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Phal Orchid Growth and Bloom Question...

This is a discussion on Phal Orchid Growth and Bloom Question... within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Ok, even though I'm relatively new to this I'm becoming pretty successful in getting my ...

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  1. #1
    TirSigel's Avatar
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    Default Phal Orchid Growth and Bloom Question...

    Ok, even though I'm relatively new to this I'm becoming pretty successful in getting my other orchids to grow (oncidium, cattleya, encyclia, brassovala, etc...). They're young so no blooms yet but lots of new growth and roots. I'm paying careful attention to the humidity, fertilizer, watering & light. My problem is with Phals (as funny as that sounds). Is it possible to get box store phals that have no intention of growing?? I've had three for over a year now, one has since passed but the other two are doing nothing at all. I've been watering when they're almost dry, humidity at around 60%, temp constant 72 degrees, trying different light (shaded south, west, grow lights) and fertilizing. Checked the roots in the pot & they're still plump and greenish...but still nothing. No new roots or leaves...What am I doing wrong???

  2. #2
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    Sometimes it takes time for an orchid to adjust to changes in cultural conditions. Some Phals seem to be this way. I don't know how often you are trying different conditions (light), but if you frequently change that part of culture, the plants may be constantly trying to adjust and can't get their growth/bloom rythm going. Also, constant 72 degrees can be a problem. A temperature drop in the fall is often helpful in triggering blooming in Phals. In my experience, my Phals do better at warmer temperatures in the summer (up to about 85 degrees). I let them cool down to the 60s in the fall and get consistent blooming for the most part. Do you have photos of the plants and where they are growing? That may help.

    Susan

  3. #3
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    I agree with the above; a temperature drop is sometimes necessary to bloom a plant. I leave mine outside until it gets down to about 55-60 at night for a couple weeks, longer if possible.

  4. #4
    remo is offline Senior Member
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    Kevin, welcome! I, too, agree with both Susan and Connie that you should pick a spot that meets the phals requirements for light, humidity, temp, etc and stick to it for awhile. I have had phals stall on me for months at a time and then finally take off. And Susan talked about the diurnal swing (night to day temps)...I think this is very important and there is published research which documents the growth habits of phals when their environment is manipulated by day length, humidity and temp swing. You could look it up online. Also go to the orchid articles section of the forum for more basic info. Good luck! Remo

  5. #5
    kiwiorchids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TirSigel View Post
    Ok, even though I'm relatively new to this I'm becoming pretty successful in getting my other orchids to grow (oncidium, cattleya, encyclia, brassovala, etc...). They're young so no blooms yet but lots of new growth and roots. I'm paying careful attention to the humidity, fertilizer, watering & light. My problem is with Phals (as funny as that sounds). Is it possible to get box store phals that have no intention of growing?? I've had three for over a year now, one has since passed but the other two are doing nothing at all. I've been watering when they're almost dry, humidity at around 60%, temp constant 72 degrees, trying different light (shaded south, west, grow lights) and fertilizing. Checked the roots in the pot & they're still plump and greenish...but still nothing. No new roots or leaves...What am I doing wrong???

    Lol, dont worry, phals are my erk too, as well as Masdevallias.....I find if you just water when they media looks dry right through by sitting it under a tap for 20mins, (about once a fortnight...) the roots pick up the pace a bit, and i also sometimes use a root stimulation hormone in the water, about 1/2 teaspoon to 5 litres for a guide. Give 60/40 sunlight/shade, and you will notice a puplish tinge to the leaves, and this means it is getting all the light it needs.
    Also, as stated above, i find a sharp temp drop by about 2-3 degrees C every night for a week works well for getting them to bloom, in addition to the above.

    I have had success blooming using the above steps

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone for the help...I'll give it a try! :-)

  7. #7
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    Name:  bahh.gif
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Size:  1.2 KBJordan, hi, what is the name of the hormone root stimulant? Annette

  8. #8
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    Well, Just an update...Of the two Phals, one is doing something, not sure what though, and the other is still stalled. The one that is progressing looks like it's trying to throw a spike but it bent inward and got caught between the last and second last leaf. I'm sure it know's what it's doing so I'll just leave it alone. And just a comment with the root hormone, I actually made some using willow shoots and it worked wonders. All my plants showed root growth within a month of treatment.

  9. #9
    kiwiorchids's Avatar
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    Annette told me about the willow bark/root method, here we use it for a herbal tea.

  10. #10
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    ...isn't aspirin based on willow bark?

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