old flowers: wither or clip

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When do you clip fading Paphiopedilum flowers?

  • when they start to go, the stem is still green

    Votes: 13 44.8%
  • when the stem has withered

    Votes: 16 55.2%

  • Total voters
    29

robx

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Here's a survey question for everyone:

What do you do when a flower starts to fade?

- clip it as soon as it starts to go? (green clip)
- wait until it dies back to clip it? (dry clip)

I have always felt that he plant is busy sucking nutrients out of a withering flower so best to leave it on until it's dry.

And of course when you do clip use flame sterilized clippers.

I suppose the argument could be made that a withering flower stem is suitable to rot, so to leave it on invites something nasty to come take your whole plant. Anyone lose something to a rot that started in a withering flower stem?

I suspect the real answer is "It doesn't matter." So much of what I do feels like voodoo superstition. Just wondering what others do.
 

Stone

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I enjoy the flowers on the plant for a few weeks then cut them off when still fresh. Especially if a young plant. For a single growth plant, I cut them after a few days. You can always put then in a vase.
 

troy

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no hatred!!
Green cut, better for the plant also the decaying releases ethylene gas that spreads
 

labskaus

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I believe anything reasonably fresh on a plant has a function, so I leave it on. Just like with yellowing leaves which I remove only when they are bone dry and brown and come off easily. Plus, cutting a fresh stem is a damage to live tissue, which I try to avoid.
 
F

Felix

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It's proven that when withering, plants start to mobilise their macro molecules in the perianth. Sugars, fats, proteins and nucleotids are broken down and their components are dispatched through the phloem. Also the perianth looses water and it's turgor. This loss finally makes the perianth collapse and die.

So supporting labskaus, I also only remove parts of the plant that are fully withered/dead. Because of withering, plants get back many of their invested molecules and energy. Also, this naturally-developed and controlled process of withering seems more secure to me concerning infections than cutting the still living parts of the plant.
And anyway, most time those totally withered parts nearly get removed by themself without cutting anything.
 

Stone

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So supporting labskaus, I also only remove parts of the plant that are fully withered/dead. Because of withering, plants get back many of their invested molecules and energy. Also, this naturally-developed and controlled process of withering seems more secure to me concerning infections than cutting the still living parts of the plant.

Nice theory but in practice, the flower weakens the plant and it will not do much until it's gone. With a multi growth plant it probably does not matter so much but a single growth plant will suffer (or at least suspend growth). I would go as far as to say that the first flower should be removed as soon as possible for the future of the plant.
I have seen this in countless species of plants.
 
F

Felix

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You think withering costs plants more energy than cutting the fresh flowers which are about to wither?
Hm, this doesn't seem that reasonable to me. I think the way the plants developed their withering through evolution is a good way, if the withering would weaken the plants so much, why are there so many withering plants still alive?
 

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