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This is a discussion on Growing outdoors, initiating orchid spike within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I have two phals, One mature dendrobium noblie, and a dendrobium nobile keiki. One phal ...
I have two phals, One mature dendrobium noblie, and a dendrobium nobile keiki. One phal grew a new leaf at the begining of last summer and I'm not sure it the leaf is done growing yet. It's not bigger than the leaves underneath it, but it's not too much smaller either. I cut off it's spikes when I realized they would not rebloom, because I saw the spikes start to turn yellow. I have it sitting by a window during the day, and I set it in the mudroom at night where the temps are milder, because I know that colder temps can help them shoot out a spike. I've been setting it out off and on since this passed November, but have been more consistent lately. I'm just waiting to see if a new spike will emerge. The second phal I pretty much do the same thing with it. I just repotted it and it has new medium, I only cut the spike down a few nodes from where it last bloomed this passed summer. I noticed within the last few days that the spike has started to turn yellow towards the top. I figure to just leave it alone for now and maybe cut it all the way down if it continues to yellow all the way down to the base. My dendrobium had two keikis and was blooming when I bought it. I have since seperated the two keikis and repotted them. I've been watering it once a week, and now it seems to be growing another keiki so I cut down the watering to just a light misting with a spray bottle once a week to keep the roots from drying out. I water the keiki on a regular basis because it's not mature yet and still has it's leaves. I'm not an expert, but I feel like I've gotten better with my plants. I just want to do as best as I can to keep them alive and happy. It's kinda hard growing orchids in New England. I would enjoy reading any feedback about what I'm doing and if I should change anything. Thanks fellow orchid lovers. I forgot to mention that I was considering putting them all outside in the sumer, but the only issue is the bugs. I had some tomatillo plants outside, and they were attacked by these really small bugs that seemed to have webs that they used to get from one plant to the next, they're really small bugs; really hard to spot if you don't look closely. Thanks in advance and forgive my spelling and grammer.
You say your den is a nobile. This type of den will form meiosis if you water it all year long. Nobile dens require a winters rest period from watering. For mine I stop watering in October and don't resume until the spring. They need this rest period to initiate their blooming. Resume watering when new growth appears but gradually increase. Also during the rest period light should be increased.
For your phals, I think you'll get many opinions regarding spikes and whether to cut them all the way down after blooms are spent or cut it down to the node just below the blooms in hopes of initiating a sub spike. I personally prefer to cut mine all the way down so all the plants energy goes into new growth, roots, etc. it takes a lot of energy by the plant when you cut the spike and try to get a second blooming. I think it all depends on the overall health of the plant; if it's a good healthy Plant with good roots then I think it's fine. If the health of the plant is suspect then I would cut the spike all the way.
Orchids love being outside if you can provide them with a spot suitable for their particular growing needs. The bugs you mentioned sound like spider mites, you should use a good miticide or incecticide for them. You can also use a mixture of cinnamon extract, dishwater detergent(phosphorus free) and water. This works great for treating critters of all kinds. Hope this helps you It sounds like you are doing fine.
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