My wife and I were given a lovely orchid plant (I think it’s this species Phalaenopsis amabilis - Wikipedia) that we put by the window. It’s grown and grown and made new flowers, and just needed to be watered every week or so.
It got so tall (about 3 and a half feet or so) that we needed a taller support. But unfortunately while we were trying to attach it to the support, we accidentally bent it HARD about 2 thirds of the way up the stem (such that the stem cracked and oozed), enough that within a day all the flowers became extremely limp. I’m afraid we’ve killed it. We’re extreme novices about plant care, and the only thing we can think of is to cut it below the bend- can we do this, and will the plant recover? Is there anything else we can do? Thanks.
Since these plants are very low-growing, I assume you’re talking about the flower stem/spike being tall and needing support (three and half feet still seems extreme).
While damage to that stem could well cause the flowers to go limp and die, you can cut off the stem below the damaged point, preferable a cm or so above a node-like swelling. Sometimes the plant will send up a new flowering spike from that node. If not, then just keep the plant growing and it will flower again in time.
And you are speaking of the bloom spike, not the main stem of the plant, right?
If it’s a bloom stem, you could wire it like you’d wire an overly bendy stem in a floral arrangement.
Look at: “Stem support for heavy flower heads”
Yes, I’m talking about the bloom spike (skinny green thing with little “nodes” or whatever ever few inches- and the top 3 or 4 nodes have flowers growing from them). The three and a half feet may be an exaggeration; I’m at work, so this is just from memory. But it’s tall enough that it will just fall over flat without support.
You could try splinting it like you would a broken bone; a small stick and a bit of tape should do the job. It works well for me on plants I accidentally half snap off, although the site of the injury goes a bit lumpy and gnarly after it heals.
It sounds like you have ruined the flowers for this bloom cycle, but the good news is you haven’t really hurt the plant at all. In fact I would now completely cut off the spike, all the way at the base of the plant where it emerges. Normally you would do this after the flowers blooms have died off anyways. I know some suggest you cut the spike off at a node and try to get new flowers from the same spike, but second flowers from the same spike are almost always smaller and less colorful. If you take care of the plant well, the next flowers you get (could be as long as a year) will start from a new spike and be gorgeous.