When the blooms on my Phalaenopsis died and the stems started to dry out, I cut them down. Since then, although the leaves are fine and luscious, I have seen no sign of new flowers. What is the problem?

Once the flowers have faded, cut the stem back to just above one of the nodes lower down the stem. There is a chance that a new flower spike will break from the bud. If this does not happen or if the flower stem is completely brown, cut the dead stem back to its base. It is normal for the plant to produce a leaf and not flower immediately. If conditions are right, it should produce a new flower stem the following year. Orchids need a light and warm position out of direct sunlight. Water once or twice a week during summer and once a fortnight in winter. Keep your plant at 18°C overnight and no higher than 30°C in the day, and feed with specialist orchid feed every second watering during the growing season. Reduce feed in the winter.