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Phrag. elongated petal question

This is a discussion on Phrag. elongated petal question within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I'm curious about something. I recently purchases a Phrag . that has the super-elongated petals. ...

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  1. #1
    nabakov5's Avatar
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    Default Phrag. elongated petal question

    I'm curious about something. I recently purchases a Phrag. that has the super-elongated petals. I've never owned one like this, and the petals are (obviously) a great conversation piece given their unique look. I read in an old old post how these petals continue to grow after the bloom is open, and when I read that I wasn't sure what it meant. Now I can see that the petals on my newly opened bloom are progressively getting longer and longer. Is this a feature that is specific to this type of orchid? or do all petals continue to grow, just not as obviously as these? And do these petals really "grow" or do they just "stretch" longer because of gravity. Given that the bloom lasts a really long time, will the petals elongate themselves for the entire life of the bloom? I think it's very cool. I'd love to know your thoughts on the subject. I'll attach a pic of my plant. The bloom with the shorter petals is the new bloom.
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    These 'long petal' paphs and phrags will usually produce petals that grow after the bloom opens for a period of time. Then the lengthening stops. It is not gravity, it is the normal growth pattern for the plant. Many produce longer petals with each bloom cycle as the plant matures, until in reaches maturity.

    Your is lovely, great color!

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    I remember some thread in the distant past where someone (BD?) claimed the petals may stop growing when they hit a surface, so situate the pot where the petals can grow down below the table height.

    Phrag experts - is this correct?

    Julie

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    Yes, Julie..you are correct. The "tendrils" of this plant reach the ground in nature so that potential pollinators on the ground can have a "highway" to the plant. They also stop elongating when they hit something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper
    I remember some thread in the distant past where someone (BD?) claimed the petals may stop growing when they hit a surface, so situate the pot where the petals can grow down below the table height.

    Phrag experts - is this correct?

    Julie

    That is correct. to what clint said!

    Cheers!
    BD

  6. #6
    nabakov5's Avatar
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    As I was sitting here, reading your responses to my question, I looked over at my phrag. and at that exact moment one of the blooms popped off the stem and fell on the floor. The timing was almost comical. The bloom wasn't droopy or discolored. It looked like it would have at least another 7 to 10 days. It was like the bloom heard us talking about him, felt self-conscious, or maybe like he'd never be to make his petals able to reach the table-top, so he just said "goodbye world" and lept to the floor. Sad really, when an orchid has such a narcissus complex. But then again, all the great rockers die young.

  7. #7
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    These plants usually drop the blossom when it still looks healthy. Used to drive me crazy!! But don't feel bad, that is the way with these guys. Just enjoy the new blooms!

  8. #8
    Jmoney's Avatar
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    It has been widely hypothesized that the petals serve as a path for ground-based pollinators (i.e. ants). As far as I know it has not been conclusively proven.

    There is controversy as to whether the petals will stop growing if they hit a surface. Again, it is hypothesized that they do, but people who have tested it say the petals continue to grow. That they will continue to grow somewhat after hitting a surface is probably likely, but whether or not they will grow to their full potential after this contact is up in the air. Most growers allow the petals to hang freely and grow to their maximum.

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