Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 18 of 18
Like Tree2Likes

Phalaenopsis spike induction

This is a discussion on Phalaenopsis spike induction within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by lja Inducing spikes on Phals is going to be as much or ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #11
    TundraKev's Avatar
    TundraKev is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    971

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lja
    Inducing spikes on Phals is going to be as much or more of a light issue as it is a temp-drop issue.
    Not sure if I understand this yet.

    Are you saying temp drop is partially responsible for spike induction or is light the only determining factor? Obviously the grower you mentioned did it with light. Can you also do it with only temp drop?

    Is it something like getting Christmas Cactus to bloom? You can actually do that two ways: drop in temp at night for X # of weeks or decrease the daylight hours and increase the night time hours.

    If light is the key, where did the temp drop advice come from? That's what I always hear recommended to induce spikes in books, forums, advice from experienced growers etc. I've never heard anyone mention the light thing before. Don't get me wrong, I'm not doubting you. It's just a totally new to me.

  2. #12
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
    Real Name
    Louis J. Aszod
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Clarksville, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,778
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I think the confusing part here is the word "induce." The word implies that there's some action you can perform to artificially force a plant to produce a spike.

    To my knowledge, there is no way under normal culture to "force" a Phalaenopsis to spike before it's ready to do so on its own. In a laboratory environment, there may very well be certain hormones that can be applied which will actually induce spiking artificially, outside of the normal time frame, but other than that, no.

    Spikes are triggered by a plant's genetics responding to environmental conditions. On some Phals, both the onset of warmth and higher light levels in spring are needed to trigger spiking. On other Phals, the fall or winter bloomers, both cooler temperatures and lower light levels are needed--completely the opposite.

    The statement "cooler temperatures will induce a Phal to spike" is erroneous. It's just not true. Cooler temperatures may be needed to trigger some Phals to spike, but only the ones whose genetics are programmed to respond to that kind of change as an actual trigger. It'll have absolutely zero effect on the others.

    The drastic reduction of light, however, creates an environment that tricks plants into "thinking" it's not a good time to flower yet. It won't "induce" spikes, but it will delay them until some further time down the road when normal light levels are restored.

    I have not heard of any growers using a drastic temperature drop alone for several months to achieve the same effect. I imagine that such a thing might work to delay spiking, but I also imagine that creating such conditions would be a lot more difficult and expensive than just putting up a tarp.

    Hope that helps some.

  3. #13
    TundraKev's Avatar
    TundraKev is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    971

    Default

    It does. Thanks.

  4. #14
    Piper's Avatar
    Piper is offline Hangs
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,068

    Default

    Hi Rob,

    As a variation on what Louis said, it's a light thing too. Not just for timing, but for whether it even happens.

    I lived in some spots that had inadequate light for a few years. And while my phals (and other 'chids) survived (sort of), they never even attempted to bloom. When I moved to my current apt, they all went bonkers and now bloom twice a year. I'd suspect light levels being inadequate before I'd worry about cold spells, unless you have a good handle on your plant and its desires.
    Julie

  5. #15
    Orchidilerium's Avatar
    Orchidilerium is offline I do the best impersonation of myself!
    My Grow Area
    On a Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Pleurothallis
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    whittier, sunny southern California
    Posts
    61

    Default

    LJA,

    After reading your post about Dr.Wang's research, I wonder about the fertilizer you mentioned. You say to use a balanced fert, though I have always been told to use the commercial 20-10-20. should I be using the balanced 20-20-20 as I do for my other plants? And also I wonder, if you were to use 20-20-20 at %50 of its recommendation, is that the same as a 10-10-10 used at %100 ? I have a couple dozen phals, which have never spiked for me unless they were purchased with a spike nub already forming( I'm so ashamed) . Exactly what fertilizers do you use and how much and how often? Spell it out for me if you would be so kind.

  6. #16
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
    Real Name
    Louis J. Aszod
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Clarksville, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,778
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Drew, when it comes right down to it, there are as many opinions about what fertilizer to use in what concentrations as there are growers using fertilizer. It becomes almost voodoo-esque, the little "secret mixes," the special "added ingredients." Dr. Wang grows some amazing Phalaenopsis, and he uses nothing more than the balanced, Peter's brand fertilizer, with calcium and magnesium added in, the Peter's "Cal-Mag." It apparently also contains all the various trace elements necessary for plant growth: sulphur, etc.. He dilutes it in reverse osmosis water as much as necessary to give him 200 parts per million nitrogen, but I don't remember what the original proportions were, 20-20-20, 10-10-10--I just can't say. He uses that all year, and fertilizes with every watering.

    Here's a post that explains the numbers:
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...33&postcount=3

    I have used various things here, balanced, not balanced, higher phosphorous, lower phosphorous--honestly and truthfully, no single type stood out enough to start me raving about it. I grew for years using nothing but that general purpose, blue-crystal Miracle Gro because it was the cheapest and most easily available; I used it urea and all, even though urea is supposedly useless as a nitrogen source for orchids in bark; I diluted it to 1/4 the manufacturer's recommendation on the box, and the plants grew and bloomed out great. I fertilized one day, used fresh water three days later, then fertilizer again three days after that, alternating like that.

    Now I'm using fish emulsion and seaweed, alternating that with fresh water to which I've added Epsom salt. That's my little "voodoo." Is it working better than the Miracle Gro? No. I just happen to be on an ocean kick because I miss the beaches where I grew up.

    Orchids have evolved to be especially adept at extracting the most minute amount of nutrients from the water they get bathed in--rainwater that's maybe washed over a few dead bugs stuck in a crevice or maybe some bird doo, so they really don't need much fertilizer to do well. The trick is to use whatever you decide on consistently. As long as it isn't a fertilizer with an outrageous proportion of any single element compared to the other two (10-70-10 or something), your plants will really do fine. If none of your Phals are blooming and you've had them for longer than a year, I'd do as Julie suggested and up the light levels a little bit.

    On another thread, there was talk about reducing temperature to trigger blooms; some Phals need that cooldown, others don't; but if upping the light doesn't work, try cooling the environment in winter so there's at least a 20 degree difference between your summer growing temperatures and your winter ones. The fertilizer you're already using should really be adequate, so I wouldn't look to that as the cause.

  7. #17
    inigmatus is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2

    Default

    looks like good information. thanks!

    two years, repeat, two long years... are some orchids just stubborn? perhaps we've been spoiling it too much. after all, it gets as much attention as our only cat, maybe a little depravation will kick it into gear. do orchids have ADD?

    after 3 lost orchids, we're down to 1. we have leaves but no spikes. i'll have to try some of the ideas you guys posted.

  8. #18
    Orchidzrule's Avatar
    Orchidzrule is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Rob Parsons
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phragmipedium
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB, CANADA
    Posts
    933
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by inigmatus
    two years, repeat, two long years... are some orchids just stubborn? perhaps we've been spoiling it too much. after all, it gets as much attention as our only cat, maybe a little depravation will kick it into gear. do orchids have ADD?
    Inigmatus,

    I have certainly heard people argue that too few orchids in a collection do get too much attention. If this is a problem...(get ready for it) simply get more orchids! I've always wondered if this "solution" wasn't simply a way to feed an addiction, but there is no doubt it's definitely harder to neglect 3 orchids than 30!

    Cheers,

    Rob (currently tending 60--not including some duplicates--orchid plants!)

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. second spike growing, cut first spike?
    By eversolulu in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: November 20th, 2009, 10:26 PM
  2. Phalaenopsis hiegroliphica X phalaenopsis gigantea
    By zainal abidin in forum Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, & Intergenerics IN BLOOM
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: July 25th, 2009, 02:38 AM
  3. How to grow second spike or split spike on phal
    By Mr. Jackson in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: June 23rd, 2009, 03:21 PM
  4. Phalaenopsis Ruth Larkin (Phalaenopsis Golden Gift x Phalaenopsis Brother Purple)
    By Brutal_Dreamer in forum Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, & Intergenerics IN BLOOM
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: May 23rd, 2009, 05:13 PM
  5. Phalaenopsis - spike & stop
    By nautilus in forum Genus Specific
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: January 15th, 2006, 12:57 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.