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  #1  
Unread 05-19-2009, 09:20 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Zone: 6b
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 137
Female
Default How long before a bud actually blooms?

I bought my first orchid (phalaenopsis) a little over 2 weeks ago and there was one bloom and 2 buds. One of the buds bloomed a few days after I bought it, and the third bud has opened up just a tad but hasn't actually bloomed yet. Is this normal? Here are a couple pics of what the bud currently looks like.

view from underneath


side view


I'm very new to all of this, just want to make sure things are proceeding as they should.
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  #2  
Unread 05-19-2009, 09:45 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Location: Prattville, AL
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This is indeed normal, but I have to forewarn you... Don't get terribly upset if the bud does not open or it withers away and falls off...

Often times when you purchase an orchid in spike/bud and bring it home, it suffers bud blast. What I mean by this is that the plant goes into shock from a transfer of growing environment. If this occurs, you did not do anything wrong - it's just that your home setting was radically different than where it was growing before you bought it.

HOWEVER, this does not necessarily mean that's what's going on. Check out your roots. Are they healthy? How often are you watering? Your roots should be a silvery-green if they're healthy and alive. If you have thick-brown, dark grey, black or spotted roots, your plant needs a new medium and a trim of dying roots to allow the healthy roots to absorb the proper amount of moisture and nutrients. Also, do you notice any salt build-up on the roots? Crystals that look like rock salt? If so, flush with lukewarm water for about fifteen minutes to wash it all away. When people water their plants with household tapwater, sometimes the water leaves deposits on the roots of your orchid that over time build up in the formation of crystals which can burn the roots.

All that being said... Are you fertilizing your little orchid buddy? It takes a lot out of the plant to bloom for you, so be sure it gets good nourishment. I can't really recommend one fertilizer over another, because everyone's growing environment is different and therefore each plant has different needs. As for me, I just use a general orchid fertilizer by Schultz, which you can find at most retail chain stores. i.e., Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.

One other thing... How many leaves are on the plant itself? The less leaves that are on your phal, the younger it is and the more it has to work to maintain and open new buds. The older phals get, the more blooms they produce and typically they hold the blooms longer (at least mine have). Phals produce on average one to two leaves per year of mature growth, so use this as a gauge to determine what the age of the plant is right now... This will let you know whether or not it's actually mature enough to continue blooming or if you need to go ahead and cut away the spike to permit the plant to put its resources back into root and leave growth for next blooming season.

I know this has indeed been a long reply to your original question, but I hope this provides an answer of some sort and if not I hope someone else will chime in where I left off

Last edited by learning2letgo; 05-19-2009 at 09:50 PM..
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  #3  
Unread 05-20-2009, 02:53 AM
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Sheiman, the answer to your question is simple. It depends on how badly you want it to bloom.
It's a bit like watching a kettle and waiting for it to boil.

Baz
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  #4  
Unread 05-20-2009, 04:20 AM
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to me i'll just ignore till it really start to open. i'll be crazy if i wait for it to open. and of course, don't put too much hope as it may suffer to bud blast and you'll be upset. just enjoy it ok?
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  #5  
Unread 05-20-2009, 09:00 AM
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learning2letgo, thanks for the really thorough answer. The roots look healthy and my plant must be pretty young because it has 1 big leaf and 2 smaller ones. How old is a "mature" plant and at what point would you recommend cutting away the spike? I'm sure there aren't black & white answers to these questions.

I'll have to look more closely for crystals but I don't think there are any. I live in NYC and our tap water is really clean.

I have yet to buy fertilizer but I plan to do that this weekend.

Thanks again!
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  #6  
Unread 05-21-2009, 08:25 AM
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Sheiman, you're

Sorry I wasn't clear on what a mature plant is - a phal is mature when it reaches the size to bloom. As far as removing a spike from your orchid, you should do so only after the blooms have faded and it doesn't appear to be vigorously growing new buds.

Here's a little help for you about that and the proper way to do so:

AOS Video Library: Cutting a Phalaenopsis Spike

I would also recommend you just peruse around the AOS (American Orchid Society) website as it is chock full of useful information

Hope this helps!
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  #7  
Unread 05-21-2009, 06:09 PM
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Cool thanks for the tip, I'm at work now but will check out the AOS when I get home!

Doesn't sound like I need to remove the spike yet, I still have 2 blooms right now.
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  #8  
Unread 05-21-2009, 10:56 PM
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Cool beans! When you get ready to remove the spike though, you need to do it properly... Be sure to check out the video when you get a chance
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  #9  
Unread 06-10-2009, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Wow, that is quite an info you had provided. I am impressed. I am a freshie on Orchid planting. Just got myself 03 of different variety. Hope you guys are able to bring me to a higher level in understanding these beautiful plants.
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  #10  
Unread 06-10-2009, 01:27 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Reno, Nv
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sheiman,
If you think you are impatient now, don't try to make them bloom again. You'll go crazy waiting 14 weeks for the whole spike to form before the first flower even opens. That is, IF a spike forms.

A short term fix is to buy more orchids.
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