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Go Back   Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web ! > ORCHID DISCUSSIONS > Beginner Discussion
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  #1  
Unread 01-13-2012, 02:17 PM
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Default disappointed with my spikes :(

I hope the title says it all. I have re-flowered 8 of my phals for the first time and I have had the same thing happen to all of them. Good spikes barely any flowers, 4 is the most I've gotten. I have 1 right now that is growing 2 spikes and I'm hoping I will get more than my usual amount of flowers. I'm starting to wonder if there's something that I'm not doing right. My phals have stayed 68-72 degrees celcius since I noticed their spikes and I've alternated between 20-20-20 and 10-54-10 with waterings with a water flush in between, also epsom salts once per month. Could it be that this is their adjusting to my growing conditions and I will get more flowers on next re-bloom, as it will be my second re-bloom with them? I do understand growers get maximum flowers as they know way more than I do. But 3 or 4 flowers is a bit disappointing to say the least. I am glad that I did get re-flowering, but I am wondering if there is something that I am missing. Thanks for the replies
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  #2  
Unread 01-13-2012, 03:24 PM
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You'll probably get several different answers on this one but personally I wouldn't use that bloom booster fertilizer. I would just use the 20-20-20 all the time. Make sure it's a fertilizer that also contains micro nutrients. The phosphorus (54) in the fertilizer 10-54-10 will keep other nutrients from being absorbed by the plant. Also potassium (10) is important to blooming and the bloom booster fertilizer has a lower than normal amount of potassium. Light could be another contributing factor. If there's any way to increase the light a little bit it might help.
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Unread 01-13-2012, 03:33 PM
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Light might be a contributing factor, but otherwise I don't think it is you. My second bloom flowers are never as big and there are never as many as the first time the plant blooms. The exception comes from sequential bloomers and the hybrids with super parentage.
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Unread 01-13-2012, 03:57 PM
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Default we'd probably need to see photos

for in-depth comment, but I can advise that mine are doing very well this re-blooming with branching and more flowers and I am convinced its to do with sun, sun and more sun Sept thru Mar ( not sun-burn ! ), combined with just-in-time watering and adequate humidity ( 50% => ). I do make a distinction though - dtps seem to thrive on higher light, while any phal with violacea heritage/light green leaves - needs more shade.
Fertilising - weakly, weekly and epsom salts - minute amount every 2 months. I use 1/2 the recommended fertiliser dosage, alternating between Shultz and Hausermanns in Fall/Winter.
I recommend trying out Orchid Wiz Express ( free for 30 days ) and looking up the temperature requirements of your phals. However - as a general guideline -there should be at least a 10F difference between day and night temps.
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Unread 01-13-2012, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattryan View Post
My phals have stayed 68-72 degrees celcius since I noticed their spikes...
They sure aren't going to bloom well if you cook 'em! (I'm quite sure you meant Fahrenheit).

My guess is that the plants were growing in a beautiful greenhouse environment, and are now adjusting to your home, but it doesn't hurt to evaluate your culture.

How often do you feed, and at what concentration?

How often do you water, and are they staying moist, or drying out between waterings?

What kind of lighting are they getting?

Just a comment: if 68°-72° is your cooler, nighttime temperature, fine. But they will actually grow better of boosted another 15° during the day.
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  #6  
Unread 01-13-2012, 05:04 PM
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Thanks for the replies this is my culture I've only this year tried the bloom booster, just to see if it would help in any way. Alot of peeps have posted that it didn't do any good. I originally had my orchids last yr on shultz orchid food 19-31-17 and didn't notice any great growth, but I was just starting out. All of my orchids that spiked this year did so in a north facing window as I could give them a cool down. They then were moved to a south sliding glass door, so I don't think light is an issue. Spring through summer I fed them 30-10-10 then switched over to 20-20-20, the ones that spiked I switched back and forth with the bloom builder that I stated earlier. I had leaf and root growth on all of my orchids. I use skewers so I haven't over-watered or under-watered them, ask me how I know that

The one thing that has me puzzled is ray it says on all the literature that I've read any temps over 85 inhibits flowering, so why after they've spiked would I keep them that warm? Does it help spike growth and flower development?

Here' 2 pictures of what I'm talking about the first 1 was when I purchased the plant and the 2nd is my blooming attempt.

oh and yes ray I did mean farenheit lol

Thanks for the replies

Cheryl
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disappointed with my spikes :(-37-wh-w-pur-stripe-p-lip.jpg   disappointed with my spikes :(-008.jpg  
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Unread 01-13-2012, 05:33 PM
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It may be an optical illusion, but in the first picture the leaves look light green which would indicate that the plant is getting good light. In the second picture the leaves look very dark green, indicating less light. A North window probably doesn't get enough light. Just a thought.
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Unread 01-13-2012, 06:07 PM
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I wonder if its to do with the amount of light they received while setting the spikes ? Mine are in a south-facing window almost all year round, shaded when sun is too hot ( even a few days in winter ). I don't seem to have a spiking problem as I have heating set at 65F from about Nov onwards. In fall months open windows work well.
Mine, as I say, are blooming well.......and I have only moved them into the family room, elsewhere, after first blooms opened. Actually a couple are now near a sliding door, which we open for the cats to go out ( yep, even in snow ) and I worried that buds may blast with the draft - but so far so good.
Well when I read about the number of bloom on show specimens I think WOW, but in the home you can never come close to replicating the special conditions the growers have.
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Unread 01-13-2012, 06:37 PM
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No it's not an optical illusion trucker first pic was taken in my south facing room during spring time (mother's day) the second was taken today in my north facing dining room as it was getting dark and Orchidsarefun asked for a pic. Almost all of my orchids spent the summer in the southern room only moved when they were in bloom. I only put them in dining room to get them to spike, then back to southern room to grow the spikes. They got several hours of full sun in that location. I'm beginning to think that maybe my second time blooming these phals in my conditions will give me a better idea. Hopefully next year I can post more and bigger blooms. Thanks for the imput everyone
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