I have this orchid that's sprouted some growths. From two places on the old flower stems, there are growths that look like they might become leaves. There is also a shoot emerging from the base just above where the roots are, but it is growing upwards and the top appears to be splitting - it does not look like a root. What is this orchid doing (I have no prior experience with orchids)?

Pictures below:

leaves on flower stem move leaves on flower stem growth near base

1 Answer 1


These all look like flower shoots ( spikes ) that are developing. The one at the base is typically 3 leaves below the youngest. The others are second spikes developing on existing spikes. Some people recommend not letting the second spikes to flower since it might exhaust the orchid.

  • Can't second the "don't let them flower" rule.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 5:59
  • @Stephie weren't you the person who wanted to remove all the flowers? Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 6:00
  • Certanly not.... I think I recommended that once for camellia cuttings, but otherwise? Not that I could remember.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 6:10
  • So... if I have 3 spikes, how many should I let flower? I had also heard somewhere that flower spikes (before the flower buds open) can be used to propagate new orchids. Would the be a better alternative than just throwing some flower spikes in the garbage? Would some sort of fertilizer or nutrient help prevent the risk of it from getting exhausted, if I let all three flower? Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 14:08
  • It's been a while. To follow up, this plant is still going strong. Flowers at least once a year. I do not remove any flower spikes. It seems to know what it's doing: late last autumn, it started developing two flower spikes. One new one at from the stalk and one from an older spike. The one from the older spike flowered and the new spike stalled, but seems to have started growing again now that the first set of 3 flowers has died. Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 3:49

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