Cut orchid flowers add beauty and color to any home, and if cared for properly, can last for weeks. Orchids are one of the most desirable and unique flowers, making them some of the most prized flowers in floral arrangements.
Keeping your cut orchid flowers lasting for weeks requires some extra steps, which I will outline below. Following these steps will ensure that your orchid blooms continue to brighten up your home for a long time. Are you curious how long your cut orchid stems will last and how you can make them last longer?
Cut orchid flowers can last up to six weeks, depending on the species of the orchid. Some orchids, such as Cattleya orchids, last for about seven days when cut. Others, such as Cymbidium orchids, can last up to six weeks.
Like all cut flowers, the conditions that cut orchid flowers are kept in can significantly affect how long they will stay colorful and fresh. Watering your orchids properly and keeping them in a humid environment can extend the life of your beautiful blossoms.
In this article, I will go over how long different varieties of cut orchids last. You’ll also get some tips on how to make them last longer. Keep reading to learn more.
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How Long Do Cut Orchids Last?
Different varieties of orchids last longer than others when cut. Here is a helpful guide that you can use to determine how long your cut orchid flowers will last.
|Species of Orchid||How Long Orchid Flowers Will Last After Being Cut Off The Stem|
Some species of orchids can last a very long time, but only if they are kept under the right conditions. Properly caring for your cut orchid flowers will ensure that the blooms retain their color, smell, and form.
How To Make Cut Orchids Last Longer
When you have a beautiful bouquet of fresh orchids, you naturally want to enjoy them as long as possible. Maintaining cut orchid flowers is not as intuitive as simply displaying them in a vase as you might with other flowers. Orchids require some special care to ensure that they do not dry out, decay, or wilt.
Do Not Overwater or Underwater Cut Orchids
While it may be common knowledge to keep your cut flowers in a vase full of water, orchids will bend and spoil if you submerge their stems in water. In addition, if you underwater your cut orchids stems, they will wilt. When it comes to watering, cut orchids can be quite fussy flowers!
Here are some steps you can take to ensure your cut orchid stems last as long as possible:
- Spray your orchids with a mist of water as soon as you get home to keep them hydrated.
- Run some water into a vase, only allowing the water level to reach only ½ inch from the bottom of the vase. Allow the water to reach room temperature.
- Slant cut the stems of your orchids with pruning shears or a sharp knife, starting ½ inch from the bottom of the stems. This will allow your orchids to more easily absorb the water in the vase.
- Arrange your orchids in the vase and change the water at least once a week. You may need to slant cut your orchids again, taking off just a little more of the bottom of the stem, if you notice they look like they are not absorbing water properly and starting to wilt.
Optional: In a separate container, mix ½ teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon-lime flavored soda, and one drop of hydrogen peroxide into the water in your vase. This mixture serves as plant food. The hydrogen peroxide helps maintain the cleanliness of the water. This will keep your orchids looking fresher for an extended period of time.
Put Your Cut Orchids in a Thin-Necked Vase
Over time, cut orchids stems will lose their strength and start to bend. When an orchid begins to bend, it stops circulating water up to its flower. This results in a wilted, dry bloom. Putting your orchids in a vase with a narrow, tall neck will support the stems of your orchids and keep them from breaking and bending.
Keep Cut Orchids Away From Direct Sunlight
If you want to keep your orchids bright and colorful, keeping them away from direct exposure to sunlight is essential. Sunlight will dry out your cut orchids and cause their color to fade. This makes them pale in comparison to their former glory. Keep your orchids in a bright room, but do not put them directly by a sunny window.
Keep Cut Orchids Humid
To last, cut orchid flowers need humidity and moisture to keep them from drying out. Keeping your orchids in a place with no chilly drafts will help them stay fresh and vibrant longer. If your orchids are looking dry, you can spray them with water or submerge them in warm (not hot) water for 5-10 minutes. Keeping your orchids hydrated will ensure that they do not wilt or lose color too early.
Keep Cut Orchids in a Cool Place
Cut orchids also need to be kept at a cool temperature to ensure that they last longer. When placing your vase of cut orchids in your house, put them in a cool place that has no drafts. Drafts will make your orchids dry out more quickly.
While cool temperatures will prevent your cut orchids from wilting, your flowers will become brittle and decay if the temperature is too cold. Keeping your orchids between 50°F- 60°F (10°C – 15°C) will ensure that they stay fresh and fragrant for as long as possible.
How To Grow New Orchids From Cuttings
Growing your own orchids from cuttings is an easy way to get many orchid plants at a low cost, although it will take patience and some effort.
If you have a Phalaenopsis orchid, you can use this method to grow multiple orchid plants. The new orchid plants will be genetically identical to the original orchid plant that you are using, and will, with time, yield more of the same, beautiful flowers that you enjoyed on the original orchid.
When propagating an orchid plant, you will want to use a cutting from a healthy orchid stem to foster new orchid growth.
Supply List for Propagating Orchids
Before cutting the stem of an orchid, you will need some materials:
- One healthy, fresh orchid stem with at least two nodes
- Gardening shears or a pruning knife
- Rubbing alcohol to sterilize the gardening shears or pruning knife prior to use
- Either charcoal or ground cinnamon (optional)
- Sphagnum moss
- Spray bottle with water
- A tray
- A clear plastic bag or plastic wrap
Propagating New Orchid Plants from a Stem Cutting
Now it is time to start cutting. To cut the stem and begin the propagation process:
- First, clean and sterilize your gardening shears or knife with the rubbing alcohol and let dry.
- Now, with your gardening shears or knife, cut your orchid stem just above a node near the base of the flower.
- Cut your orchid stem into sections, leaving two nodes in each section, each time cutting just above each node joint.
- Coat the ends of your cut orchid stem segments in either charcoal or cinnamon powder to prevent fungal growth. This step is important to ensure that mold or fungus does not take over your orchid cuttings.
- Prepare your sphagnum moss. Soak your moss in warm water for about 10 minutes.
- Squeeze out the extra water and place the damp sphagnum moss in your tray.
- Nestle your stem segments on top of the sphagnum moss.
- Cover your tray with plastic wrap or with a plastic bag. This will help you maintain humidity for your stem cuttings.
- If you bought these humidity trays which already include a clear plastic dome lid, you can skip step 8 and 9.
- Puncture a few small holes in your plastic bag or plastic wrap to allow oxygen to flow into the bag.
- Place your tray in bright but indirect sunlight.
It should take your orchid cuttings a few months to show new growth. Once your new orchid plants have sprouted at least two leaves and a couple of 2-inch roots, you can re-pot them into a small pot filled with orchid media.
Keep your new baby orchids humidified and do not put them in direct sunlight. Once your orchids have grown, you can gradually introduce them to more sun exposure. If you’d like to learn more, here is some more information on how to take care of baby orchids, or keiki, plants.
Orchids are one of the most desirable and lovely flowers available. Keeping cut orchids in your home is well worth the extra care they need to thrive.
Maintaining cut orchids is pretty straightforward if you know the proper way to care for your beautiful blossoms. Under the right conditions, your cut orchids will stay vibrant and beautiful for weeks.
If you love your cut orchid flowers, you can even use cuttings from your orchids to propagate new orchid plants. Baby orchid plants, or keikis, are a genetic copy of the mother plant, and will yield you the same beautiful flowers as you enjoyed on the original orchid plant. Propagating orchids from cuttings will allow you to enjoy your orchid for years to come.
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