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Phals: getting the best blooms

This is a discussion on Phals: getting the best blooms within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by lja Hi prmetime--welcome aboard! I just saw your reply here or would ...

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  1. #11
    Tanya's Avatar
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Loventana Lo
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    Outside 24/7.
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    Aug 2004
    Hong Kong
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    Quote Originally Posted by lja
    Hi prmetime--welcome aboard! I just saw your reply here or would have gotten back sooner....

    He told everyone not to switch at all--and showed a slide with the data. The plants that were switched actually had shorter spikes and fewer blooms. I had always been under the impression that a blossom booster would help initiate a spike if the plant was ready to do that, but apparently, this is not the case. Spike initiation is more a function of temperature and light levels. He had gone on to show how you could time a spike's initiating by literally growing the plant in the dark for several months. And I don't mean deep shade, I mean near complete darkness. He had several slides with a tablefull of plants that were covered by a black tarp, and told us that this practice was very common in the industry for timing spikes so that blooms are just beginning to pop for, say, mother's day. I wish I had taken notes instead of just sitting there with my mouth hanging open....
    No wonder blooming phals are seen being sold all year round. I wonder if the practice also applies to dendrobiums? Here in HK, blooming dens together with the phals are being sold all season.

  2. #12
    Liz's Avatar
    Liz is offline Senior Member
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    May 2004
    San Diego


    For whatever it's worth, I used a balanced time-released fertilizer (Dynamite? or something) for the first time in April. It's easy enough to use (once every 6-8 months) and several of my phals have grown nice tall spikes (18+ inches & some with two spikes). There are about 4-5 more that have just started spiking, so it's too soon to tell how big they'll get. And I used it on an Earth Star that I got in bloom in April, and the thing is still making new buds. So far, I can't complain...

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