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Training Phal spike

This is a discussion on Training Phal spike within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; And the correct way of staking staking them. I always get frustrated when my hybrid ...

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  1. #1
    Tanya's Avatar
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    Default Training Phal spike

    And the correct way of staking staking them.

    I always get frustrated when my hybrid Phals open their flowers and find out that they are so close to each other that their petals overlap in such a way that you can only see one flower in full view at a time. Sue mentioned in other thread that one reason for this is the spike was staked too high. Any other comments on this?

    In my previous posts I remember suggesting to someone that putting the plant further away from the light would force the spike to "reach out" therefore creating more distance between the buds. I tried this method in my yellow Phal(buds are only half inch apart). Well, after two weeks, I don't see much difference. What I did notice is that the youngest leaf had elongated!! Not good. So I put back the plant closer to the window. On the other hand, my white hybrid Phal have a good 1 and half inch distance between its buds even though they are still very tiny suggesting that the flowers will be nicely presented when they open ( and this plant is on a very bright window sill).

    So any tips/suggestions on how to train or make the buds/flowers present themselves in a nicer way? If possible from petal tip to petal tip or ok, minimum overlapping.Or is it natural for some to grow their flowers the way they did?

    Gilda, Ive seen pics of your award winning Phals, care to share us some of your secrets? Thanks a bunch in advance.

  2. #2
    Jmoney's Avatar
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    sometimes you are constrained by the plant, i.e. some naturally have good spacing between flowers, others will always be crowded no matter what you do.

    I used to grow a bunch of phals and this is what I would do--when the spike starts to elongate past a few inches, I would keep it loosely staked so that it goes vertical...but only staking it to about half the height of the spike (which you have to estimate). the upper half goes unstaked and hopefully the spike will arch over nicely.

    this is best done, I think, with a fixed direction light source like a window. it also varies according to the type of phal--the standard ones with 6-12 nice large blooms tend to present well. some of the newer ones with shorter spikes and fewer blooms per spike may not present "classically" and are semi-erect.

  3. #3
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    Genetics plays a major role here, so as Jason said, there's not going to be much you can do if the flowers naturally clump instead of spread. Culturally, you can make sure that you keep up a regular watering / fertilizer regimen to keep the spikes growing as long as possible as they develop. Lapses in watering can easily cause shorter / "clumpier" spikes.

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    Thank you both for the input. I guess I have to stop fretting about the flowering habit of the NOID yellow Phal now.

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