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  #1  
Unread 09-27-2009, 11:05 AM
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Default Windowsill Growing - Turning Pots Necessary?

This has definately been asked before but I'm confused.

I grow on windowsills and have always "turned" my non blooming orchids pots to another direction each time after I water, which is what I do with most of my other house plants. My reasoning was so that all sides of the plant will benefit from the sun and grow more even.

A few of my phals are starting to get spikes - I've read that I should mark the pots so the orchid always faces the window in the same direction to help the way the spike and blooms form?

Thinking back on it now, is it necessary to turn the pots at all during any time during the orchids life with windowsill growing? Or should I always keep the pot facing one direction?

Thank you for clearing my confusion

Last edited by angeleyedcat; 09-27-2009 at 11:28 AM.. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Unread 09-27-2009, 11:12 AM
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I'm unsure about this myself.

I turn them each time I water as well, as with other house plants. I was taught as a kid that it gives more even growth in a plant because they get light from all sides so don't lean towards it. Whether that is right for orchids is another matter.

A discussion recently said turning during spike formation could help them grow straight BUT stop turning when the buds start forming so that they don't turn upside down.
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  #3  
Unread 09-27-2009, 11:28 AM
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Maybe this will help. The purpose of turning will give the plant an upright growth. Since the plants grow toward the light source, if you do not turn them periodically you will have leaning plants. In widowsills the growing space is quite limited so the more upright it is the better.
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  #4  
Unread 09-27-2009, 11:35 AM
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Thanks Rosie, that's what's confusing me, my mind read "don't turn when spike or flowers are forming" when it actually said "stop turning when the buds start forming".

Thanks trdyl, what you both say definately makes sense. I've had my share of lopsided leaning plants!

Last edited by angeleyedcat; 09-27-2009 at 11:38 AM..
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  #5  
Unread 09-27-2009, 11:43 AM
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I turn mine. All of them. Except when my phallies have about a six inch spike. Then I point them towards the light the way .I want the blooms to face. Then I leave them that way until bloomed. After that I put them on display and enjoy
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  #6  
Unread 09-27-2009, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angeleyedcat View Post
Thanks Rosie, that's what's confusing me, my mind read "don't turn when spike or flowers are forming" when it actually said "stop turning when the buds start forming".

Thanks trdyl, what you both say definately makes sense. I've had my share of lopsided leaning plants!
I'll try to make sense of this if I can.

If you've read some of my past postings before, you'll read that I usually recommend looking at pics of Phals (or any orchid for that matter) growing in the wild. I keep saying this so that people have a better sense of what's going on with their plants. Pics of orchids growing in the wild that include the flower, the plant itself, and the growing environment gives people a lot of clues to what you can do or answer some of the questions regarding why your orchids are doing what they're doing. I encourage people to not just look at pics of orchids growing in the wild as just pretty photographs, (although they can be). So I definitely encourage anybody who's serious about growing their Phalaenopsis to look at pics of them growing in the wild (fyi, they're not easy to find).

Okay...now to address the question itself.

1. When a Phal spikes, the spike of a Phalaenopsis will usually point towards the sun. Some of the cells on the spike are photosynthetic therefore, it will behave much like the plant itself and will try to find the light.

2. When the spike starts forming buds, they're usually green. Green buds are photosynthetic as well. Many flowering plants have green buds even if the flowers themselves are not green because their ancestors had flowers that were green and the flowers were fully capable of photosynthesis. Because the buds are green and photosynthetic, they will also point in the direction of the sun.

So...

3. If you rotate the plant when it spikes, the spike will try to find the light.

4. Once the spike(s) form buds, the buds will also try to find the light. Therefore, if you keep rotating the plants while the buds are forming, the buds will twist to face the light. That's how some flowers end up looking unorganized.

I learned this as part of my training when I worked at an orchid nursery. One of the things the owners always stressed was the directionality of the sun in conjunction with the placement of the plant. We were NEVER allowed to rotate the plants AT ALL.

All those pretty Phals that go for ubber dollars are a result of careful planning and strategic growing practices that took into consideration the most minute of details.

FYI, Phals will naturally want to lean over the edge of the pot when grown potted. If you look at the pics of Phals growing in nature, it will make sense. In nature Phals are unidirectionally facing the sun.

If your Phal is leaning over it is aligning itself in the direction of the light source. This is also what helps prevent crown rot. Water doesn't stay inside the crown when they're leaning. It may not be what you're used to liking, but that's how they are, they don't grow upright in nature.

When growing potted, I usually do not encourage people to rotate their plants, even if they're out of bloom. This is because, the plants themselves will try to align with the sun and start twisting. They will eventually develop "helicopter" leaves, (the leaves face all different directions).

If you like the leaves all facing one direction, mark the pot and face it in one direction. When facing in one direction, the crown should face the direction of the sun.

However, whatever you do, that decision is yours to make.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 09-27-2009 at 01:12 PM..
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  #7  
Unread 09-27-2009, 02:56 PM
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King, now I think I get it. Thanks for taking so much time to explain. Now I also understand why sometimes when I find orchids out they look perfect while other times they look, well, chaotic. I do have a couple that are leaning over the pot which I have not attemped to change. I saw a post of yours the other day in "Should I cut these Phal spikes" that stated
Quote:
Originally Posted by King_of_orchid_growing:)
the chevron should be upside down (upside down "v"). The leaf tips should point downwards. Then face the Phal pointing in the direction of your light source.
I will do that with those phals.

Hmmmm, so, eventually, over time, if I keep turning my phals
Quote:
They will eventually develop "helicopter" leaves, (the leaves face all different directions)
That explains why new leaves are twisted or pointed differently. I definately have space issues and in the end it would be much harder to "fit" a phal that has leaves on all sides instead of leaves facing in one direction. The other houseplants I turn to get more even growth all around are much smaller and take up much less space (the bigger ones grow in an area of their own) If I'm thinking right a larger orchid that grows with leaves facing one direction should in the end take up less space itself because I would be able to fit them together better on the windowsill. Ok, I'm sold, the phals no longer get rotated, I'll mark the pots and the crowns will be faced in the direction of the sun. Thanks

Last edited by angeleyedcat; 09-28-2009 at 07:02 AM.. Reason: One more question...
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