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After Phals flowers are gone

This is a discussion on After Phals flowers are gone within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Bought a phal several months ago (can't believe how well it has done!) & it ...

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  1. #1
    Sparx is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Toronto, Canada

    Question After Phals flowers are gone

    Bought a phal several months ago (can't believe how well it has done!) & it has finally dropped its last flower. Have gotten some conflicting info on whether or not I should cut it back.
    If I should cut it, I am not sure of where to do so. It has a long stem (about 18") that branches off twice & then more on each branch off. Would really like to know what to do.
    Thanks for having a great site!

  2. #2
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
    Real Name
    Louis J. Aszod
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    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Clarksville, Arkansas
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    Default Re: After Phals flowers are gone

    Hi Sparx, thanks for posting and for the compliment on the site! It means a lot.

    You're right, opinions vary as to how to handle Phal spikes once they've bloomed out. Our experience has been that, if the spike is cut midway (usually two nodes below the tip or one node below the first branch-off), the next bloom tends to be smaller--fewer flowers, and blooms smaller in size. The trade off is, there's a good chance the plant will bloom a little sooner than if the spike is cut completely down.

    Here, once the plant has bloomed, we cut the spike all the way back to about an inch away from where it emerges. We want the plant's energy go into developing roots and leaves at this point, not into keeping an old spike alive. With bigger leaves and more roots, the plant will send out a thick, healthy spike the next time it blooms, and the flowers will be the largest and most profuse they can be. That, after all, is what we're shooting for!

    So, if it were my plant, I'd cut all the way back. Don't be afraid that, if you do that, the plant won't ever bloom again--it will, and better!

    Keep us posted on what you decide, and good growing!

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