information.
The importance of this part of the plant
According to the state of the leaves, it is judged whether the plant is sick and whether it is in suitable conditions. The life cycle of an orchid consists of periods of flowering and dormancy, which alternate with each other.
On average, a home orchid lives for about 5-7 years with proper care.... Flowering occurs 1-2 times a year.
Orchid leaves are just as important as the rest. Leaves should be trimmed only when absolutely necessary.
Is it possible to trim the leaves?
Pruning orchid leaves can and should be done. Moreover, both the sick and the healthy.
Pruning healthy foliage is done to reduce stress on the flower as a whole. If the orchid does not have enough strength to form and develop peduncles, and it does not bloom for more than a year, the lowest leaves are removed.
Don't go overboard with removing healthy foliage.... Through it, photosynthesis takes place, the flower receives nutrients and moisture. The more healthy leaves an orchid has, the stronger it is.
Diseased and damaged leaves of the flower are removed without fail. This is necessary for reasons:
- So that the plant does not waste energy on useless foliage.
- To prevent parasites or disease from spreading to the entire flower.
How to distinguish healthy from sick?
- A healthy orchid leaf firmly adheres to the trunk, has a rich green uniform color. There are some varieties that have spotted foliage, but they are not very common. Healthy leaves are free of any defects, parasites or damage.
- Diseased leaves are withered, yellow, cracked, falling off from the central trunk. Most often they have brown and yellow spots all over the surface. Even if everything is in order in appearance, the leaves can be infected with parasites, which are located at the base or on the back of the leaf.
The consequences of pruning
The procedure for trimming orchid leaves should be done very carefully. This houseplant reacts sharply to any interference. It can get sick, stop blooming for a long time, or die.
To avoid negative consequences, you should trim excess foliage carefully. It is helpful to feed the orchid afterward to reduce the stress of the leaf trimming process.
The positive consequences are as follows:
- The plant will bloom soon.
- The orchid will stop hurting.
- New flower stalks will develop.
- The plant as a whole will get stronger.
Excess nutrients are just as bad for the plant as excess. Useful additives should be added to the soil in moderation. When feeding an orchid, only specialized fertilizer is used, intended only for it.
Step-by-step instructions for the procedure
Removing excess foliage will not do any good if it is not done according to the rules and regulations that are written below.
Preparing the right tools
- activated carbon or ground cinnamon.
Tools are compulsorily processed so as not to bring any infection into the plant. There are several ways to disinfect:
- The pruner blades are cleaned with pure alcohol.
- The secateurs are kept in a chlorine solution.
- A solution of potassium permanganate is prepared, in which the pruning shears or scissors blades are kept for 15-20 minutes.
Finding the cut point
In order not to destroy the plant, it must be carefully examined for nascent peduncles. If they are there and the orchid is not sick with anything, nothing can be cut off.
Correct pruning is done in two ways:
- The leaf plate is removed with disinfected instruments at a distance of 1 cm from the trunk. If it is diseased or damaged, only the dead area is removed with an indent of 15-17 mm.
- To trim the healthy lower leaves, as in the first case, sterile tools are used. With the help of them, an incision is made exactly in the middle of the sheet plate. Then the incision is torn by hand. Both parts of the leaf are carefully removed from the stem. After such a procedure, the orchid cannot be watered for 3-4 days.
After trimming the healthy lower leaves, the orchid may release an arrow.
The trimmed areas of the green part are processed with young cinnamon or charcoal. If it is not there, a tablet of activated carbon, previously crushed into dust, will do. The algorithm of actions is as follows:
- Pour 50-70 grams of cinnamon or coal into a convenient container.
- Collect a small amount of the processing agent with a cotton swab and apply carefully to the cut.
- Do not water the orchid for 1 day, so that the wounds have time to heal and they do not get infections or pathogenic bacteria.
When do you need to remove all the foliage?
The most common reasons why all foliage is removed from an orchid:
- non-compliance with the rules of content;
- insufficient or excessive watering;
- various diseases in which the root rots;
- parasites that have spread throughout the plant.
List of diseases in which foliage is completely cut off:
- Brown rot - watery and light brown spots appear.
- Black rot - black spots on the leaves due to parasites or low temperatures.
- Root rot - the leaves are covered with brown or brown spots, and the root system rots.
- Fusarium rot - leaf plates turn yellow.
- Gray rot - grayish-dark spots appear, on which fluff is observed.
- Spotting - the leaves begin to wither, soften, gradually turn black and eventually rot and fall off.
- Anthracnose - small brown spots with smooth edges appear on the leaf plate. If the disease is not treated, then the spots grow over the entire leaf, and the plant dies.
- Powdery mildew - a white powdery coating appears on the plates. The leaves will begin to wither and dry out. This disease leads to the complete death of the plant.
Pruning leaves in an orchid is a rare procedure, and is carried out in extreme cases - if the flower needs to be unloaded and if it is sick or infected with pests. With proper care and timely feeding, you will not need to trim the foliage.
You can learn how to prune the leaves of an orchid in this video: