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  #1  
Old 09-13-2019, 10:22 PM
unlockinghope unlockinghope is offline
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Hello!

So I am relatively new to orchids. My husband and I got an orchid as a house warming gift 2 years ago. Originally it had 2 flower spikes that were already in bloom when we received it. In the first year the smaller one died off once the flowers fell. The second and stronger stem flowered, deflowered, and rebloomed 2 or 3 times over the course of the past year and a half UNTIL just recently. It flowered as usual but this time when almost immediately after the last flower fell I noticed the flower stem starting to die and turn yellow then brown as the other one did a year and a half previously. My mother is an orchid intermediate and she informed me that her orchids never (or very rarely ever) rebloom from the same flower spike. BUT hers also seem to grow new flower spikes often with regular blooms....just not from the same spikes?

So I am confused; is mine an anomaly? What caused my spike to randomly dry up and not be viable anymore?

Also, what is the normal life cycle for a flower stem? Meaning how long does it take for them to regrow enough to rebloom?
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:10 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Phalaonopsis flowers (I strongly suspect that is what you have) last a long time but not forever. You were very fortunate to get several reblooms from even one of the older spikes - they do eventually poop out, yours lasted much longer than usual. The plant, however, can certainly produce new spikes, and survive for years if well cared-for. You can cut the old, brown spikes down to near where they come out of the plant. After this much time, the plant also probably needs repotting. I don't know if you have been fertilizing it, but if not, it could use a little - orchids need very little , but for new growth they do need some - 1/2 to 1/4 the strength of what it says on the bottle, every week or two is plenty. For more detailed information on the care of your orchid, take a look at the "stickies" at the top of the Beginner's Forum (such as The Phal abuse ends here.).
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:15 PM
unlockinghope unlockinghope is offline
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Ahh thank you Roberta! Yeah I had been fertilizing it, however, I mixed per the instructions on the box. It was specialty orchid fertilizer though. Should it be diluted down even still you think?

Is there such a thing as "an average life cycle" for flower spikes? I suppose what I'm trying to ask is, how long to they typically take to regrow strong enough to produce flowers again?
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:24 PM
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You can dilute the fertilizer even more. Orchids really need very, very little. It is best to give just a little, more often. Putting succinctly, "weakly, weekly" is about right (In nature, they grow hanging from trees, and get only nutrients that wash down from rotting material in the forest canopy) In general, they send up new flower spikes about once a year. The season can vary - some were bred to bloom in the winter, others in the spring or summer... The biggest sales seasons are Christmas and Mother's Day, and breeders shoot for those seasons. Also a nighttime temperature drop for a week or two in the fall (nights to 55-60 deg F) may help to initiate spiking, though I have found that they pretty much do what they want when they want... leave it to the pros to really manipulate the blooming cycle, it's big business for them. For a hobbyist, any time is a good time. If a Phal doesn't bloom after a year or so and is otherwise healthy, usually the culprit is inadequate light, for not enough hours. They want gentle, indirect light, but for as many hours as you can manage (you can even supplement the light with an LED lamp to get the duration up to 12 hours or so, if you're having trouble getting it to rebloom)
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