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What do I do with this phal?

This is a discussion on What do I do with this phal? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I believe this NoID phal is at least a hybrid with phal equestris having a ...

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  1. #1
    78Terp's Avatar
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    Question What do I do with this phal?

    I believe this NoID phal is at least a hybrid with phal equestris having a dominate influence. I got it at the grocery store so I am doubtful it is a species orchid.

    According to IOSPE:
    "This species has a habit of making keikis and can rebloom out of old spikes and can continue to send off branches so they are best left uncut. They appreciate a drier winter although never left to dry out completely."

    And thus lies my dilemma or lack of knowledge.

    This phal had 1 keiki when I bought it. Also 2 spikes. Unfortunately, I didn't read the line about leaving the expired spikes. Back in those days, I cut phal spikes off unless I tried to rebloom them.

    Now, it has 2 more keiki's in addition to the mother and the original keiki. I am certain the keiki's need to grow their own roots before even thinking of separating them.

    Is that what should happen? Is it imperative to separate them or does this hybrid/species prefer to stay together? How about a drier winter?

    This is its flower from February:
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    And this is the current plant. Quite healthy!
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  2. #2
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    Definitely a hybrid. I do see Phal equestris influence, but this is probably a multi-generation hybrid, not a direct offspring of equestris, so I wouldn't lean too heavily on recommendations for that species in particular. General Phal care in all respects. But for many of these smaller hybrids, you never know that a spike is done until it is dead. Cutting a spike or not is up to you. It doesn't help or hurt the plant.

    Also with these small hybrids, they tend to get many basal keikis like this, a very different thing than spike keikis. Spike keikis eventually must be removed and potted on their own or they die when the spike dies eventually. Basal keikis are usually not routinely removed with small hybrids like this. The more crowns they develop the more flowers they'll get. Full size Phals can be awkward with multiple crowns if they get them, but the same really applies to them too. If you do want to propagate your plant, wait until it is time to repot anyway. When you have the plant out of its pot and the old bark removed look closely to see if the keiki has good roots of its own, and carefully cut it from the mother. Or you may find that the connection to the mother isn't very strong and it might be easier to just break it off.

    BTW, your plant looks to be in perfect health and growing like a weed. It wouldn't get multiple keikis if it didn't have more energy than it could put into one crown.

  3. #3
    Wade's Orchids's Avatar
    Wade's Orchids is offline Senior Member
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    I'm not sure which species contributes to this sort of thing but with the way your plant is behaving you could easily grow it as a clump or multilead plant. Treat it like any other mature Phal. and it will do fine.

  4. #4
    78Terp's Avatar
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    Cool!

    Thanks guys.

    I'll leave it all as one group. I want to grow specimen plants, so this would be on its way!

  5. #5
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    I agree with the above...and wish I had known it when I had a couple very nice ones way back when I first started. Yours is a lovely plant and I love the pretty flowers.

  6. #6
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    I agree Harvey. Grow it into a specimen plant.

  7. #7
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    Jx3 is offline Paphcrazy
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    Got this phal at a grocery store about 3 years ago, it looks just like yours Harvey. Its tag reads
    Phal. Sogo Gotris Flora Ark. It has the same growth yours is experiencing, 3 keikis at the base of the mother plant, ive left mine as is and dont plan on dividing. I cut the spikes when they turn brown.Name:  67798d1382379597-paph-rosy-dawn-066.jpeg
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    The color on mine is a bit washed out from the lights, in more natural light it looks identical to yours.

  8. #8
    78Terp's Avatar
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    I am not going to remove them. They will all stay together.

    It is a very nice orchid!

  9. #9
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    A friend of mine has a mini Phal that grows keikis on the spikes like mad. She leaves them on and the keikis bloom while still attached, its a lovely display! As you probably already know, I'm of the "let the old spikes be until they turn brown" camp. Definitely a fan of mild neglect, it just seems to me the orchids know what they want to do.

    I got a sad, dried out rescue from a friend that had a spike that was done flowering. I didn't think to cut it off. It threw a keiki and I got the mother plant revived, now my daughter has its daughter! I'm glad I left it alone - when the keiki started I figured I still might lose the mother and the keiki would be all I had.

  10. #10
    78Terp's Avatar
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    I have a phal that was in bloom when I bought it. It also had a new leaf growing from the center of the crown. A month or 2 after getting it home, the new leaf died. I thought that was it for the orchid. It had 2 spikes and I decided to bloom it to death.

    But wouldn't ya know, it threw 2 keiki's, one on each spike. The first one is close to harvest even though it is only about 2 months old (it has big, fat, nearly 4 inch long roots (2 of the 4 roots are that long). The other is slower but doing fine.

    Not only that, but the crown sprouted a new leaf and is doing just fine now. I will not lose it as I had feared.

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