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What to do with a branching spike?

This is a discussion on What to do with a branching spike? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I have one Phal with two branched spikes and the flowers are nearing the end ...

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  1. #1
    TwoStems's Avatar
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    Default What to do with a branching spike?

    I have one Phal with two branched spikes and the flowers are nearing the end of their cycle. I've read some places that branched spikes will not rebloom, and other places say it's possible but not likely. Should I cut these spikes down? Just wait until they begin to wither? I would love to get more flowers out of it soon because they're so pretty but I don't want to tire out the plant. Any advice would be great!

  2. #2
    smwboxer is offline Senior Member
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    If it's a typical hybrid phal., cut the spikes off and let the plant put it's energy into growth and this fall's new spike. The new spike(s) will have many more flowers. The old spike will only have a few new blooms.

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    yep! sounds right, if you push it to flower more from this spike you will get 2-6 flowers...but you can also save the plant the effort by cutting the stem.

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    Sounds like a plan. I will wait until it drops all it's blooms and cut the spikes back. Do you cut them allll the way down, or a couple nodes from the bottom? The last Phal I cut the spike all the way down on has yet to push another spike, it just grows new leaves ever so slowly...and it only seems to hold on to 3 at a time. It does however have lots of healthy roots. Hmm

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    I cut just above the first node.

    what are the lights and humidity conditions of your phal that keeps only 3 leaves? can you post a pic for us to look at, likely we can help.

    aja

  6. #6
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    It's in the same conditions as the rest of my plants and the other Phals are thriving. As you can see in the photo, the one next to it is growing like mad, I wasn't able to cut the spikes back until recently because it just kept blooming. It grows new leaves rapidly and has tons of new roots. I potted the older (3 leaved) one in s/h about 2 months ago. It seems happier than it was in bark, but just doesn't seem to be doing much of anything in terms of growth aside from the roots (which I suppose is a good sign that it's not dying). This is the first Phal I ever bought, it had one spike when I got it and it's been so long since it flowered that I don't even remember what the flowers look like! It seems like every time it grows a new leaf, the oldest one shrivels and dies.
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    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    As far as phals. go, I always cut mine spent flower spike off as close to the bottom as I can get the small, sterile scissors. About the slow growth... try a little more light...Betty :-)

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    Thanks Betty! I just recently moved it to an area that will get a little more light and I'm hoping that helps

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    I believe it will, Ali. Orchid leaves are supposed to be "grass green," when a little darker, it tells us that it needs a little more light...in order to grow faster/better. Betty :-)

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    Dear Ali...I suspect that your phal has root problems now or has had in the recent past. Whenever I have a phal that has had sort of 'elongated' leaves and pronounced ribs along the leaves there has been a root problem somewhere in its history. Taking into account that the two plants pictured are probably not the same hybrid so comparing them is maybe hit or miss...in general, I have found a rot problem to be the case when the leaves look and behave the way yours does. I would also follow Betty's advice vis a vis light. Check it out! Best to you. Remo

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