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  • 1 Post By Halloamey
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Phals and light...sun? my dilemma!

This is a discussion on Phals and light...sun? my dilemma! within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello all, I've been doing some reading regarding phals and light requirements, because one of ...

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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Phals and light...sun? my dilemma!

    Hello all,

    I've been doing some reading regarding phals and light requirements, because one of my phals didn't put out a stalk (yet) this year and I don't think it will.

    The reason I am posting this thread is because I wanted to acquire some more phals, and if my home conditions aren't good enough to make them rebloom, then I don't think it's worth it.

    The phal in question is the same Phal that I had problem with last week in the following post:
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...-question.html

    Last year, I had my two Phals moved in a S/H medium, it was perlite and charcoal, and they bloomed and everything was fine. They bloomed late May, Mid-spring here in the Middle East, Lebanon and the blooms lasted for about 6 weeks. The Phal in question, is the pink one (sorry for my lack of knowledge in Orchid taxonomy) had 16 flowers on it.

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    Late September of last year, I moved my Phals into bigger pots and the medium was converted into Hydroton, each Phal lost an old leaf and put out a new one along with some root growth. I fertilize once a week through foliar application as recommended by my friend Amey Bhide (a member of this forum) after I consulted him about a fertlizer that I found.
    I moved them inside late October.

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    This is the Phal in question before I had to remove one leaf last week.

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    So far it's been very cold this year, and it's been raining and sometimes snowing for the past 8 weeks. Temperatures in the day are not going above 20c and during the night they are between 12c - 15c inside the house.

    I had to move them about 2 weeks ago when I had the problem with the leaf away from the window (facing west), because it was very cold and damp! they are now inside the living room near an east facing wall.
    I only have west facing windows in my apartment. I have them under 40w CFL bubls, and I downloaded a "light meter" application for my Samsung Galaxy Tab yesterday and measured the light under the bulbs where the phals are located and the reading was 800 lux, which is approx = 74.3 foot candles!!
    T5 and T8 light fixtures are not available here!

    So I did some research, and some people say that some morning and afternoon sun is recommended for Phals, where others say it is not recommended at all.

    I would like to hear your opinions on the matter especially from those who have experienced some benefit from the sun exposure, because some people on a different forum say that sun exposure will promote stalk growth and sometimes promote multiple stalk growth.

    Now here, we are in the middle of the winter, and to my understanding the sun is weak at the moment. so:
    Morning sun would be from sunrise to 10 am?
    Mid-day sun would be from 10 am till 2 pm?
    Afternoon sun would be from 2 pm till sunset?

    what about Spring, and Summer sun?

    Looking forward to hearing your helpful opinions, and sorry for the long post.

    Best regards,

  2. #2
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    Hi Johnny, all orchids after being transplanted need time to recuperate and put on new growth, so usually they may miss one flowering, that is quite normal. The light you measured at the current situation is very low, Phals need about 1500 foot candles to trigger spike formation. You can return your Phals to the window sill. Its -15 here in Germany, and still my phals do great on window sills as long as you have heaters. Morning sunlight is good or all plants but west windows cannot provide it I guess. You can use CFL lights to provide the extra lighting. Make sure that the light source is no more than 6-8 inches away from the leaves. and it should be enough as supplemental lighting. And lastly, if they thrived and bloomed earlier under your conditions, they are f┤bound to do it again, so do not worry and get new plants

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    Hi Johnny, all orchids after being transplanted need time to recuperate and put on new growth, so usually they may miss one flowering, that is quite normal. The light you measured at the current situation is very low, Phals need about 1500 foot candles to trigger spike formation. You can return your Phals to the window sill. Its -15 here in Germany, and still my phals do great on window sills as long as you have heaters. Morning sunlight is good or all plants but west windows cannot provide it I guess. You can use CFL lights to provide the extra lighting. Make sure that the light source is no more than 6-8 inches away from the leaves. and it should be enough as supplemental lighting. And lastly, if they thrived and bloomed earlier under your conditions, they are f┤bound to do it again, so do not worry and get new plants
    Thank you Amey, you always lend a helping hand!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    Hi Johnny, all orchids after being transplanted need time to recuperate and put on new growth, so usually they may miss one flowering, that is quite normal. The light you measured at the current situation is very low, Phals need about 1500 foot candles to trigger spike formation. You can return your Phals to the window sill. Its -15 here in Germany, and still my phals do great on window sills as long as you have heaters. Morning sunlight is good or all plants but west windows cannot provide it I guess. You can use CFL lights to provide the extra lighting. Make sure that the light source is no more than 6-8 inches away from the leaves. and it should be enough as supplemental lighting. And lastly, if they thrived and bloomed earlier under your conditions, they are f┤bound to do it again, so do not worry and get new plants
    You are all heart Amey!! Good job .

  5. #5
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    Ive always been a sucker for Phals hybrids and Sp. and vars. and not just in winter season to satisfy my need for more with the seasons ltd choice and mail order to cold. Often overlooked but the best tool ever comes with the orchid just purchased and thats its pot - hopefully clear and slatted for air. After all this time since killing, tweaking and correcting not one epiphyte orchid in a pot, its this that is a great advantage and not just for visual clarification but a good tool for timeless clock watering schedule. They are still suspended crown down but pot on a close 180 dergees. 'Velamen control' colour coded sivler and green one for yes and one for no to water. The contents i.e bark will leave pockets of empty space against inside of pot. Its here where condensation act as a self watering self sufficient plant.

    All my plants are in situ facing East-South-East sun from dawn till2pmish. Phals get exposed to slightly obstructed rays due to other hanging plants but never blistered/bubbled. But then ambiant temps are cool here most of time. in this timeframe and come mid summer foliage will redden just like they can go dark green or apple green. Yellow black and brown also but these 3 not so good! Not treated any differently to others just not put on window sill when rotating. Vandas and catts, peristeria and catasetum with nepenthes, cotton,succulents passiflora species gingers heliconias bromeliads tillandsia all thrive here. Light has determined male or female blooms on catasetinae but Phals whether in 1500 footcandles or higher has not changed anything re spiking. Just becommes more demanding with water and humidity needs and leaves that lose to much moisture and wrinkle often split as it replumps itself.

    Its cooler temps at night that relate to spiking in my opinion and its England so quite convenient really, this ties in a circumstantial way also as late autumn winter poses a threat with humidity moisture and cold. Most plants are kept on a drier side to aid tolerance with drop at night when we are in bed and no heating on.Close to 10 oc in here which is quite noticeable! I never give phals fertilizer whose content is nitrogen notably at the highest count. Phals can opt to stay in the green for significant time.

  6. #6
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    A couple of thoughts. Did I understand correctly that a couple of your phals have bloomed where you have them? If that's the case, then they're probably getting enough light, although they may not be getting the perfect amount of light. The leaves look very dark so they could probably use a little more light if you can provide it. Secondly, foliar feeding does not work very well with phals, or for most orchids actually. I don't do s/h but I know many growers add fertilizer to the s/h water. You may want to find out how to do that. Third, There are phals that spike when the weather gets cool and bloom in the spring but there are also some summer blooming phals which are usually some of the smaller variety. They tend to be sequential bloomers and continue to bloom through the summer.

  7. #7
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    On the subject of sequential just to clarify, is this like the muled ear oncid Psycopsis that bloom on an ever growing spike getting longer and longer as the old fade away and new flourish in the top half. Have seen these with 7ft or 8ft long inlorescences and still growing as with paph philillipensis. I havent come across any noid phal whether triple stemmed ,peloric or doritaenopsis which display sequential characteristics. Only when physical intervention comes along and severs spike 3 nodes up from crown does a new branching spike occur, is this still classed as sequential??????. Have had spikes remain after all blooms have gone exhausted with no potential future signs of any to come often waste bin rescues or from reduced rack, some times keikis though.

    Many of the species vars primarys definetly sequential with spikes meandering, twisting and contorting all over the place with even a years display not that rare and unheard off. My manii , cocn cervi certainly and soon arrival of braceana fall into that category. Not the mass commercial hybrids though?Should they be?

    Interestingly Jeff making it quite clear where you stand on the for and against debate on foliar feeding. Whats your argument on it. On reflection of the text one of the many academic educated members stated, it has sought of been taken as confirmation in favour! based on reputation. It is easy more often than not to make facts and info fit in to our logic from both sides of the debate.

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