Phalenopsis spike is dark. Concern?
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Phalenopsis spike is dark. Concern?
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Old 09-14-2022, 01:23 PM
c123anderson c123anderson is offline

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Phalenopsis spike is dark. Concern? Female
Default Phalenopsis spike is dark. Concern?

Hi everyone and thank you in advance for your help. You've been helpful as I've dove into my journey of orchids.

I have a phalenopsis that has bloomed and has some lovely flowers on it. It seems healthy and happy, but it's got a dark purple-ish spike. It and another I have in spike both have purple-ish spikes, though the second's spikes are green and purple. Is this common? I was noticing this as I was documenting the spike this morning. (Ignore my bad photography below.)

Phal. with blooms is from Westerlay orchids, and it had been dyed (pretty blue but looked wrong. Husband tried.). The second was a Lowe's rescue with nothing but a shriveled spike. As far as genus, I believe they're just phalenopsis; I have no other information (Westerlay had no plant marker, and the Lowe's orchid had a marker that was "Phalenopsis".)

Here's why I ask: I am afraid that the spike color is indicative of a problem with the plants. I don't have much history to base my concern on or to diagnose issues. I do have my dendrobium spectabile with green spikes, but I think that's not a great comparison.

Here's some images.

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Old 09-14-2022, 01:32 PM
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Roberta Roberta is online now
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Phalenopsis spike is dark. Concern? Female

Photos would help.

Color in the spike of the dyed orchid may be from the dye. It is what it is... next year when it blooms, the color of the flowers will be their natural color. For other (natural) Phals (and others for that matter), the ones with dark flowers may show some color in stems and leaves, especially in light that is pushing the upper end of what they want. So no worries. On the "rescue", you don't know what the flowers looked like, it will do what it will do. One thing that you may want to do - repot. If it has been sitting in a nursery and then on a Lowes sales shelf, the medium is likely broken down - which can cause root death. If you unpot and find roots not in good condition, don't rush to cut anything - just wash well, pot in new medium (I like bark but sphagnum works as well if you are careful to not overwater) The goal is air in the root zone. If you have an airy medium, any fungal issues on old roots will usually resolve themselves... the nasty stuff was there because of a wet and airless environment, fix that and you have fixed the problem without chemicals and without surgery.
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Old 09-14-2022, 01:48 PM
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tmoney tmoney is offline
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Phalenopsis spike is dark. Concern? Male

howdy! meh, if it were mine i wouldn't worry about it. the more we acquire the more we see wierd things. like i freaked out when we first got phal mannii's and a couple are covered in dark red spots on the stem and growing spikes. turns out it's sorta normal.

so yeah, i would vote for not worrying bout it

edit, also see no pics
absolute noob....tmoney

Last edited by tmoney; 09-14-2022 at 01:50 PM..
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Old 09-14-2022, 03:17 PM
Dimples Dimples is offline
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Phalenopsis spike is dark. Concern?

I have phals that have very dark flower spikes. My harlequin (white flower with dark purple spots) grows spikes that start a dark purple and age to an even darker purple-black. Three others, that all have darker flowers in their genetics, grow very dark green spikes that age/mature to a purple-green. Up close the spikes look like a dark purple-brown background with tons of itty bitty green flecks, giving it a dark appearance from a distance. So long as the spikes donít feel soft or mushy, Iíd assume itís normal.

Iíve also noticed spikes that darken as they age can sometimes retain lighter areas underneath support clips or anywhere light has been blocked.
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