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fertilize a flower spike

This is a discussion on fertilize a flower spike within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; is this what I think it is? a flower spike? if my orchid is on ...

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  1. #1
    ewbie is offline Member
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    Default fertilize a flower spike

    is this what I think it is? a flower spike?

    if my orchid is on spike, should I continue to fertilize?

    sorry...can't upload picture because too big.

  2. #2
    catttan's Avatar
    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    Personally I think it's OK to fertilse, but make sure that any liquid fertiliser does not come in contact with the flower spike as that might cause chemical burns of the spike and buds.

  3. #3
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    Personally, I use Photobucket dot com to resize for posting here.

    Size limit is 700 pixels x 700 pixels max.

  4. #4
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    I don't understand the concept of NOT feeding a plant in spike or in bloom.

    A growing spike and bud development are the creation of new tissue - OF COURSE it needs nutrition.

    Then, once it has the blossoms open, it is expending energy to maintain them, as they are not providing support to the plant. Maintenance needs food too.

  5. #5
    ewbie is offline Member
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    should I give more frequent watering? sorry...a newbie here.

    or just continue with what I'm doing, with fertilizer and watering?

  6. #6
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    Roots are the key to orchids and watering of orchids. Many orchids like to dry to some extent. They generally don't like to be wet all the time. That leads to root rot. You should learn to judge when the orchid is dry enough to water. Too soon and the roots rot. Too late, and the roots can become impenetrable to water. Phal roots are green when suffiecntly wet and don't need water. Once the roots turn whitish in color, then the roots are ready for water. Clear plastic pots are desirable for this reason

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    Quote Originally Posted by 78Terp View Post
    Roots are the key to orchids and watering of orchids. Many orchids like to dry to some extent. They generally don't like to be wet all the time. That leads to root rot.
    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with that. Water does NOT cause rot. If it did, the vast majority of the plants we grow - originating in the tropics, where they can stay saturated for months, if not constantly - would be extinct. Then there's the fact that healthy tissue does not rot. The myth that "orchids must dry out between waterings" comes from the use of a potting medium that is too fine, too compressed, or decomposing.

    When we water, most of the liquid pours right through, some is absorbed by the roots and medium particles, and some is held in small spaces by surface tension. If the spaces between the particles are small enough, the surface tension is sufficient to totally fill the void spaces. That stifles the gas exchange that is so prominent in orchid roots, they suffocate, die, and then can rot. If we allow that potting medium to dry out - Lo and Behold! - those pathways reopen, and the roots can "breathe" again.

    It's not the plants that need to dry, it's the crappy medium. Grow the plant in a coarse enough medium that won't allow those gas-exchange pathways to fully close, and they can stay constantly wet with no issue. Such is the case with semi-hydroponics, for example.

    Having said all of that, one cannot simply start watering more heavily and expect success: when a plant grows roots, they "tailor" themselves on a cellular level, to the conditions they are in, so they can function optimally. Once grown, those cells cannot change. If you suddenly change that environment - by changing your watering habits, or repotting, for example - those cells are no longer optimal, and the plant will need to grow new roots to accommodate that change.

  8. #8
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    I was speaking on a low level basis.

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    I understand that, Harvey - and that wasn't intended to be a shot at you - but I'm on something of a campaign to curtail the perpetuation of orchid mythology, and replace it with facts that folks can use to better grow their plants.

    Another example is that some plants need a "dry winter rest". No they don't, the need a "nutrient free" winter rest. In nature, food comes down on the epiphytes, cascading through the forest canopies when it rains. . During dry seasons, no rain = no food. it's not the reduction in water they need to bloom, it's the reduction in nitrogen.

  10. #10
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    here is the picture
    Name:  2015-10-10 09.40.05.jpg
Views: 76
Size:  245.2 KB

    Name:  2015-10-10 09.40.44.jpg
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Size:  249.8 KB

    thank u so much for the replies. you guys are awesome. very clear explanation
    Last edited by ewbie; October 10th, 2015 at 02:48 AM.

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