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  • 2 Post By JDT
  • 2 Post By Catt Mandu

What are the signs that the blooming process has started?

This is a discussion on What are the signs that the blooming process has started? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I know that each type of orchid is different, but in general are there any ...

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    Monks-in-Miami is offline Senior Member
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    Default What are the signs that the blooming process has started?

    I know that each type of orchid is different, but in general are there any signs that an orchid is getting ready to spike or begin the actual blooming process??

    For example, I think I've read somewhere that Phals may start to spike once you haven't seen any new growth (esp. leaves) for a while. Not sure if that's correct. Also, in catts and their hybrids, does the appearance of a sheath automatically mean that a spike is forthcoming??

    I'm just trying to get a sense of where in the process my plants might be. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

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    I don't know myself. The phals just seem to spike when they feel like it in the late fall or winter, once in a while in the summer if they are outside and the nighttime temps are low enough. I have an Encyclia cochleata that was part of the group of orchids that were given to me. A few weeks ago I noticed what I thought were new leaves coming out of the center of the mature growths. I just found out that they are sheaths, but it may not bloom until spring. Still, I am thrilled!

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    For me when I see a spike then I know it is going to bloom. Phals are usually forced into spike with cold weather, many of the nurseries down in Homestead that grow Phals put them into a walk-in refrigerator to force the spike before they sell them, we have not had enough cold nights yet, this time last year we had already had 8 nights that got down into the 50's. Many times on Cattleya I have seen the sheath but there are times that they never produce a spike.

    I keep a register on each orchid I have to remind me who I bought the orchid from, date of purchase and when they bloom, with over 200 orchids now I can not remember all of this info without this register. I also have a separate list of just the names of the orchids that I can check on my cell phone for when I go to orchid shows so that I don't buy duplicates which I did do until I made the list. The more you get into your orchids the more you will learn about each one, I try to look at all of them on a regular bases. With no rain today, first day in about 2 weeks, I will check them to see if they have had any water damage with all the rain we have had.

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    Monks-in-Miami is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDT View Post
    For me when I see a spike then I know it is going to bloom.
    Jack, I know the spike is the most obvious sign, but is there a sign that precedes the spike? I actually have one that started to spike about a week and a half ago, and I think the last leaf came out a couple of months ago.

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    Some say, for a Paph, that the emergence of a new growth is a signal that a flower cycle is around the corner. I can't validate that yet.

    Beyond that, I know of no signals. As far as Phals go, I have one that grew a new leaf starting a week after I moved it home and put it on the windowsill, a second new leaf 2 weeks later and a spike 3 weeks after that. So the 'no new growths or leaves' theory isn't a fool proof method. My biggest phal (leaves almost 18 inches long) finally spiked for me but it grows leaves and roots, especially roots, all the time.

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    A new leaf is just the cycle of growth, I am not aware if when you see a new leaf it will spike except for orchids that have pseudo bulbs not leaves. Most new PB will normally produce a spike if it is a mature orchid. I have Dendrobiums that spike off of old canes with no leaves.

    I am not sure if you plan to go to any of the orchid shows after the first of the year but normally they have lectures on all sorts of subjects pertaining to orchids, you might want to check out the schedule and plan on going to those lectures, you will be able learn from professionals that you can ask questions at the end of the lecture. They will talk about growing orchids here in south Florida as each area has different requirements for good growth. You just pay the entre fee and the lectures are free. When I first moved to south Florida I went to as many as I could, if you are still stumped on any subject you have the chance to find our more here on Orchid Works!

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    I have Phals that spike when leaf and root growth are occurring so the lack of growth is not an indicator of flowers developing.

    With Catts, a sheath developing is a hopeful sign, but not all sheaths produce flowers, and I have had spikes develop with no sheath.
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