by Susan Taylor
Originally published in BellaOnline
Staking your inflorescences so that the flowers can be presented and shown to their best effect is an art into itself. If you go to an orchid show or society meeting where blooming plants are displayed, you will see all kinds of different staking methods depending upon the type of orchid.
Staking should be started as soon as the inflorescence is about 6 inches, or 15 centimeters, high. Place the stake as close to the bottom of the inflorescence of pseudobulb as possible without damaging roots. Choose a stake that will be appropriate for the flower – heavier stakes are necessary for bigger plants. Metal stakes work best for tall inflorescences such as Oncidiums.
Use clips, twist ties, raffia, or plant tape to hold the inflorescence to the stake. Remember that the inflorescence grows from the tip and that you will need to check the staking on a weekly basis. This is best done in the late afternoon or evening as the plant is at its most pliable then. They can be very brittle and break off easily if you attempt moving and tying in the early morning hours.
Once an inflorescence has started to grow it is best to leave the plant facing the same direction so that you do not get twisting of the stem or flowers. Some growers will put a piece of colored tape on the front of the plant so they know just how to replace the plant if it has to be moved for watering.