Should I have cut my orchid before it started to regrow?

(Question)

I got an orchid in the spring and it had a few blossoms already on it. A few more came out and stayed well into the summer. When they all dropped I was told I should chop the stem down to a nub. But I didn’t! (I was too scared of doing it wrong)

A couple months ago it started re-growing right under the old blossoms so I cut the stem off at the top. Now it’s still growing strong, but it looks like it’s growing the same leaves that are at the base, as opposed to new flowers.

Should I have chopped it off? Should I let it continue to grow? Other than that, it seems very healthy. I think..

Thank you!

(Answer)

Dear gardener,

It sounds like what you have growing is a baby orchid, called a keiki, which is the Hawaiian word for “baby.” Some orchids reproduce this way, such as one of the most common, the moth orchid (Phalaenopsis). Another reader had the same experience, and you might be interested in our answer, which also includes a link to our gardening guide to growing orchids:

https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/askagardener/orchid-reproducing/

In addition, you might enjoy this how-to video from the American Orchid Society on potting up your keiki:

https://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=97

Good luck with your orchid family.