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So, what's normal for phals, anyway?

This is a discussion on So, what's normal for phals, anyway? within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; I have been studying my small tribe of phals this morning, during my usual breakfast ...

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  1. #1
    Mehera's Avatar
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    Question So, what's normal for phals, anyway?

    I have been studying my small tribe of phals this morning, during my usual breakfast with the orchids. I have about a dozen plants, all repotted within the last 6 months. Some are blooming veterans, some are too small for their first spike. A few have struggled, but most are reasonably well adapted to living with me.

    But their signs of growth are all over the chart. One is putting up a new leaf, but no new (visible) roots; one has been going to town with new aerial roots, and is throwing a fat new spike--but has yet to grow a new leaf in its time (6 months) with me; another is putting out secondary spike branches on its old spike, and has a leaf coming on--but no new roots; still another looks perfectly healthy, but is just sitting there with no signs of growth at all, while a small new shilleriana started a spike two weeks after arriving and being repotted. Is there a "normal" phal growth pattern? Are the types of growth indicative of the general health and well being of the plant? As much as I love their blooms, I feel more reassured that they are doing well when I see new roots and leaves--especially this time of the year.

    Comments?

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    Phal hybrids crossed with doritis (summer bloomer) have a different cycle than pure phals. Hybrids do strange things. As long as your orchids have nice, turgid leaves and exhibit some kind of growth (leaf, root, etc.), I really wouldn't worry...they have their own internal clocks.

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    Give that man in the sarong a cigar! Clint is right. I have some that look like they are plastic for months, then all of a sudden - Whoosh, leaves, roots, spikes! If they look stagnant for too long, check the roots, then consider more light.

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    Mine do weird & wonderful things @ times.
    Because of my growing conditions i don,t have a particular time of year when they spike/leaf/growroots , basically i just let them do their own thing.
    If a plant has been in bloom for a protracted period( 6+ months for some of mine) & has not grown new leaves or roots I will cut the spike.

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    Thanks Clint, Diane and uncasteeb--that's kind of what I was thinking too, but I'm still trying to figure out what normal is!

    I was wrong about my crazy root plant with the fat new spike; it's increasingly obvious that it is growing a basal keiki--I had never seen one before! Why it didn't just add to its current leaves I don't know and it's not telling.

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    Default >:)

    That's one of the mysteries of these plants..they do what they want when they want and there's no forcing them to grow, bloom, etc. You just have to be a captive audience and watch for cultural issues.

    Good luck!

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    I have one phal that has been blooming continuously on the same spike since last November. As much as I love having a continuously blooming plant, do you think it's time to cut the spike? Right now it has four new buds, and it just dropped the last its blooms about a week ago.

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    Some people let them go on till they stop by themselves, but I like to encourage full growth and perhaps multi spikes or branching on my plants next bloom - so I cut the spike after a few months of flowering. That way I get really nice spikes, and since I have quite a few phals, something is always looking good...

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    If you have a star type Phal, you are not supposed to cut off the bloom spike because it will continue to bloom from that spike and form new ones too.

    Gregg C.

  10. #10
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    Are phals temperamental? going from vendor to home (change of growing conditions). 3 buds dropped off the spike of 3 blooms, 5 buds. Once it settles down, will it continue the spike and form more buds? Our first phal. Any advice?
    Tami

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