QUESTION: My Phalaenopsis was in bloom in March, and I successfully pollinated one flower. The now-bare stems are not doing anything; the Phalaenopsis just started reblooming, but on a new stem.
Am I supposed to prune the bare stems (see picture)? Should the stem with the seed pod (#1) be trimmed down to the pod?
When should I start using fertilizer?
ANSWER: Janet, while I realize that the plant is not attractive in its present form, I would not change anything. Have you ever grown orchids from seed? I'm wondering if that is your intent. It requires specialized knowledge and materials. Some of the bare branches may produce new growth in the form of keikis if left as is. Eventually these keikis may be large enough to pot up as separate plants.
You may begin now witth dilute plant food dissolved in your regular watering. Use onq quarter of a teaspoon per galon. This may be done every other watering.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I don't intend to go the laboratory route with the seeds. It was just an experiment to see how pollination works with orchids.
But in nature, how do orchids grow from seed? There are no laboratories in the tree canopy!
What type of fertilizer do you use?
With regard to your followup: Germination of orchid seeds in nature occcurs when they get infected with a specific fungus. The germination rate in the wild is very low. Early attemots to grow orchids from seeds used the fungus method which was abandoned in favor of an artificial method because the germinated rate was so low.