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  • 1 Post By Kmac

How do I know if I'm doing right by my orchids

This is a discussion on How do I know if I'm doing right by my orchids within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; hellooooo out there this is a question for the senior members . I have a ...

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    Default How do I know if I'm doing right by my orchids

    hellooooo out there this is a question for the senior members . I have a few dens that showed new growth and are doing well (seemingly) . I think they might be mature growths ready to flower . at one point I thought I saw signs of a new spike growth starting . (will try to post these pics after all the writing ) , anyway the supposed spike growth doesn't seem to be moving along to quickly so my first question is how do I know when a new spike is appearing on a den ? then after waiting to see if the "spike" would grow I was all the while watering and feeding with bloom booster food . the "spikes" don't look as though they have grown any but now I am seeing new growth coming from the same mature new growth . this baffles me since I thought the plant would just spike and flower and then start a new growth after . this leads to my next question if there is a new growth coming from the "new growth" , how do I feed it now ? do I continue the bloom booster ? will it adversely affect the new growth ? or should I stop the bloom booster and restart the high nitrogen food to help the newest growth along ?

    this is one of the possible spikes , can you guys confirm or deny whether it is ?

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    p.s have to actually take the other pic , thought I had already

  2. #2
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    I am not sure I see a spike starting...are you talking about that little bump beside the center of the top two leaves? Often its a little hard to tell if its just a tiny bump or a spike starting. And, they can be very slow growing enough to be clearly a spike. What's the white stuff on your plant? It looks like it might be a sign of pests.

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    I think the white stuff is dust . I think I got up too close with the pic , didn't realize it until I loaded it and yes I was referring to the bump like nodule in the middle of the leaves . I don't think the plant has bugs it hasn't shown any signs of infestation that I can see .

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    As for the white deposits that Kathi pointed to, as it appears quite textured as opposed to a flat coating like mineral deposits, the pest query does have some ground sufficient for closer observation. I agree with kmac. The dust effect can be misleading and a symptom and could be actual dead cells from both the plant tissues and pest but dead doesnt mean 'over'. Damaged membrane plant tissue will dry and die same as pests as they mature to adulthood by shedding exo skeletons. Symptoms similar in your photo though not confirmed. We know invertebrates such as slugs and snails are a nightmare, many other pests of the exoskeleton variety are too, crickets, locusts, katydids, mites all with sufficient capabilities to cause harm from hatch to deceased going through several instars (stages) until adult. Grab your glasses or a magnifying glass and examine underside of leaves. Probable signs of damage vary from a fine stippling where the leaf has been bitten into and juices sucked out. Can be very tiny almost multi pin sized dots of yellow. Other membrane damage can be noted easily where wounds have browned over.

    As for your primary enquiry it is possible that it is a spike especially if its a noid Dendrobium Phalaenopsis which flowers from crown top of the cane in between the last set of 2 leaves. It is from large type store/ diy/supermarket. Setting spike and spiking has a huge amount of variants and variables dictated by even more possibilities culture wise. Anything from 6-8 weeks from initial observation through to a season timeframe 3-4 months even a year where its growth cycle is influenced by natural origin/ habitat. Too any orchid grower the entire timeframe from the initial set thru to full blooming inflourescence will be a long long wait.

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    Any fertilizer with nitogen as it lowest number NPK n-nitrogen, p-phosphorus, k- potassium 10.20.20 e.g only! will be good as bloom booster and this can be an ideal time as its bio processes progress. Still weak strength though and stop when 1st flower bud approaches opening time. Tomato food works well!.
    Consider slow release fertilizers and organic like oldtbags for N and crushed egg shells for Calcium. Prolonged nitrogen application esp with ferts with the highest N in its formula e.g 30.10.10 will give you lots of green, lush foliage and thats it.

    If you indulge in fertilising continually, as all growers differ, use caution with nitrogen as its often urea sourced and toxic salts buildups in grow media accumilate quickly. Look at the label. You will find by the time its bacteria converted to useful nitrogen it gets washed away and plant goes without. Use a fertilizer where the nitrogen souce is from a 'fully completed nitrogen cycle' and so instantly avaialble. If you stick with urea based N in fert flush pot regularly with plain water.

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    Thank you both Kmac and Opaline for responding . Your observations were very helpful .

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