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Phal spikes

This is a discussion on Phal spikes within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I stopped at a local garden store yesterday because I needed to repot some phals ...

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  1. #1
    Piper's Avatar
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    Default Phal spikes

    I stopped at a local garden store yesterday because I needed to repot some phals I recently bought. And...well...it's phal season and their greenhouse was brimming over with lovely colored sprays. (Do you hear the shark music playing low in the background?)

    Ok, I won't keep you in suspense - I bought some. But as I stalked the benches, looking for the penultimate prize, I noticed differences in spiking, even among the same clones. I have two questions:

    1. I've always assumed that branching in phals was a trait of certain species and hybrids. Yet, of a given hybrid, yesterday I saw some branched and others didn't. Can they display that variety, or will branches eventually develop as the inflorescence matures?

    2. What determines whether a phal throws two spikes, rather than one? I've seen little puny runts with two spikes, yet I have a mongo, healthy Kaleidescope with a 24" wing span that blooms 2+ times a year and it only ever puts up one spike. Of the plants I saw yesterday, some (of the same type) had two and some had one.

    Julie

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    Liz's Avatar
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    Yes, phal season. What a great time of year!!!

    I can't say I know the answers to your questions. In my experience, though, I've got one plant branching out now that didn't branch before. I've also got some plants with double spikes right now that grew single spikes last time, and one single spike that was a double spike last time. Other than a hybrid's genetic tendancy to branch, I don't think there's a particular reason why they grow they way they do. I think they just do what they want; if conditions are just so, and the stars are aligned just right, they double spike and branch.
    Liz

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    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Piper, I don't know the answer to your question either, but it is a great question!

    I also wondered (not to hijack) whether 2 plants that are exactly the same (species or hybrids) would typically bloom within a close proximity. So, for example, two Lc. Mini Purples, and they both develop sheaths and bloom.... will they bloom within a month of each other?

  4. #4
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper
    , I noticed differences in spiking, even among the same clones. I have two questions:

    1. I've always assumed that branching in phals was a trait of certain species and hybrids. Yet, of a given hybrid, yesterday I saw some branched and others didn't. Can they display that variety, or will branches eventually develop as the inflorescence matures?

    2. What determines whether a phal throws two spikes, rather than one? I've seen little puny runts with two spikes, yet I have a mongo, healthy Kaleidescope with a 24" wing span that blooms 2+ times a year and it only ever puts up one spike. Of the plants I saw yesterday, some (of the same type) had two and some had one.

    Julie
    Well Julie,
    In my experience with orchids...you really need to see how the particular orchid you are buying is blooming, for instance multiple spikes, branching, etc. If the orchid you buy has these traits, then it should continue to bless you with the same ..on the other hand if it's sibling sitting next to it is not branching ,or multiple spiking...then I would say, that it might never do as well as the other. So go for the multiple spiker and brancher !
    Great 'pots ' you bought BTW !!

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    Bump.

    I was at a local market yesterday and I was wondering about the same thing (how/why do all those phals have double spikes (not branching)). Could it be that the nurseries just sell the double spiked ones to increase the price even though it will only single spike next bloom? Or is it really a trait of certain orchids to double spike?

    I saw a really nice purple/pink dotted petite phal and almost bought but some of the leaves were strange. Some had brown spots others were missing part of the top (sometimes half the leaf). They were wrapped in cellophane though. Would it be unwise to purchase such plants or will the damaged leaves not matter that much?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Phyrex; July 26th, 2007 at 03:16 PM.

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