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  #1  
Old 10-17-2020, 01:01 PM
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Purchasing blooming phal orchid in Fall
Default Purchasing blooming phal orchid in Fall

Hi everyone,

I'm new here and also fairly new to orchids. I understand that phal orchids typically bloom in late winter and early spring. But, I just purchased one that is currently in bloom. What will this mean for its next bloom cycle? Should I not try to induce blooming and let it skip the next year to get it back on a regular bloom cycle? Or does it not matter for indoor orchids when they bloom?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2020, 01:10 PM
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Purchasing blooming phal orchid in Fall
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At least in my experience I've never had to induce blooming in Phals; the combination of shorter days and a slight temperature drop just naturally resulting from being in the winter months seems to do the trick just fine. If you don't cut the spikes after they finish blooming they may push out a couple new buds in the winter/spring? Don't worry too much about it, they'll almost definitely bloom during next year's winter.
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:16 PM
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Purchasing blooming phal orchid in Fall
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Originally Posted by neophyte View Post
At least in my experience I've never had to induce blooming in Phals; the combination of shorter days and a slight temperature drop just naturally resulting from being in the winter months seems to do the trick just fine. If you don't cut the spikes after they finish blooming they may push out a couple new buds in the winter/spring? Don't worry too much about it, they'll almost definitely bloom during next year's winter.
Thanks for your response! So even if it's in bloom now and its blooms last until winter it may still bloom again? I guess I was just worried because I thought that it should be going into its dormant stage in the Fall rather than blooming. Maybe I'm overthinking it!
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:23 PM
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Welcome, spinrah! Your blooming phal may indeed stay in bloom well into the cold months. When the blooms drop, continue to give it the best care you can. It will not be dormant (phals are growing-slowly- all year. But it may skip pushing out a new bloom spike this winter. Commercial growers manipulate the light and temperatures in their growing facilities to get blooms when they want them. In time, your plant will adapt to your own growing conditions by itself.



Meanwhile, how are the roots? Have you checked? You can slip the plant out of the pot without disturbing it and take a look to see how they are. They should be green (wet) or silvery (dryer) and firm. If they are black and mushy, you may need to repot, even though it is in bloom. Most phals tolerate this without missing a beat. If you are not sure, post a picture and you will get lots of good advice.
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:41 PM
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Welcome, spinrah! Your blooming phal may indeed stay in bloom well into the cold months. When the blooms drop, continue to give it the best care you can. It will not be dormant (phals are growing-slowly- all year. But it may skip pushing out a new bloom spike this winter. Commercial growers manipulate the light and temperatures in their growing facilities to get blooms when they want them. In time, your plant will adapt to your own growing conditions by itself.



Meanwhile, how are the roots? Have you checked? You can slip the plant out of the pot without disturbing it and take a look to see how they are. They should be green (wet) or silvery (dryer) and firm. If they are black and mushy, you may need to repot, even though it is in bloom. Most phals tolerate this without missing a beat. If you are not sure, post a picture and you will get lots of good advice.
Perfect, thanks so much for the information!
I actually did repot it already in some bark medium because I noticed that the roots weren't looking so good. It's been a week now since I re-potted and it seems pretty happy so I'm hoping that I've got it off on the right foot.

I also bought the Miracle Gro spray fertilizer (which I realize now may not be the best fertilizer): Miracle-Gro Ready to Use Orchid Mist - Plant Food - Miracle-Gro

Should I continue to give it this fertilizer throughout the winter? I was thinking of maybe every 2-3 weeks. The label says you can basically give it every week.
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:48 PM
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What will this mean for its next bloom cycle? Should I not try to induce blooming and let it skip the next year to get it back on a regular bloom cycle? Or does it not matter for indoor orchids when they bloom?

spinrah - welcome. For my own orchids ----- and regarding the flowering side of things ---- I just let the orchids own systems do their own thing.

When suitable growing conditions are provided for growing leaves and roots, and flowers (ie. good lighting levels and lighting duration, good temperatures and temperature ranges, good gentle air-movement, and suitable watering etc) ------ then we can be pretty sure that most tropical kind mature orchids will produce flowers.
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:12 PM
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Spinrah, first WELCOME!

Phals should be fertilized (lightly) all year. They don't have a dormant period. (And fertilizing is the least important of all the cultural factors) You were right in repotting - Phals don't mind being repotted in bloom, and root health is the MOST important part of culture. Remember, Phals really like "humid air" rather than "water" around the roots, so the new medium will give it the air that it wants. Fresh medium will dry out faster than the old soggy stuff, so just observe to determine how often to water... they don't want to go bone-dry, get a wet-drier cycle. (And when you water, do it thoroughly... like under the faucet. Let water run through the pot, and then drain well. This flushes out "crud" and fertilizer salts, and pulls (you guessed it) fresh air into the root zone.

As far as blooming time, growers definitely mess with the cycle by adjusting temperature, since a blooming plant is much easier to sell than a non-blooming one. But also, depending on the parentage of the plant, the earlier timing could be natural - there are Phal species that bloom in summer, too and adding them to the hybrid can adjust the bloom time. Just remember, orchids teach patience. They don't do anything fast. Progress is measured in months not days. So again, observe. Its timing of blooming is going to be determined by its internal "clock" - if it receives the water, air, light (and a little fertilizer) that it wants, it will thrive and bloom when it is ready.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:50 PM
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Thanks so much for the advice everyone! I will continue to be patient and just enjoy the blooms that it currently has.
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:15 AM
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