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Phal-Life span?

This is a discussion on Phal-Life span? within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi from California, I have a question concerning the life span of Phals... The Phal ...

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  1. #1
    dons is offline Junior Member
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    Question Phal-Life span?

    Hi from California,

    I have a question concerning the life span of Phals...
    The Phal in question was given to my aunt on her 90th birthday in
    1996. She passed away in 2001 and at that time I took over the care
    of the plant.
    I know it was in bloom when she received it in 1996 and since that
    time I have yet to get it to bloom. It received good enough care to
    maintain between 3 and 5 leafs but never bloomed due probably to
    insufficient light.
    During the past 10 months given it weekly fertilizer with a good flushing
    once a month. It was kept outside all summer and seems to be doing well.
    It's inside now in a southern window and I'm just wondering... will I ever
    get it to bloom again?
    As long as it keeps producing leafs I'll keep trying, but how long can I
    expect it to live? And can I expect it to flower again/
    Thanks for your comments and suggestions in advance.

    dons

  2. #2
    Phyrex's Avatar
    Phyrex is offline .CA-member-t
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    Phals do not need to flower to stay alive, only to reproduce.
    If you can post a picture people here will know what's going on with it.
    Phals don't really need too much light anyway so I'm not sure that lack of sufficient light is the problem with you plant.
    What is it potted in? It might be that it's lacking roots due to them rotting in old medium.

  3. #3
    mycologist's Avatar
    mycologist is offline Senior Member
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    Maybe it needs to get colder at night? I think around 55F? It will live a long time.

  4. #4
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Check out this article on Phal Orchids: Growing Phals

    I hope it helps.

    Cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
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    It sounds like this phal needs a bit of a shake-up! Does this plant ever experience any temperature drops at night? I've noticed that my phals begin to spike in the early fall when the day length gets shorter, and it gets colder at night. Temperature drops of at least 10 degrees from day to night have been shown to initiate flowering...its like a signal to the plant that it is time to flower Otherwise, it sounds like you have everything else right - good sun, humidity, air movement? How are all those things? If all else fails, you could try to freak the plant out a little bit by repotting it....lord knows I've gotten tons of spikes on phals after repotting...usually its because they're shocked by the repotting and it signals them to make a spike...I call it the "OMG I might die from this so I better put up a spike" syndrome Of course, they won't die with you caring for them, so don't worry about that!!

  6. #6
    Dallasgarden's Avatar
    Dallasgarden is offline Senior Member
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    Becky, your "oh my god I might die from this" comment gave me a good chuckle! Have a good weekend.

  7. #7
    ischel1's Avatar
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    Becky is right, repot that sucker!!!

  8. #8
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    Hi, dons, thanks for joining the forum. “Normal” spiking for the Phalaenopsis occurs during the fall/winter. Ever wonder how grocery stores seem to have blossoming phals year around? The big commercial growers that import seedlings and raise them to blooming size, force the blossoms by artificially reducing the nighttime temperature in the green house for about a month. “One variety, the Phalaenopsis, whose blooms are triggered by cold nights, can be tricked into blooming by being placed in air conditioning.” From an interview with Kerry Herndon in The Miami Herald, May 9, 2004.

  9. #9
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    Hi, Don, phal is monopodial and through my experience as long as you can maintain the basic need as described above it will continuously grow more than one foot like my amabils ( more than 6 years) until insects or bacteria/fungal infections will stop them.

  10. #10
    dons is offline Junior Member
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    Hi again guys, Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I had the plant outdoors all
    summer and just brought it in after it had about 20 nights of 50 degree temp. I re-potted
    it in the middle of the summer. It had very few roots below the surface.
    Since being re-potted it's showing numerous new root below the surface so I still have
    hope. Thanks again for your comments, dons

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