How To Get Multiple Stems on an Orchid: Successful Result

How to get multiple stems on an orchid is a thought you may be wondering about. For this, experts suggest choosing the right variety, providing optimal conditions, and pruning smartly.

Get Multiple Stems on an Orchid

Want more info? Then stick to the end, as we explain each step of growing more stems in detail.

How To Get Multiple Stems on an Orchid The Right Way?

To get multiple stems on an orchid, you should select the right variety for the plant. Then, ensure it gets sufficient indirect light, water, fertilizer doses, and humidity. Furthermore, pruning at the right time also leads to stem developments quickly.

1. Choose the Right Orchid Variety

If you are looking to extend the growth and have your plant produce multiple stems, the most important thing is to decide which variety to grow. There are lots of monopodial orchid species that grow only one stem and very few flowers. Making efforts on such orchids will only bear the result you want.

So, now you would be wondering, which is the best if you want more stems, and so the ideal one would be that you go for Moth or Phalaenopsis orchids. They are common orchids, as you can grow them in various climates.

However, they prefer a warm temperature. Still, they can tolerate a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 95 degrees Fahrenheit; this would show you that they do not get tricky and challenging; on the contrary, they will thrive well. You can also go for other orchids, but experts don’t recommend most.

2. Select an Ideal Pot

Growing orchids in the right pots for multiple stems with flower spikes would be best, but of course, you must think of where they should be. The reason is that the health of roots, and and ultimately of orchids, depends on the size and material of the pot.

Note that you must choose medium-sized pots for orchid growing. You may also aim to buy plastic or terracotta pots. The reason is that roots do not stick to these pots and grow properly.

If the pots are small, there will be less space for roots to stretch properly. They will either pass through the pothole or circulate within the soil. In both cases, the water and mineral absorption will get affected. That’s not it.

You can add less water to small pots, which can lead to stress, so you must be keen on finding the balance between them. The internal processes cannot occur smoothly when the orchids are short on water. In this situation, they cannot grow stems and spikes, because it will lead to the plant’s stress.

Just like small pots, bigger containers are also full of problems if the pot is bigger than the normal container it needs. The biggest issue is that they need help to shift from one place to another. As a result, if you place them in a spot and the direct light starts to fall on them, you will have to go through a lot of pain to relocate them.

In addition, the volume is higher in bigger pots, which would show you the chances of adding more water or fertilizer are high, which will go out of balance. Furthermore, the base of the stem is under the shade in these pots. In short, there is more probability of fungal diseases like root rot.

3. Strengthen the Potting Medium

New stem development is only possible if the potting medium is powerful. Even though you may think that adding fertilizers is enough and will help it thrive, that is not the case, because you should monitor the soil health and add potting mix to strengthen it.

Strengthen the Potting Medium

We suggest you add bark to the soil, and it is because this matter adds vital nutrients to the potting medium, improves water retention, and lowers acidity. Orchids love a slightly acidic medium, which should be around 5.5 to 6.5. Their roots feel the most comfortable in it, so the nutrient uptake increases. When it happens, you will see more new growth, and this also includes orchid spikes.

4. Grow Them In Perfect Spots

Another important factor on which multiple stem growth depends is how much light is available. Orchid plants need six hours of indirect light to initiate new growth. If you grow them in spots where they cannot get this much light or face the sun directly, don’t expect more stems from them. On another note, a flower spike grows quickly when the light is indirect.

It is easier to choose such a spot for indoor orchids. As a matter of fact, you can place them near any opening, like windows. The problem is for outdoor orchids, which means that if there is no area where indirect light falls, we suggest you use a shade cloth to protect orchids from direct sunlight.

5. Water Properly

If you want to see more stems and at least one orchid flower spike on each, apply water carefully. It is best that you would let the soil dry up before you moisten it, as adding water to wet soil can lead to overwatering. This way, the plant will not be exposed to any issues, in the long run.

Use a moisture meter or index finger to check the soil’s moisture. If not, then pour water in a controlled quantity. You may also try to spray the orchids to avoid creating a water-logging situation for them. On the other hand, the ice cube method is also getting popular among gardeners. In this, you put two to three ice cubes on the soil, and when they melt, water becomes available for the orchid roots.

6. Fertilize Smartly

Fertilization is crucial for producing multiple stems on an orchid; however, incorrectly applying nutrients can lead to many complications. The key reason is that orchids need at least one dose of fertilizers every month, especially if you want them to grow more stems; the ideal application is once every two weeks. Moreover, you should use those fertilizers that are made specifically for orchids.

Note that orchids should not be fertilized when it’s time to produce flower spikes. It is because applying nutrients at this time promotes more vegetative growth. As a result, you should try to add orchid fertilizers only when new growth is happening, and when spikes start to form, stop fertilization as you should let the plant produce flowers.

You can again re-apply fertilizers when orchids finish blooming. Note that most gardening enthusiasts would also suggest gardeners apply fertilizers when most of the flowers are shed. It will again begin the spike formation.

After this, you can cut any stem from the multiple stems and grow another orchid. Make sure the orchids have finished blooming before you cut. Therefore, smartly, fertilization produces more stems, but you can also grow more orchids from them.

7. Make Sure the Humidity Levels Are Optimal

Orchids like high humidity in the air, and they grow best when it is between 55 and 70 percent. The humidity levels must stay within this range for orchids to have multiple stems. But having this much moisture in the air is only possible in some areas, so you have to do something.

Make Sure the Humidity Levels Are Optimal

Usually, orchid gardeners record low humidity on their humidity gauge. To tackle this problem, you should regularly spray the orchids, but you can get tired of spraying water multiple times every day. That is why the easy way to raise humidity is to use a humidifier, whic is a device that releases water vapors in the air, which increases humidity around the plant.

If the humidity levels are higher than required, you can protect your orchids by maintaining appropriate plant-to-plant distance. Similarly, it would help if you also cut off extra leaves and shoots. This will improve air movement, removing extra moisture from the air.

8. Prune When Needed

Did you know that smart pruning also leads to more stem developments? Yes, it does. You should remove all the dead leaves and shoots of the orchids so that they spend their energy generating new growth, especially when it is shooting new stems.

However, inexperienced gardeners make a big mistake and fail to identify whether there is a flower spike between the leaves or an aerial root. You can prune off those that have roots coming out of them; however, removing those parts that have spikes on them is one of the worst mistakes you can make. It is because buds emerge from these spikes, which then bloom flowers.

Now, how would you identify whether it is an orchid spike or root, and this would be a common worry; however, the only way is through the colors. If it is a bit greener, it means it is a flower spike.

Furthermore, when you search for orchid new spike vs root, you will see shapes are also a big identifying factor. A flower spike tip is flat and mitten-shaped, while the root tip is pointy. After ensuring no spikes, the next part is the Phalaenopsis orchid cut stem.

Do this when the blooming phase is over, but now, where to cut orchid stem after flowers fall off? Use a shape knife and cut the stem right above the node. It is because the new growth will then restart from this node again.

9. Protect Orchids From Pests and Diseases

Want your orchids to keep growing new stems and produce multiple flower spikes on them? Then protect from pests and diseases. These two things damage orchids more than you can expect. Pests attack the leaves and roots, which makes orchids fragile, as they suck the leaves’ sap which contains chlorophyll.

When it happens, the photosynthesis rate declines, creating an energy shortage. Similarly, when roots are hurt, they cannot continue with the absorption of water and nutrients. As a result, the chances of growing multiple stems in a pest infestation will be almost zero.

Protect Orchids From Pests and Diseases

Similarly, diseases kill the tissues of roots, stem, and leaves. This stops the distribution of water and minerals within orchids, ultimately weakening them; as a result, a diseased plant looks fragile.

To protect your orchids from pests, use organic repellents like neem oil spray, cayenne pepper spray, baking soda, vinegar, etc. If the pest population is severe, use commercially produced chemical pesticides.

Ensure the soil is dry first, as most diseases attack when you keep the potting medium soggy. Then, you must try to remove any discolored or infected parts, by proper pruning. Lastly, don’t forget to apply an appropriate fungicide or bactericide, depending on the disease.



All in all, you can witness multiple orchid stems if you provide all the optimal conditions to your orchids and prune them at the right time. In this article, we discussed everything about it in detail, and now, is time to enlist the main points of the whole article to revise key details:

  • Grow Phalaenopsis orchid as it has the potential to produce more stems.
  • Ensure orchids get indirect light for six hours daily and water twice weekly.
  • When it’s time for new growth, apply fertilizers after every two weeks or at least once a month. Stop the nutrient dose when it’s time for spike development.
  • Prune the orchids when the flowering ends to force them to initiate new growth.

So, how many spikes can an orchid have if you follow these care points? Well, most orchids can produce two spikes, and you must now be thinking, how many flowers can an orchid have? Anywhere between 2-100, depending upon how well you take care of it.

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