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This is a discussion on Phal Dragon's Gold always in bloom or bud. within the Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, & Intergenerics IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; This certainly makes the case for not chopping the spike down to the base after ...
This certainly makes the case for not chopping the spike down to the base after the flowers fall off to conserve energy for future bloomings. I know some people religiously cut their spikes all the way down once the flowers have fallen off, so that the plant can produce the most vigorous show next time around. Your orchid proves you don't need to chop spikes all the way off to get great blooms on the next round!
I have orchids like this too...they keep going and going...and I've been doing what you do...letting the spikes produce more blooms after the originals have died off...but then some folks on the forum insisted that the best thing to do was to chop the spikes off after the first blooming to conserve energy for next year's blooms. So I went ahead and cut a whole bunch of spikes off. DOH!!!
Now I regret cutting off the spikes! I should have just stuck with what works for me, because now I have a whole bunch of non-blooming phals that I'm anxiously waiting for brand new spikes on. Whoops. It just goes to show that what works for one person isn't always what's best for someone else. Hehee!
Ah, well...it gives me something to look forward to, anyway.
I might have to add your orchid to my wish list. What a beauty!!
Your philosophy is actually exactly how I've always thought about it. I still advise orchid novices to just let the plants do what they want, and not to interfere too much. I usually tell them not to cut off a spike unless it turns yellow or brown all the way to the base, and I encourage them to snip right below the lowest flower to encourage a secondary spike from the next node down.
This has always worked out great for me, and I've kept plants in constant bud/bloom for a year or more by doing this...but then when I read about what a supposed good practice it was to cut the spikes off completely to let the plant conserve energy, I thought, "Welllll...now that I'm sort of an advanced grower, perhaps I should do what the experts do and cut them off."
Yeah, right. Now I'm regretting my spike-chopping frenzy. At least I didn't do it to all of them, and I have several phals that are working on secondary spikes, so it's not like I won't have ANY blooms...
But if I had just kept my wits about me and not gone off half-cocked thinking I was doing the "expert" thing, I'd have way MORE blooms to speak of!
Ah well, they do say that pride comes before the fall....or in this case, the spring! Hehee!
Jeff, super pretty and the photos are excellent.
I think your area is conducive for this one lovely flower.
Thank you! Very interesting info re feeding when flowering. This had never occurred to me, but I always feed other plants when flowering.
Someone re potted my first phal for me, because I didn't know how to do it. She chopped off the spike and like OrchidAddict, I still waiting (9 months), for a new spike!! Any ideas? It is next to another phal which is just starting to grow another spike from an old one, if you see what I mean! So I am assuming the light level is ok.
Hence why I'm kicking myself for cutting some off....
One lady I spoke to actually puts her phals in a pitch-black cold closet for three months before bringing them back out to get them to spike again! I wouldn't necessarily recommend taking that drastic of an action! I'm frankly surprised she hasn't killed them by doing that, since they're essentially getting NO light, but I guess they just go dormant or something.
Anyhoo, stressing plants often gets them to spike, so if the plant has been happily growing in the same spot for quite a while, you may need to "shake things up a bit" to get it to do something.
Hope that helps. If all else fails, you can always go the fool proof route that GUARANTEES blooms every time...go buy yourself another plant that's flowering while you wait for yours to get with the program. That's what I do!