Although some people believe orchids are difficult to grow, with more than 25,000 varieties, you are likely to find an orchid that suits your outdoor region or the normal temperatures inside your home. If your orchid has a broken stem, don’t worry. You can likely salvage the plant with proper care.
Unlike some plants that can grow from a cutting, orchids must have an attached rhizome, which is similar to a root or bulb, for the plant to grow. Broken orchid stems can’t be inserted in the soil to start a new plant, although the part of the stem still potted may bloom again with proper care.
Trim back or clip off the broken portions of the orchid to allow for new strong growth. Discard the broken portion of the plant. Limit the chance of disease and bacterial infection by dipping the freshly cut portion of the planted stem in cinnamon powder.
Although the amount of water, humidity and light your orchid needs depends upon the type you have, most orchids prefer receiving plenty of indirect sunlight, such as from windowsill from a south-facing window. Water the potting soil of the plant only until the top 1 inch is damp, but not saturated, and then allow the plant to have a brief dry spell. Avoid getting water on the foliage or bloom of your orchid; it may breed disease. Although some plants may bloom after just a few months, keep in mind that some orchids only bloom once a year.
Help prevent your orchid stem from snapping off by adequately supporting the stem while it grows. Insert a stake, such as a bamboo stick, near the stem at planting. As the plant grows, loosely secure a piece of soft twine around the stake and the stem. Stop adding supports once the plant starts to bloom, and trim the stake back to about 2 inches above the last support. Although your orchid stem will continue to grow a bit, and may bow under the weight of the bloom, it should adequately supported the branch and prevent breakage.
Beautiful Orchids: Reblooming Your Orchids
University of Minnesota Extension Service; Yard & Garden Brief: Easy Orchids to Grow as Houseplants; Deborah Brown
New Mexico State University; Southwest Yard & Garden Archives- Issue November 1, 2003; Curtis W. Smith
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service: Growing Orchids in the Home
My Orchid Care.com: Staking Orchids
University of Hawaii at Manoa College; Orchid Care for the Novice – An Orchid’s Perspective; Kent Kobayashi