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Aborted Spikes

This is a discussion on Aborted Spikes within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Here are my three "growing areas" (in my studio apartment). The first two photos are ...

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  1. #11
    Nyx
    Nyx is offline Junior Member
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    Default Daylight shots - impromtu

    Here are my three "growing areas" (in my studio apartment). The first two photos are from the kitchen with the orchids in spike/question pointed out.

    The second two photos are in the main room/bedroom but I was shooting into the light from the sun, so they really aren't good representations of the actual light levels unfortunately.

    My plan is to rotate the orchids, but so far I am getting great growth in each area with all types. I just don't know if I can actually rebloom all of them yet because I've had them under a year. I may need additional light to do that, as BD has suggested.
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  2. #12
    orchid-man's Avatar
    orchid-man is offline Not Normal
    Real Name
    Murray
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
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    Oncidiums.Odonts and alliance
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    Mar 2006
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    Auckland new zealand
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    you are doing very well with what you have there.Do you know that a watched kettle never boils,if so ,orchids are the same.

  3. #13
    Mehera's Avatar
    Mehera is offline Just Another Senior Moment
    Real Name
    Lynda
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    phals, paphs, oncs
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    Mar 2006
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    Naples, FL
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    Hi Nyx. I think your phals are healthy and happy and going to do very well for you. I notice from your pictures that you also have a bunch of oncids and a dendrobium--these will need your sunniest places more than your phals.

  4. #14
    Nyx
    Nyx is offline Junior Member
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    Iím glad you brought that up, Mehera. I started with phals and when I didnít kill those, I moved on to a couple of paphs, several oncids, one cattleya and the dendrobium (which is very nearly 4 ft tall). I agree with your tag line, Murray, about orchids being a disease that cannot be cured because I am addicted!

    So, as I have continued to collect, my limited choice of ďgrowing areasĒ have expanded and because the oncids and dendrobium were added later they donít have the premium sun area. Iíve been surprised to see new growth right where they are though. They reside behind a sheer curtain and a set of open blinds because that is the area where I want the most privacy from the street.

    If they are visibly growing could they still have way insufficient light? I have noticed with the two ďpansyĒ orchids among them that their leaves are growing a lot and becoming quite bushy but they havenít produced any flowers in months. I assume that will probably be the case with the oncids and dendrobium if I donít move them as well Ė enough light to grow, but not enough to spike. I've included some examples of their growth. What do you think?
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  5. #15
    Mehera's Avatar
    Mehera is offline Just Another Senior Moment
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    Lynda
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    phals, paphs, oncs
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    They ARE putting on a lot of nice new growth Nyx--and since you are in your first year with them, it's hard to know if their light will be enough to spike them. Can't tell about your layout too well from pictures, but if there were some way to put the most light craving (catts, dend, oncids) right up to your best windows, and the phals in a second rank further out--in the shadows of the others, that might work for you; that's what I do.

    I wonder if that window where you need to keep the blinds partially closed would work better for the phals? They're doing well where they are, I know, but they would do better in the shaded window than your light lovers. See if you can get them nice and close to the glass.

    You mentioned lots of cloudy winter days in your area though, and it's hard to get around that and get flowers no matter how close they are to the glass. That would be a good case for supplemental lighting.

  6. #16
    jtlqh's Avatar
    jtlqh is offline Senior Member
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    I don't know about SF, but in NYC, I remove the curtain on my south window where my windowsill growing area is and the sunlight only gets diffused by the window glass and screen. I placed my catts, oncis, dens there. It is a little too much for the oncis, but the catts love it. I am not sure if it is enough for the dens though since not a lot of them bloomed yet or even if they bloom the number of flowers are a lot less than if you grow them outside.

    In low light condition, the dens might put out new growth, but I doubt they will bloom.

    Qing

  7. #17
    Piper's Avatar
    Piper is offline Hangs
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    Hi Nyx,

    Sorry for being such a tough crowd, but the photos really do help! I think your stalled spikes are just roots. Don't worry about them.

    Your grow areas are great, and your plants look happy. But you will need to prioritize who gets the most light.

    Dends need the most light. Catts are next for the genera you grow. Oncs next. Then Phals and Paphs. In San Francisco, you can probably make your Paphs and Phals happy with full light. They can often tolerate quite a bit more in more northern regions. But your Catts and Dends will do nothing beyond providing foliage.

    Think of your plants as small reactors. They must generate a lot of energy to put out new leaves and roots. They must crank out OODLES of energy to support the drain of producing flowers. Energy comes from sun, the right amount of water, and fertilizer. But light, primarily. If your Dends and Catts are in too little light, they'll never bloom.

    Move them to your sunniest spots appropriately for the genera. Consider hanging the others in the windows if you need to. My guess is that in those less sunny windows, the plants won't suffer, but they might not bloom either.

    Keep us posted and keep asking questions!

    McJulie

  8. #18
    Nyx
    Nyx is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the input, everyone.

    Iím inspired to do some moving around, but hereís my thought at this point. Iíve had my phals the longest and if anything is ready to spike again it is many of the phals. My dendrobium is still in full bloom and the catt just recently lost itís flowers. The oncs have either fairly recently stopped blooming or are still in bloom.

    Does it make sense to change everything around right now when it seems the chances of any of those higher light orchids spiking is very low even in good light?

    Iím thinking the remaining good light of fall is better spent on my phals. Once any who are going to, spike and set their buds, I can then move them into the main room from the kitchen, and permanently give those higher light kitchen spaces to the dend, catt, and some of the oncs.

    Does that make good sense? Or should the higher light orchids be moved immediately because they will need so much time in better light to even consider spiking next year? I also just realized that since these are my first spikes I am not really familiar with how long it will take for the spike to mature and set buds. That will be a factor as well.

    Iím open to possibly needing supplemental light, but I really want to see how things go first. Having 40+ orchids in a studio is already pushing it and in adding a bunch of grow lights I might as well call it a greenhouse rather than home. The hanging basket idea is good, but I already have two in the kitchen on either side of the window. At this point I am semi-plotting how to give my more common orchids a new home to make room for something more exotic.

    Another issue is that I have not repotted any of my orchids and I am sure that many would deeply appreciate that when the time comes. My impression is that I should wait until next year since Iíve waited this long, yes?

    Thanks for sharing your collective experience!

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