Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
Like Tree12Likes

Phals - cutting entire spike vs. snipping beneath node

This is a discussion on Phals - cutting entire spike vs. snipping beneath node within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello all! I have yet another question / observation. Any input is much appreciated! I've ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    JackiePS is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catt., Phal., Dend
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Hopewell Junction, NY
    Posts
    124

    Lightbulb Phals - cutting entire spike vs. snipping beneath node

    Hello all!

    I have yet another question / observation. Any input is much appreciated! I've come to notice that the phals that I've 'snipped' develop new (spike) growth much faster than those in which I've removed the entire spike. Has anyone else noticed this? Is there some explanation? I was originally in favor of removing the whole spike because I like a cleaner looking plant. However, I'd rather have blooms in a timely manner than a perfect looking plant!

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
    Real Name
    Harvey
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    1-Neo falcata,2-Phal,3-Paph
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Littleton, Colorado
    Posts
    6,036
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    One should consider the health of the orchid in question to decide to rebloom or not. Blooming takes ALL of the energy and the rest of the orchid gets little or nothing, energy wise.

    If the orchid looks stressed and you don't want to risk losing it from reblooming the already present spike, then I would remove the entire spike. If the orchid is strong enough (read: has enough energy stored) then reblooming the old spike is fine. I don't know of a way, other than its general appearance, to determine the energy resources in the plant.

    Since cutting a spike off at its base sets to 'bloom clock' to zero, it is reasonable that growing a new one from scratch takes longer. The orchid has to store enough energy to support the blooming cycle and so it doesn't spike until it achieves that energy level.

  3. #3
    JackiePS is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catt., Phal., Dend
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Hopewell Junction, NY
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 78Terp View Post
    One should consider the health of the orchid in question to decide to rebloom or not. Blooming takes ALL of the energy and the rest of the orchid gets little or nothing, energy wise.

    If the orchid looks stressed and you don't want to risk losing it from reblooming the already present spike, then I would remove the entire spike. If the orchid is strong enough (read: has enough energy stored) then reblooming the old spike is fine. I don't know of a way, other than its general appearance, to determine the energy resources in the plant.

    Since cutting a spike off at its base sets to 'bloom clock' to zero, it is reasonable that growing a new one from scratch takes longer. The orchid has to store enough energy to support the blooming cycle and so it doesn't spike until it achieves that energy level.
    As always, you are a well of knowledge and I thank you for sharing it!

    That makes perfect sense. Thankfully my phals are very healthy and all of them are showing new growth, just not in the form of a spike! I know I have to be patient but I couldn't help noticing that the ones where I remove the entire spike are just making leaves & roots right now (which of course is great!)

    In a strong healthy phal, do you find it preferable to remove the entire spike?

  4. #4
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
    Real Name
    Harvey
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    1-Neo falcata,2-Phal,3-Paph
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Littleton, Colorado
    Posts
    6,036
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JackiePS View Post

    In a strong healthy phal, do you find it preferable to remove the entire spike?
    If a spike isn't swelling in a node, I opt for cutting it off. If I see some swelling at a node, I then assume it will sprout and flower, if not, I just let it start over. Sometimes I wish I hadn't because of the time to get a spike.

    As a side note, I had a phal at the office and I took it home (I am not near a window so it only got light 9 hrs a day 5 days/week) and put it on a west facing windowsill. Within a week or 2 it had sprouted a leaf. A week later, it sprouted another leaf. 1.5 months after getting on the windowsill, it is spiking. That is the fastest I have ever had a phal spike for me.

  5. #5
    JackiePS is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catt., Phal., Dend
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Hopewell Junction, NY
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 78Terp View Post
    If a spike isn't swelling in a node, I opt for cutting it off. If I see some swelling at a node, I then assume it will sprout and flower, if not, I just let it start over. Sometimes I wish I hadn't because of the time to get a spike.

    As a side note, I had a phal at the office and I took it home (I am not near a window so it only got light 9 hrs a day 5 days/week) and put it on a west facing windowsill. Within a week or 2 it had sprouted a leaf. A week later, it sprouted another leaf. 1.5 months after getting on the windowsill, it is spiking. That is the fastest I have ever had a phal spike for me.
    Wow, you must have been excited! Would you mind posting a pic of it? I'd like to see it

  6. #6
    naokit is offline Junior Member
    Real Name
    naoki
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
    Posts
    20
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I personally don't cut the old spike, and let them drop by itself. That's because orchids (especially epiphytic ones) are really good at recycling nutrients. Different mineral nutrients have different rate of recycling. For example, K is really easy to recycle, so if plants are experiencing low K supply, they reallocate the K from older tissues to the newer tissues. But Ca is generally difficult to recycle. There are data showing orchids can recycle those nutrients more efficiently than other plants.

    So I wonder that your observation is related to this. If you cut off the green spike, you are getting rid of lots of nutrients, so slower flowering cycle.

  7. #7
    chemist's Avatar
    chemist is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Svetlana
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phals, catts, catasetums
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    463
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Here is what i observed on my phals.
    On all of them but one (the longest flowered one) i cut off spikes completely. And left spike intact on that long flowered one in hope that after keiki paste application it will give me keiki (never happened ) but it formed flower spike on treated node.
    So all with cut spikes produced new spikes over the winter, and the one that was left with old one did not.
    You can say keiki paste interrupted process of forming new spike and that energy went into branched spike, maybe....

  8. #8
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
    Real Name
    Harvey
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    1-Neo falcata,2-Phal,3-Paph
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Littleton, Colorado
    Posts
    6,036
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Here it is.

    The new spike is on the right side of the image, in the leaf axis above the cut stump of the old spike.
    Name:  49dbe3ab-7649-48b3-aa82-f118037df226.jpg
Views: 216
Size:  224.7 KB

  9. #9
    Traci's Avatar
    Traci is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Traci
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phals, Paphs, Vandas and Dracs
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Posts
    843
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I started to let the orchids dictate whether to cut the spike down or just a bit of it. If the spike remains green after blooming I leave it. If the spike turns yellow, I remove it. I have one orchid that I left the spike on. It rebloomed from one spike (it was a double spike) and now the other spike is turning yellow. I will remove it once it progresses down a bit more.

  10. #10
    JackiePS is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catt., Phal., Dend
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Hopewell Junction, NY
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 78Terp View Post
    Here it is.

    The new spike is on the right side of the image, in the leaf axis above the cut stump of the old spike.
    Name:  49dbe3ab-7649-48b3-aa82-f118037df226.jpg
Views: 216
Size:  224.7 KB
    Wow! That is a busy plant! Why is it putting out roots so high up? Do you think it will drop those bottom leaves? I don't have a phal quite that tall. A few of mine have shed bottom leaves instead of keeping them like yours did.

    ---------- Post Merged at 10:11 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by chemist View Post
    Here is what i observed on my phals.
    On all of them but one (the longest flowered one) i cut off spikes completely. And left spike intact on that long flowered one in hope that after keiki paste application it will give me keiki (never happened ) but it formed flower spike on treated node.
    So all with cut spikes produced new spikes over the winter, and the one that was left with old one did not.
    You can say keiki paste interrupted process of forming new spike and that energy went into branched spike, maybe....
    I guess I just have to be patient then! I need to get some of that keiki paste!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. cutting Epi spike
    By brit6v in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: March 31st, 2013, 12:56 PM
  2. Cutting old spike on Phal.
    By hank3443 in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: November 30th, 2009, 05:26 PM
  3. cutting phal spike
    By brit6v in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: April 28th, 2009, 07:36 PM
  4. Cutting Dend Spike
    By ATester in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: July 12th, 2005, 07:11 AM
  5. Cutting the spike? Re: Dtps...
    By Heather in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: July 13th, 2004, 12:29 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.