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Phrag Spikes--are they trying to tell me something?

This is a discussion on Phrag Spikes--are they trying to tell me something? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have noticed that the distance between blooms is getting progessively shorter on one of ...

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  1. #1
    sadie's Avatar
    sadie is offline Senior Member
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    Default Phrag Spikes--are they trying to tell me something?

    I have noticed that the distance between blooms is getting progessively shorter on one of my phrags. (ie 4 inches between the flower nodes for blooms A&B, then only three inches between B&C etc--just guessing on the measurements, I haven't actually measured, but it is visibly decreasing) The flowers are so big they start to look a little cramped when several are open at once.

    The leaves still look fine and it is still blooming. Is this a normal "aging of the spike" thing or is the plant trying to tell me it needs something? (more light, more nitrogen . . . ?)

    The blooms are lasting about 2-3 weeks, and I assume that is normal too (is it)? With the oldest bloom falling off shortly after a newer bloom opens fully. Any way to make them stay longer -- or is that just part of sequential bloomers?

  2. #2
    uncasteeb's Avatar
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    Default

    In my limited experience what you describe seems perfectly normal.

  3. #3
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
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    Sadie, that's totally normal, especially under high light. If you want to extend the space between blooms, put the plant under slightly lower light levels once a spike's been initiated.

    Quote Originally Posted by sadie
    The blooms are lasting about 2-3 weeks, and I assume that is normal too (is it)? With the oldest bloom falling off shortly after a newer bloom opens fully. Any way to make them stay longer -- or is that just part of sequential bloomers?
    Totally normal as well. On sequentials, if the plant manages to keep 2-3 flowers open at the same time before the lowest one falls, you're very lucky. 1-2 is the norm.

  4. #4
    sadie's Avatar
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    Default

    Whew! Thanks guys.

  5. #5
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    Funnily enough, this has happened to my phal. When one of the blooms died, the stem elongated, but the distance between the last flower and bud was about half the normal distance between nodes. The flowers looked clumped but now they've died except for the very last one, so it looks decent.

    I think that occured cos i had just bought and moved it, so maybe it was under some stress. I have also never fed it, so that could also be the prob.

    Btw, it is starting a secondary spike, so i'll see what the node distance is on that one.

    Praveer

  6. #6
    Jmoney's Avatar
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    less light and slightly cooler temps often prolong flower life, at least to the maximum for that plant. successive flowers are often slightly smaller as well, especially on first bloomers.

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