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Removing spike & repotting

This is a discussion on Removing spike & repotting within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Time to repot my first orchid! All of the flowers have fallen off. I've watched ...

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  1. #1
    SunnyNuzz is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Removing spike & repotting

    Time to repot my first orchid! All of the flowers have fallen off. I've watched some videos on spike cutting and read some FAQs, but so many of them have contradictory advice that I'm confused! Do I cut above the first node, or cut it off completely? Should I do it carefully with a scalpel, or quickly with shears? Help!

    Here are some pictures of the plant I'll be cutting back and repotting. If anyone can tell me what's best for it by looking, I'd greatly appreciate it!

    A closer look at the spike:


    Also, how are the roots doing? :X

  2. #2
    JoeW's Avatar
    JoeW is offline Senior Member
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    Your Phalaenopsis looks great. Here's a link to a helpful article.
    Orchids - Repotting

  3. #3
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Your orchid looks really healthy. It appears to be in the grower's container which could mean it is growing is sphag. If this is the case it is time to repot. When you do, get a orchid bark mix and be sure to either put some lava rocks or styro-peanuts in the bottom of the pot to allow plenty of drainage space and air to the roots.

    Regarding the spike. Many people have many different thoughts on this subject. I suggest cutting the spike all the way off. Cut it about one inch from the base of the plant where it grows. If you cut it below the third node, it 'could' give you another branch and put out buds again. This happens fairly easily with phals in the right conditions. That said, the plant will usually produce smaller flowers. By cutting the spike all the way off, the plant get to renew its energy and put it into making a new leaf or some new roots. If the plant is ready to bloom again, it will produce another spike. JMHO

    Check out the phalaenopsis article: Growing the Phalaenopsis Orchid in our orchid article library here at OrchidTalk.

    Cheers,
    BD

  4. #4
    SunnyNuzz is offline Junior Member
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    Oh no! I just bought new orchid mix which is mostly sphag tossed with bark, sponge rock and cork! Should I avoid sphag altogether?

    Yea, it's still in the grower's container, but I bought it a new slotted plastic pot with a 1" increase in diameter. I think I will cut the spike back all the way - this variety already has small flowers. Should I trim off the dead parts of the roots as well?

  5. #5
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
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    Yes, if the roots are dead, they can be trimmed off. Before trimming, run water over the roots. If they turn green, they are not dead yet.

    Sphag is fine for some growers. It holds moisture and if you don't water often, it is a good choice. If, however, you like to water or feel like it is time to water every three days or so, then sphag can cause your orchids roots to rot away.

    Cheers,
    BD

  6. #6
    SunnyNuzz is offline Junior Member
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    I water mine about once a week and I spray a little water over it every other day. Is that too much for sphag?

  7. #7
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
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    You can tell by feeling the potting material. Does it almost dry out (deep down inside) or does it stay wet? You want your phal to almost dry out before watering.

    Cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
    SunnyNuzz is offline Junior Member
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    I feel it and make sure it's dry before I water. Guess I'll continue the routine! Thanks for the help!

  9. #9
    smwboxer is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with Bruce. I like to cut the entire stalk off so the plant can build up energy for next years blooms.

  10. #10
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    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Regarding the "conflicts" in phalaenopsis spike cutting:
    Its not really a conflict, its just that both sides really need further clarification.
    Option 1: Cut the spike off completely.
    Explanation: This will give the plant time to recover and build up energy for a new spike the following season.

    Option 2: Cut just above the first node.
    Explanation: If the plant is healthy enough, the node will produce another branch for flowers or perhaps a keiki.

    It all depends on the grower

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