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  • 3 Post By daveinsydney
  • 3 Post By 78Terp
  • 3 Post By raybark
  • 2 Post By Carolla
  • 1 Post By Diane
  • 1 Post By Nanda

Something weird - or maybe I just don't know enough!

This is a discussion on Something weird - or maybe I just don't know enough! within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Actually have two questions. Here in Sydney we are mid autumn with temps varying between ...

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  1. #1
    daveinsydney is offline Junior Member
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    Default Something weird - or maybe I just don't know enough!

    Actually have two questions.

    Here in Sydney we are mid autumn with temps varying between 45 and 75 fahrenheit each day.

    I wasn't really expecting it but my orchid which I have had for less than 12 months has kicked into growth again and has a rather long spike (is that the term?) with 15 or so ready to bloom buds. Is this normal i.e. Autumn/Winter growth and flowering? I just assumed after Summer it was done?

    The main reason I am here though is a question about this weird tuberous growth thing on the bottom of the plant - I have no idea what this is?

    It basically looks like a large fat brown worm with saran wrap around it.

    Can someone tell e what this is and how I should treat it?

    Thx!
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  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    Default

    That is a root. Phalaenopsis can and mostly do grow roots that are in the air. I make sure that when ever I water or mist my orchids, I wet all roots air or otherwise. Roots are necessary for orchids so healthy roots lead to healthy orchid. Most of the orchids 'breathing' happens thru the roots. That is why orchids must be potted in a medium that allows the roots in the media to breathe.

    As for the spike of flowers, phals also generally respond well to 15-20 F temperature difference between night and day. That triggers many types to go into the flowering stage. That is if the orchid has stored enough energy to support a flower cycle. So it is not unusual for them to flower this time of year. My experience shows me that phals can flower at any time of the year and that is part of the fun of phals. Get them real happy and they can be in flower for months on end.

    Looking at your picture, it looks like the media your orchid is potted in is dirt. If it is, you must get it out of the dirt as soon as you can. Also the pot you are in doesn't allow for any air exchange for the roots. I think you should be glad that the root is in the air, you at least have that one healthy. If I am mistaken about the media, I apologize.

    I have a saying I grow by:
    Grow the roots and the orchid will follow.

    Advice that applies to all orchids.

  3. #3
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Many (not all) phalaenopsis respond to a general lowering of the average growing temperature by throwing a flower spike. Basically, if you hit a period of about 10-days to 2-weeks of an average temperature decrease of 10°-15˜F, the plant will respond. As that usually happens in the autumn for in-home growers, they tend to be winter bloomers. Large nurseries control the temperatures to "force" blooming at any time, giving them a steady crop of in-spike plants to sell.

    Technically, the general term is an inflorescence, of which there are many types, depending upon the plant In a phalaenopsis, for example, it is a raceme, while oncidiums generally have panicles. However, "flower spike" is what we all say...

    That odd "worm" is a root. An aerial root, to be precise. Whenever you water the plant, be sure to wet it, as well.

  4. #4
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    ]Also, I agree that looks like dirt that it is in. It has a basal Keiki, where it is growing a new plant, as well as the lovely new root. Keikis are unusual in Phals and can indicate stress in the plant. If it is in dirt, I'll add my recommendation to get some coarse orchid bark and repot the plant. Using dirt would be considered an emergency for Phals, as mentioned they "breathe" through their roots and not just their leaves, the roots will rot and kill the plant. Well a closer look perhaps its in fine bark, that can also kill a Phal, as I learned all too personally. How long has it been potted in the current media? What is it in (in case the pictures aren't clear)? And, when you water a Phal and are wetting your aerial root, do be careful to keep the water out of the crown of the plant, they will rot in the crown too all too easily.

    Included is a picture of a mature Phal with its mess of roots, hopefully that will be helpful.

    Good luck!

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]76525[/ATTACH
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #5
    Diane's Avatar
    Diane is offline Can't Re-Member
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    Your plant is in very fine bark, which can be fine for phals if you carefully control your watering. Many commercial growers will grow in a clump of moss with roots sticking out and adhearing to the pot. They use clay pots, which is most important as they "breathe", allowing air into the growing media. Once it finishes blooming you can repot in a clay pot with what ever media you choose, then for show you can put the clay pot inside the ceramic or plastic pot.

  6. #6
    Nanda is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    You may also want to consider using a clear plastic pot with ventilation slits or holes. This will allow you to keep track of the health of your roots. When it blooms, then you could set it into a larger more decorative pot just for displaying, then remove it again when done.

  7. #7
    Yug's Avatar
    Yug
    Yug is offline Mostly-Species Snob
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    As others pointed out that 'fat worm like thing' is a root, and nothing to worry about, in fact the more you have the better the plant takes up moisture.

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