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What's happening to my phal?

This is a discussion on What's happening to my phal? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello everyone. This is my first post here, I just discovered the forum today. I've ...

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  1. #1
    swallowevil is offline Junior Member
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    Default What's happening to my phal?

    Hello everyone. This is my first post here, I just discovered the forum today. I've been looking at different threads all day and have already learned so much.

    To preface my question I should tell you a bit of my background I guess. Well, actually there is little background to tell... I have one lonely orchid, it's a Phal that I bought at a boxstore maybe not quite two years ago. I've never re-potted it, just learned I probably should today. It has bloomed once after the initial blooms that were already there when I bought it. I'd say it's been a good 8-10 months since it's bloomed, I could be like 3 months off here, wasn't keeping very good track of this. Since I have very limited knowledge on orchids I'm very open to any suggestions anyone may have for me to improve the health of my orchid.

    So on to my question. I'll attach some pics of it to show what I'm talking about but mainly I'm wondering if or what I should be doing with it. Probably about a month or so ago I noticed a little bud, I was all excited because I thought it was going to bloom again. Instead it looks like it's putting out another leaf way the heck up on the stem. Is this normal? I haven't seen many pics of a leaf way up there. Did I do or not do something I shouldn't have? Was I supposed to clip the stalk/stem (unsure of the correct vocab to use) here.



    Thank you in advance for any help and direction you're able to give me.

  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Hi Karl, welcome to OrchidTalk! Your phal is growing a baby plant ( keiki ). Usually it is a good idea to cut off the spikes after your phal has bloomed. I recommend cutting them off at about one inch above the plant. Some people leave them on and perhaps cut them above the third node in hopes of getting another set of blooms. This sometimes works but the blooms are reduced in size (usually) and your plant uses lots of energy it could use for growing stronger roots or replacing an older bottom leaf.

    It is time to repot and from the color of your orchid's leaves, it could use a bit more light. Phals like lower light levels, but a bit more light would perk up the color to a lighter green. Also, from the leaves that appear to droopy on the right side of the photo, you may have some root issues to clean up a bit.

    Here is an article to help with your Phalaenopsis : Growing the Phalaenopsis Orchid (Moth Orchid)

    Best of luck to you and again - Welcome to our Community!


    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    swallowevil is offline Junior Member
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    Wow, thanks so much for the insta-reply, it is much appreciated. A couple follow-up questions if you don't mind though. Since I have a keiki started now is there any way to propagate it and make it into a separate plant?

    My other question is, after I've cut off the spikes about how long should I expect it to take to grow new ones and then bloom again?

    OK, I guess I still have more. Should I first re-pot and then cut off the spikes or cut off the spikes and leave it for a while until I re-pot? Then whichever route I should go how long of a time period between each task?

    Thanks again for the reply, I'll check out this thread you provided in hopes of becoming a more self sufficient orchid grower.

  4. #4
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swallowevil View Post
    Wow, thanks so much for the insta-reply, it is much appreciated. A couple follow-up questions if you don't mind though. Since I have a keiki started now is there any way to propagate it and make it into a separate plant?

    My other question is, after I've cut off the spikes about how long should I expect it to take to grow new ones and then bloom again?

    OK, I guess I still have more. Should I first re-pot and then cut off the spikes or cut off the spikes and leave it for a while until I re-pot? Then whichever route I should go how long of a time period between each task?

    Thanks again for the reply, I'll check out this thread you provided in hopes of becoming a more self sufficient orchid grower.
    The keiki will develop over time. You will want it to grow roots (at least three or four) and they should be about two inche to three inches long before you remove it from the 'mother' plant.

    To answer your second question: After cutting off the non-blooming spikes, your phal, when given the right conditions should rebloom for you approximately the same time as it was in bloom before. So, if you had blooms in Feb or March, that is when you normally would expect to see them again. That said, different conditions and different crosses have different bloom times. If you do not see blooms after 12 months on a mature phal, then some aspect of your culture is not working. Most of the time it is lack of sufficient light. (number one cause)

    Third question: You can cut off the spike and repot at the same time. No worries. Use a clean knife (one not used on other plants) and if you smoke, be sure to wash your hands before cutting off the spike. If the spike is green, you can tap a little bit of ciinamon on the cut to dry it out and keep it from getting an infection. It the spike is dry, then no worries, simply cut it off with a clean knife or razorblade, etc..

    Yes, check out the article and also the one above it written by Sadie. She uses photos to show how a phal should look. Really good information there.

    And enjoy the forum.

    Cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
    swallowevil is offline Junior Member
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    Again, thank you so much for your help, I'm grateful for people like you who are so willing to share their hard earned knowledge. I know I'm pushing it to the limits here with my rapid excessive question asking but I'm thirsting for more knowledge.

    I've quickly decided to let my keiki grow to try and make another orchid so this one has someone to play with. Are there any good threads that you could point me to or any tips you could give me on doing this? I'm unsure what to search for I guess. (Maybe this isn't a good idea for a orchid noob like me, if you would advise against it feel free to say so)

    Also, when you say ciinamon are you talking about the actual spice cinnamon or is this some special mix powder stuff?

    Thanks again, I swear I'm done for a while now. (Trying to get to my 5 posts so I can see the other links)

  6. #6
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swallowevil View Post
    Again, thank you so much for your help, I'm grateful for people like you who are so willing to share their hard earned knowledge. I know I'm pushing it to the limits here with my rapid excessive question asking but I'm thirsting for more knowledge.

    I've quickly decided to let my keiki grow to try and make another orchid so this one has someone to play with. Are there any good threads that you could point me to or any tips you could give me on doing this? I'm unsure what to search for I guess. (Maybe this isn't a good idea for a orchid noob like me, if you would advise against it feel free to say so)

    Also, when you say ciinamon are you talking about the actual spice cinnamon or is this some special mix powder stuff?

    Thanks again, I swear I'm done for a while now. (Trying to get to my 5 posts so I can see the other links)
    LOL. No worries.

    Ok, you can use the search feature at the top right of the screen. It has a drop down menu and search for " keiki " in the "TAGS" search. That should bring up images and text regarding keikies .

    The spice you might use on toast or in coffee cake or even coffee is what I am talking about. You probably have it in your kitchen . Also, while searching around the forum, try looking at some threads about cinnamon.

    And to get your five posts, take a look at the photography forum and see some other phals. I am sure there is something that will make you want to say something. Also be sure to introduce yourself in the Introductions forum. Everyone here will want to say hello and welcome you to our group.

    Cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
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    Hello, Karl. Dr. Yin-Tung Wang, a Texas A&M floriculturist at the Weslaco Center and consultant to the industry, has said warmer temperatures delay the flowering of orchids. "Orchids need four to six weeks of temperatures below 77 degrees to start the flowering process, called spiking," Wang said. "Once they start the process, it takes about 110 days for the flowers to open, usually around late January. But with warm weather, flowering could be delayed..." Here are a couple articles by Dr. Yin-Tung Wang that I have found to be very helpful.

    https://sharepoint.agriculture.purdu...20Part%201.pdf
    https://sharepoint.agriculture.purdu...20Part%202.pdf
    https://sharepoint.agriculture.purdu...20Part%203.pdf
    http://www.staugorchidsociety.org/up...sis_Part_4.pdf

    Welcome to the Forum. We need to get you to get more orchids!!!!!!
    HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE
    whew.
    Joe

  8. #8
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    to the above! Welcome to the forum, good questions!!
    Posted via Mobile Device

  9. #9
    swallowevil is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the replies and those PDFs, they are really informative. I re-potted my phal today but unfortunately I'm unsure if it's going to make it. I ended up cutting both the spikes off because there were only three roots left. One longer one that looked ok and the other ones didn't look very healthy. I think I may have gone on too long without the knowledge I needed. I figured I should cut off the spikes so the plant isn't wasting any of it's energy on the keiki that had started. I guess all I can do is wait now and see what happens.

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