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Phal schilleriana - what went wrong?

This is a discussion on Phal schilleriana - what went wrong? within the Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, & Intergenerics IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Hey folks! I couple of months ago I acquired a Phalaenopsis schilleriana 'Pink Butterfly' AM/AOS. ...

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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Phal schilleriana - what went wrong?

    Hey folks!

    I couple of months ago I acquired a Phalaenopsis schilleriana 'Pink Butterfly' AM/AOS. It arrived in spike with no real buds formed on it yet, but I put it in a spot that most of my orchids really like during bud development, and I enjoyed the mottled foliage immensely while I waited for the spike to mature.

    I ended up with about 7-8 buds on the plant. The only problem was that the bulbs would get nice and plump, and then out of the blue they'd shrivel and fall off. I was heartbroken. After I lost the third bud, I decided action needed to be taken. I put the clay pot inside a cache pot to give the orchid a bit more humidity, I increased my watering regimen, and I also gave it some daily exposure to some grow lights.

    It perked back up and began doing well again. I did a little happy dance. I started giving my orchid pep talks...saying things like, "You can DO IT!!! It's in your genes!! Grow, baby, grow!!" It rewarded my efforts by dropping two more buds.

    I was beside myself with frustration. Anyway, to make a long story short, I only ended up with TWO flowers that actually opened, and they look REALLY weird, if I do say so myself.

    I guess I had pretty high expectations of this plant because it was an awarded clone, and because I had paid a pretty penny for it. I was expecting an abundance of gorgeous blooms, but instead I got two sadly misshapen flowers.

    Here's the first flower that opened. Notice the totally wonky petal on the left side. What the heck?!

    Name:  wonky phal petal.jpg
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    I was hoping the second flower that opened would give me a better result, but unfortunately it didn't. Now, I'm not exactly sure what the American Orchid Society looks for when awarding flowers, but I'm pretty sure THIS is NOT it.

    Name:  wonky phal 2.jpg
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    Aside from the general droopiness and curling-under of the petals, I guess the flowers are kind of pretty. The plant as a whole is nice, if you don't look too closely at the flowers. Here it is in its cache pot:

    Name:  wonky phal overview.jpg
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    See...not so bad as long as you don't get too close. Anyway, the foliage is still gorgeous, and since this is only the plant's first flowering, I'm hoping it will do better next time around.

    Anyone have any ideas why this award-winner turned out such lame blooms? Has this happened to any of you? Someone please tell me this will improve...otherwise I'll be really frustrated that I spent so much money on this wacky plant!

  2. #2
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    It's beautiful! Don't be so hard on it, and you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine View Post
    It's beautiful! Don't be so hard on it, and you.
    Hmmmm...perhaps I'm being a bit too much of a Debbie Downer here??? LOL I think it was the AM/AOS award that had my expectations so high. I was thinking I would get perfection in the way of blooms! And I love to photograph my flowers, but these are so off-kilter that I can't really use them for artistic photography. But you're right...I should just enjoy them the way they are and stop nit-picking. Thanks for the pep talk, Katherine!

  4. #4
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    Your plant is beautiful. I can only speak from my experience, but here are some observations. The most common time for me to experience bud drop is when I buy a plant in bud. The form of my flowers usually improve as the plant matures. So keep giving the pep talks. Remember it could be worse! I tried to "help" a bloom yesterday and broke the lip off the bloom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammywolffox View Post
    Your plant is beautiful. I can only speak from my experience, but here are some observations. The most common time for me to experience bud drop is when I buy a plant in bud. The form of my flowers usually improve as the plant matures. So keep giving the pep talks. Remember it could be worse! I tried to "help" a bloom yesterday and broke the lip off the bloom.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Awww, thanks Dean!! I will hope for some improvement as the plant matures. Sorry to hear about your "busted lip." I've had my own orchid mishaps lately, too...I have a Dendrobium goldenrod that was in...wait for it.....QUADRUPLE SPIKE!!! Tons of buds all over the place. This plant was poised to put on a heck of a show. Aaaaaand then my daughter fell off her chair, knocked over the orchid plant, cracked one of the canes that was spiking (I splinted it, and remarkably it's STILL growing!), and snapped two of the spikes clean off.

    I have ONE BUD left from those two spikes that were ready to pop. The other two are waiting for the first two to "do their thing," so I'm sure I'll get lots of blooms out of the second set...as long as I keep my destructive kids away from my plants! Hehee!!

    Anyway, maybe you should put some Blistex on that busted lip of yours...or Neosporin, maybe...

  6. #6
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    Oh the damage I have caused to orchids. Several years ago my wife gave me a grocery store Phal. In memory of a recently deceased and beloved pet dog "Sammy's Orchid". That afternoon I dropped the plant a completely destroyed two heavily flowered spikes. I went to six grocery stores and two box stores before I could find a match and hide my mistake. Anyway, sometimes things work out because yesterday the first bud on Sammy's Orchid opened.
    P.S. Sammy would have eaten the orchid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammywolffox View Post
    Oh the damage I have caused to orchids. Several years ago my wife gave me a grocery store Phal. In memory of a recently deceased and beloved pet dog "Sammy's Orchid". That afternoon I dropped the plant a completely destroyed two heavily flowered spikes. I went to six grocery stores and two box stores before I could find a match and hide my mistake. Anyway, sometimes things work out because yesterday the first bud on Sammy's Orchid opened.
    P.S. Sammy would have eaten the orchid.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Oh my goodness! At first I thought, 'Awww...the dog died...how sad!!' and then I thought 'Oh, what a sweet gesture on the wife's part!' ...and then I thought 'Oh God, how is he ever going to fix THAT goof-up'....and then I was nodding my head because I've been where you are...going to nearly every store in the state to find an orchid that was identical to the one that accidentally 'didn't make it' and hoping that the other person wouldn't notice...and then I had this huge grin on my face to hear that Sammy's first bud opened!

    And then I read the punch line and was like.... BWAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!!

    Okay, there's no way I can be glum after reading that post of yours!! I'm officially "lightening up" about my wonky phal.

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    Jenn I think that Phals drop buds when there is a change in conditions (such as bringing it home) while the spike is developing. Also I think species Phals are more fussy than hybrids generally. Once you've had the plant awhile, it well likely adapt to your conditions and should bloom well for you next time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris1140 View Post
    Jenn I think that Phals drop buds when there is a change in conditions (such as bringing it home) while the spike is developing. Also I think species Phals are more fussy than hybrids generally. Once you've had the plant awhile, it well likely adapt to your conditions and should bloom well for you next time.
    Ahhh, thanks! I did notice that this plant was much more sensitive to things like humidity and light than my hybrids. This is my first species phal to bloom for me, so I was QUITE excited!! But yeah, the buds started dropping, then I put the clay pot inside a cache pot and it perked up within 24 hours, and buds were continuing as normal. Then they started dropping again, and I realized that we had had a week with very little sun, so I quickly put the plant under my grow lights, and it proceeded as normal again.

    My hybrids don't seem to care much about humidity or light...they spike and bloom reliably whenever they feel like it, but with this one I felt like the "orchid whisperer." Every other moment I was going..."Oh no...what's the matter now?" I'm going to repot it when it's done blooming into a pot that holds humidity better, as it seems to really want lots of it! And I'll make sure it gets lots of light, as it got droopy during our week of cloudiness. But hey, at least I'll know what to do next time, and if you all are correct about the blooms' form improving as the plant matures, hopefully next time it will put on a splendid show!

    Thanks for the reassurance. I really appreciate it!

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