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Natural stems (spikes)

This is a discussion on Natural stems (spikes) within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; This is a minor point, but worth noting. Most of my orchid friends are adamant ...

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  1. #1
    nabakov5's Avatar
    nabakov5 is offline Cecilia, You're Breakin' my Heart.....
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    Default Natural stems (spikes)

    This is a minor point, but worth noting. Most of my orchid friends are adamant about supporting their spikes with a stake, insuring that the spikes grow up, straight and "proper." Though I do have some orchids that I stake, I only do so when the spike is too heavy to support itself. I'm a big fan of letting spikes wander where they may, and lately I've gotten some very "zen' shapes by turning my orchids a little bit. Now I know, I know, if you turn the orchid, the blooms won't line up the way they should. I don't mean major turning, I just mean turning them once, to make the spike develop a sexy little curve. I thought I'd show you some of the fun shapes I've gotten. Look at those curves!
    -kitty
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  2. #2
    Diane's Avatar
    Diane is offline Can't Re-Member
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    What pleases your eye is far more important than what people think is "proper". Enjoy your curvaceous beauties!

  3. #3
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    I try to stake things, but most of the time they just do what they want to do. LOL.

    Cheers,
    BD

  4. #4
    Kerry's Avatar
    Kerry is offline Too much to learn, let alone re-member!
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    I do like to have some spikes taking a dive for freedom, I think it makes them quite interesting, although there have been some interesting fights between the spikes of different plants before whilst I have been trying to move them for watering!

    By the way Kitty, I really like your pot covers and matching saucers!

  5. #5
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    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    When I try leaving my phal's unspiked my husband has a fit...I would love to let one of mine just go. He had no choice on the Vascostylis, we didn't find the spike until it was about to bloom. That one is a lovely to me with a soft elegant curve here and there.
    Connie

  6. #6
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    I prefer to let the spikes do their own thing, as long as there is enough space for them to dangle and wander about.
    A vertical spike is just too formal for my liking.

    Nurseries prefer to train and stake the orchid spikes straight up so that it can be boxed easily and more securely for shipping. I guess this eventually was adopted as the "proper" way to grow a spike.

  7. #7
    Kerry's Avatar
    Kerry is offline Too much to learn, let alone re-member!
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    I think that some of the phal displays that I have seen with a magnificent spray of blooms all facing forward depends on the plant not being moved at all to make sure that the spike grows one way. It certainly gives visual effect, but I don't know whether or not staking these spikes or not is necessary to achieve this look. Surely you get the same sort of thing whether the spike is staked upright and the flowering end arches over, or if it arches right from the base of the spike. I do look at some of my hybrid phals and wonder if their (very) slender spikes are capable of supporting all the flowers sometimes, especially compared with others that look like small trees. But then, maybe the slimmer spikes are more flexible and less likely to snap under weight than the ones with reeeaaally thick spikes that still arch.

    Now I have confused myself!

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