After the orchid plant has finished blooming, traditionally we would cut the flower spike about 1/2 inch from the crown of the foliage.. meaning we would only leave about 1/2 inch of stem on the plant. A new technique that promotes a flower spike, on the same spike, is to cut the spike 1/2 above the first node on the flower spike going down. In other words, from the tip of the stem downward, you will locate the first node. Cut the flower spike between one to 1/2 inch above this node. In more vigorous plants, these nodes produce actual flower spikes giving the orchid a "branching" characteristic.
I was reminded to write about this technique when i ran across an orchid today that was in our greenhouse hospital. Not all the time, but occasionally we break an orchid and it goes into the orchid hospital where it is kept then donated to a good home. Here are two photos of an orchid with a broken stem with a new flower spike. See, it does work.
|the stem on this orchid broke|
|but produced a new flower spike seven inches below the cut..|