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Is this a normal stem?

This is a discussion on Is this a normal stem? within the Breeding & Hybridization forums, part of the Orchid Propagation category; ...

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  1. #1
    Adun99 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Is this a normal stem?

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    My Phal flourished some 6 months ago. When the flowers were about to fall (3 months ago) I polinized a few, 4 of them "got" and I kept 3 of the green bulbs (so I kept the stem).

    some 2 months ago I repotted the plant, bigger pot, brand new sustrate... I was hoping to allow it to get strong to produce those seeds. Indeed it started to grow lots of new roots (very green and some very light). It still has a set of 4 big healthy leaves.

    a month ago a new stem started to grow. (so now it has the two stems u see in the pic) I was wondering what were it's intentions and was a little afraid that the plant would try to bloom while still producing seeds.

    this last week the tip of the stem has developed this thing, and I don't quite remember how was the tip of he previous stem before it developed branches, so I'm unsure ¿is this another multibranch stem for flowers? is this a keiki?

    I'm concerned that my phal might try to overacheive. It's growing roots, producing seeds and now growing this stem. 2 months ago it built this huge new leaf...

    ¿should I cut the green seed sacks? I really want to reproduce my phal, it means the world to me. ¿what should I do?

    BTW I'm in the tropics, and the weather has been kind of strange (a "cold" month with 10ºC at night while still sunny days very warm at noon). The Phal gets lots of light but not direct sunlight. I water it twice a week. The substrate is bark. The plant is around 4 or 5 years old, I think.

  2. #2
    PaphMadMan is online now Senior Member
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    Your plant is obviously healthy and growing vigorously, and the new spike looks normal to me. If the plant wasn't strong enough to support the new growth it wouldn't try. There is very little truth to the warnings that healthy plants can weaken or kill themselves by blooming too much or by carrying seed pods. It really only applies to young seedlings and plants that are already stressed. Yours is neither. The cool nights may have triggered the new spike, but that is perfectly normal.

  3. #3
    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaphMadMan View Post
    Your plant is obviously healthy and growing vigorously, and the new spike looks normal to me. If the plant wasn't strong enough to support the new growth it wouldn't try. There is very little truth to the warnings that healthy plants can weaken or kill themselves by blooming too much or by carrying seed pods. It really only applies to young seedlings and plants that are already stressed. Yours is neither. The cool nights may have triggered the new spike, but that is perfectly normal.
    I agree with Kirk...your orchid is healthy & happy... All of us should be so blessed! ENJOY! Betty :-)

  4. #4
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    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    Very nice healthy phal.

  5. #5
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    gabi_borza is offline Senior Member
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    To me it looks like the start of a keiki. I haven't seen phal spikes like yours, it's a little crowded up there.

  6. #6
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    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Looks like a blessing of another spike to me! haha... congratulations. That cold snap must have triggered another bloom spike.

    Cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
    Adun99 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanx for the replies.

    I checked it today more closely, and the top "spike" isn't really a spike, it seems to be open:
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    ... it looks like a leaf when seen from the top (sorry, coudln't get a better focus so up-close from my camera)

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    ¿maybe it's a keiki? What should I do if it starts growing leaves from there?

    I really want to reproduce my phal, that's why I polinized it in the first place, a keiki/clone would be great but I don't want it to die in the process.

    This might be relevant: I don't know what long term effects it may have from severe sunburn it suffered 2 years ago. This plant was my mother's. She lived in florida, and brought it back with her when she came back home 2 years ago to spend her last few months with me (she had cancer). Unfortunately, the 2 orchids she brought were left unattended in the sun, one died, the other is my phal. this is how it was back then:

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    I've taken care of it ever since. The plant lost the big leaves, and tried to grow new ones on the support of the two halves of leaves it had left (the first 3 leaves it grew were small, never fully developed). it did manage to get healthy and bloom big time, but I'm not really sure how strong it is. I still get scared when I see a leaf lose it's colors. I've read keikis are not the norm, so if this is a keiki, I wonder what should I do?

  8. #8
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    ajamarie is offline Senior Member
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    I have several phals that do regularly produce keikis, not a sign of distress, but just a function of the way some phals reproduce. I enjoy them a great deal, if it is a keki, just relax and let it grow will you have at least 2 inches of roots. I like to mount my keikis when i first remove them so to keep a good close eye and to keep the air roots from a second shock, first from removal from the mother plant then from being trust in to media it has never been in. That being said if you do mount them in a home environment you will need to take care to assure the humidity levels are high enough to support them, i water my mounts daily and often 2x a day...this works for me but not for all. I have potted keikis up as well, just seem to go in to a bit of shock, but they do catch up...

    great job bring her back from such sunburn, really speaks to the quality of care you are giving her. trust your plant she is telling you she is happy and thriving!

    enjoy...if i can be of help when it is time to remove the keikei please feel free.

    aja

  9. #9
    Adun99 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajamarie View Post
    if it is a keki, just relax and let it grow will you have at least 2 inches of roots. I like to mount my keikis when i first remove them so to keep a good close eye and to keep the air roots from a second shock
    Thank you ajamarie. I don't fully understand wat you mean by "mounting" it. I know very little about orchid terminology (english is my 2nd lang). Do you mean putting it in a substrate? what kind of substrate? I've always put my phal in bark but I wonder if a tiny keiki would survive there.
    ¿what about support? should I tie it to some wooden stick?
    should I wait for it to have a leaf before cutting, ot just for roots to be 2 inches long?
    Thank you

  10. #10
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    ajamarie is offline Senior Member
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    I mount mine, by attaching them to a log, or cork...there is a nice tutorial on here about how to do so if you are interested. For being new to this your plant certainly says you are doing very well and no worry about the english, you communicated very clearly. And yes you want both at least one leaf (two is better) and roots at least 2 inches long...when i mount min i do so with roots going up and leaves down for my phals, that way water does not sit in the crown reducing the risk of crown rot greatly...this also mimics the way they grow in the wild often..

    hope that is clearer if not feel free to ask, i am sure others will chime in as well
    aja

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