some beginner questions about phal
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  #1  
Old 09-26-2009, 02:52 AM
se7en0ne0ne se7en0ne0ne is offline
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some beginner questions about phal
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I've recently received this phal but I'm not sure how much potting media I should add. Should I add enough media until that one root growing out of nowhere where I labeled 1 or below that point?

Another question is, if I want to cut a spike, do I cut it a little bit above the second node of the spike? or should I cut it on the bottom where I labeled 2? or should I just leave the spike alone and let flowers bloom next year?

I usually see phals with 1 spike but mine has 2 spikes growing, is this a specific type of phal that grows 2 spikes?

thankss
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2009, 04:20 AM
flowerpower flowerpower is offline
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some beginner questions about phal
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I have a Phal with 3 spikes. Well, two older spikes that I cut back have sent out side spikes. And a new spike is coming up vigorously. I can't believe the rate of growth. Mine seem to re-flower along any node along the spike so it is your choice. It just depends on whether you want a tall or short flower spray.

Some orchid growers prefer to cut all the way back to the crown as it is thought this gives you more flowers when it does bloom.

Sounds like it's just a healthy phal that really wants to bloom for you!

As for potting, I would only pot to the base of the crown and leave the root out running along the surface of the bark/potting media.
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  #3  
Old 09-26-2009, 06:25 AM
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I would pot it up to the top of the dotted line marked 2. Trim off all those dead, brown roots. Cut the spike as far back as you can, maybe the same as the one above it. You'll be good to go!
Phals throw out those aerial roots just to mess with our heads. Don't worry about keeping them in the mix. If they're growing, they are getting enough moisture from the air around them.

Bill
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  #4  
Old 09-26-2009, 07:21 AM
Sandy4453 Sandy4453 is offline
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Against popular opinion, I never cut old, dead roots. If I gently tug and they remain intact, I keep them on. The ones that peel back, get the remaining strings cut away. The 2 spikes you question should be left alone IF they're new spikes growing. If they're old spikes that have already bloomed and aren't growing any sub-spikes, the choice is yours. You can leave them alone and see if they put out more growth or, to give your Phal. a better chance of growing new spikes that will potentially give you lots of blooms, now is a good time to cut the old ones down, all the way. The roots that grow above the medium are ok that way but whatever fits into the medium is what you prefer. You want the medium to cover the entire stem, just below the lowest/bottom leaf...whatever roots remain above that point, just add *interest* to the overall appearance. Until you know what works best for you, the safest medium to use is a bark mix. To prepare for immediate use, you can soak the bark for 24 hours which is always suggested or boil the bark, which is what I'd recommend (and what I always do). After it begins to boil, simmer for about 15 minutes, drain and let cool....takes about a 1/2 hr. to cool and then, pot your phal. I find that the boiling opens up all the 'pores' and allows for better absorption than soaking for 24 hrs. It also kills off the buggies that are often found in bagged bark mixes.

Your Phal looks healthy and ready for a new potting. Good luck!

Last edited by Sandy4453; 09-26-2009 at 07:24 AM..
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2009, 11:33 AM
se7en0ne0ne se7en0ne0ne is offline
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some beginner questions about phal
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thanks for all the replies! so if I cut the spike all the way by the end, won't I leave ugly scars on the plant?? or if I cut the spike near the end, won't I leave a dried up leftover of the spike like what's on top of what I labeled #2? is this something orchid keepers just have to deal with?
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2009, 12:29 PM
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It will look like what you have at #2. You'll just have to have beautiful blooms to draw your attention away from the stub that is left.
Actually, at some point a leaf will probably hide it.

Bill
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2009, 12:39 PM
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Yeah, you generally have a small stub. It's just one of those things.
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2009, 12:24 PM
SewPretty SewPretty is offline
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the roots that stretch out into the air are called arial(sp?) roots and their purpose in nature is to anchor the orchid to the tree branch or whatever it has landed on. they also absorb humidity from the air.

if you bury an arial root, or in some cases if you even wet it too much they will die. but they don't seem to be essential to the plant so it's really no biggie.

since your phal seems to be "climbing" out of it's pot, it probably is a good time to re-pot in a slightly bigger pot. I only cut off the arial roots and the dead brown roots when I'm re-potting.
other than that I agree with Sandy4453.
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2009, 01:02 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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After you cut the spike, especially if it's still green, disinfect with hydrogen peroxide or isoproply alcohol.

When applying either H2O2 or isopropyl, use a cotton swab and dab the wound several times. Be careful with the isopropyl, don't allow it to touch the roots.

Listerine may help disinfect the wound too. Apply the same way, (cotton swab).
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  #10  
Old 09-28-2009, 01:44 PM
SewPretty SewPretty is offline
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i also heard that ground cinnamon works for that too. just dab the cinnamon on the wound and it prevents fungus or something? is this true?
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