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Unread 07-11-2008, 11:32 AM
Jr. Member

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 8
Default Phalaenopsis flower spike and general questions, not sure what to do (pics included)

I am new here, actually I just need a little help with this orchid I was given to as a present some time ago. I do not consider myself a "grower".

The orchid I have is a Phalaenopsis. I recieved it while it was already flowering, and about 3 weeks ago, it started losing some of his flowers on both flower spikes, but only one of them started turning brown.
I am also wondering if it is O.K not to use any fertilizer? I haven't done so during the ~2.5 months that I have it, doesn't seem to cause any problems. If I should use a fertilizer, which one would it be (ideally)?
Oh, can anyone also tell me the name of this orchid (like Phalaenopsis xxx)?

I am not sure what to do, either cut it on it's base, cut after a node, or just let it stay as it is? What are the different result with each of these methods, and what should be taken in consideration?
Here are some pics to show you-
This is an overall picture of the orchid, showing the 2 flower spikes:

Here is the green spike, who has dropped some flowers but stopped dropping them, and stays green (how come there's a new "shoot"? is it normal?):

That is the "browning" spike, with which I am not sure what to do with:

As you see, it has developed another spike from the spike itself (Is it normal? I thought that only happened when cutting the spike under a node. "Keiko" thing maybe?). Maybe the spike will stop turning brown in that part? I am not sure weather to cut it or just not do anything.
I tend to think that the "clip" that holds the spike with the wooden stick caused it's drying out, because the other spike is green, and there seems to be a little wound under the clip (although, the other spike did lose some flowers at the same time as the browning one).

Here are some other pictures, I just want to be sure that my Phal is O.K!

This leaf has some white spots on it, which wash off when rubbing them with some water. I don't think that it is a pest infestation, but tell me your idea about it. Also, what about the slight dryness in the middle of the leaf, towards it's end?

This leaf was always yellow, with no change. I guess it's due to the pressure it takes, being sandwiched between the leaf and the "basket".

Finally, these are the visible roots. I water it once a week with low-chlorine water, it seems that the upper part of one of the roots is drying, Is that because he faces upwards maybe?

I won't mind any general care tips for my orchid..
Thanks for helping me out guys..I'm starting to understand why some people are so fascinated with orchids

Last edited by nutmeg_trippin'; 07-11-2008 at 11:44 AM..
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Unread 07-11-2008, 11:39 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Did you just water the orchid cause in one photo the medium looks very wet? It should have good drainage on the bottom as the roots need air to circulate around them. As for the brown portion of the spike I would cut that off. It looks like its putting out new spikes. You may want to pull the orchid out of the pot it is in and look at the roots. If any are brown or mushy cut them off and repot in new medium.

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Unread 07-11-2008, 11:47 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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I just watered it yesterday, and with the very high humidity we get sometimes in Israel, I guess it is normal for it to look wet after that amount of time.
Originally Posted by Ranchnanny View Post
...As for the brown portion of the spike I would cut that off. It looks like its putting out new spikes.
So it is putting a new spike out of a spike (and not form the base)?
Anyway, do you suggest that I simply cut it under the brown part, but above the node (with the new spike)?
If so, what would be the best way to cut without risking infection?

Thanks a lot.
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Unread 07-11-2008, 12:03 PM
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Yes it can put out a spike on an the main spike. If you cut the brown spike make sure what ever you use is sterile. If won't hurt to check the roots as well but do it gently. It might just be a change in temp when it was given to you. You might also try using a reg. orchid pot that has holes on the side of the pot. The pot its in now looks decorative it does have a hole in the bottom? Don't let the it sit in water.

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Unread 07-11-2008, 12:19 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Location: Rumford, Maine
Posts: 2,672

Hi Nutmeg! Welcome!!
You have a nice looking Phal there. We can't ID it any further than that because there are so many different types and crosses. I agree to cut that old spike. Once they turn color, it's time to cut and discard.
That yellow leaf is on the bottom and it's just getting old and will eventually fall away from the crown. Nothing to worry about. Also, most plants have that whitish residue that wipes off. It's not any type of bugs. Your plant looks nice and healthy. The crown is not brown or rotten looking. Just make sure there is proper drainage and plenty of air circulation around the roots. Putting it into another decorative container...one with holes as was previously mentioned would be good.
As far as fertilizer goes, I would recommend that you use orchid fertilizer of some kind. Mix it according to directions and the rule of thumb is to fertilizer weakly weekly. If you don't have a store near you, there are places that sell it online. Always fertilize after watering.
Soak the roots good, then let dry out almost completely before watering again. It looks fine overall, and a real beauty at that! Happy growing!
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Unread 07-11-2008, 01:10 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Thanks for those great replies
So basically, everything seems fine, but that browned part of the stem, do I cut it exactly above it's joint, so that I won't lose the new stem that shoots out?
Like this image shows:

I heard that you should use hot candle wax or cinammon powder to protect the cut wound. Is that any good?
Thanks very much, I'm very happy to have your support
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Unread 07-11-2008, 01:44 PM
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I would even cut it slightly higher .. so you don't damage the healthy spike .. just for safe keeping .. especially since it's the main spike end you are cutting .. you can cover the wound with cinnamon or wax.
Nice Phal
and again, Welcome

"Nothing beats the orchid -- as an offering of love"
- paraphrasing Marlowe Hood from 'Orchid Fossil Quells Evolutionary Quarrel'

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Unread 07-12-2008, 01:36 PM
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Hello nutmeg_trippin', seems like everyone has replied with pretty much what I would've , so all there's left for me to say is, that is a great looking phal and for course Welcome to the OB!
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Unread 08-07-2008, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Dorothy View Post
I would even cut it slightly higher .. so you don't damage the healthy spike .. just for safe keeping .. especially since it's the main spike end you are cutting .. you can cover the wound with cinnamon or wax.
Nice Phal
and again, Welcome
wax ? like melted candle wax?
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