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Genetics 102

This is a discussion on Genetics 102 within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have a question, not so much as to name, etc., but to genetics or ...

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  1. #1
    Bikerdoc5968 is offline Senior Member
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    Question Genetics 102

    I have a question, not so much as to name, etc., but to genetics or growth habits...or maybe it is growing techniques. The pics are of two "different" plants; pics 1 & 2 are of the same and 3 & 4 are the same. The 1st looks like a miniture multifloral with flowers on short spikes about 1.5" and the 2nd has 2 spikes with flowers about 3.5". Their colors are similar and probably due to having a common parent like Phal Everspring King. I understand there is no way to determine what's what without going back to the breeder and getting specifics, but in general can growing techniques influence the size, quantity and quality of the flowers or is it the "genetics" of each plant? Oh, by the way, if anyone has a clue as to names....GREAT!
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    The answer it's too statisfying: both have an influence.

    McJulie

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    JUDIUK is offline Senior Member
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    Not a clue but I would be more than happy to give a home to either of them! Especially the first one, drools, Judi

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    Bikerdoc5968 is offline Senior Member
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    Judi,
    Thanks for the compliments...and this comment isn't meant to hurt, but believe it or not both are Costco specials! That's right good ol' costco for $19.95. I'd be paying $50.00 or more for either in my area (SW Detroit - West Bloomfield). And dthe leaves are not mottled...those spots are water/mineral deposits which I will clean up with some lemon juice.

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    That is an easy question to answer- YES. Genetics obviously matters and plants can be crossed into mules that will never reproduce, but the quality of growing environment greatly effects the plants growth habit and blooming.

    One example of a growing technique that causes flowers to become successively smaller and fewer is letting a plant that has multiple, successive blooms continue to bloom forever. The longer the plant blooms on the same spike, the smaller the blooms become and the weaker the plant becomes. Phals for example will *usually* bloom again on the same spike if the spike is not removed from the plant. Some folks cut the spike back just a bit to get it to branch and re-bloom. This will eventually weaken the plant and the blooms will never be as large as they were when the plant first bloomed and was healthy. We almost always cut off spikes when the flowers fade to let the plant grow and get ready for the next blooming cycle.

    The amounts of fertilizer your home grown orchid receives will also effect its ability to live a long life and grow and bloom. If you never fertilize your orchid, eventually the plants medium will no longer have enough nutrients to support it any longer and the plant will begin to die. This *might* cause one last bloom attempt, but the flowers from this type of stress are much smaller and fewer than those from a healthy plant.

    These are just a few experience examples. I hope it helps to answer your question.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Stunning display of harlequins.

    Growing technique does matter. An awarded plant may give the worst looking blooms if it is not grown properly.
    For example during the winter my blooms are reflexed, have smaller flower count and smaller sized, while during the summer they are much improved. Probably due to short day length and cloudy skies.

    I also read some phals bloom better in lower light, while others bloom better in higher light.

    Also if the temps are cooler for harlequins they tend to make more purple blotches. I only had my harlequin for a year but I found that to be true.

    And I agree with BD old spikes tend to give smaller blooms, but it depends on how much energy the plant has and how many spikes are blooming. I do find old spikes give smaller flower counts. I also have seen large flower counts on the same spike at a show, but the very last blooms at the end of the spike were significantly smaller, sort of like the plant ran out of energy.

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    Palito is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal_Dreamer View Post

    One example of a growing technique that causes flowers to become successively smaller and fewer is letting a plant that has multiple, successive blooms continue to bloom forever. The longer the plant blooms on the same spike, the smaller the blooms become and the weaker the plant becomes.
    And even that depends on the genetics. There are a few very vigorous hybrids (can't remember names) that can take that sequential blooming abuse with no problem at all and the plant doesn't seem to be setback at all.

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    So basically what you all are saying is that each orchid has it's own personality and some of them are as moody as a human during a full moon?! Hmm....they should fit right in at my house then.
    Connie

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    Yes, and just when a newbie thinks they may have found "their" type of orchid, along comes a cute hybrid that goes and stumps the hell out of them by being totally difficult to please... Sigh....

    Not that I am talking from personal experience....

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