Phal with no spike, but has a root that won't stop growing
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  #1  
Old 12-29-2014, 03:51 PM
Chani Chani is offline
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Phal with no spike, but has a root that won't stop growing Female
Unhappy Phal with no spike, but has a root that won't stop growing

Hello everyone! I'm a newbie and have posted just one thread previously on orchidboard (about snow boots, actually). So here's my issue. I have one phal and it just won't spike no matter how much I will it to.

Possibly relevant information:
It's a no-id phal that I purchased blooming last Spring, I believe. It was potted in pure sphagnum, and I repotted it in a mixture of sphagnum, large sponge rock, and medium cork chips. When I saw one of the roots was starting to rot under the conditions, I added a number of holes in the pot and have not had any root rot since. Since then, it has sprouted two leaves and a number of roots. During the growing season, I fertilized at half strength for three weeks, with the fourth week being pure water. During the dormant season, I've been fertilizing on the same schedule, but at a quarter strength. I would love to give you exact details regarding the temperature, humidity, and light, but I don't have a device that measures those things at the moment. I can tell you I have it on a windowsill facing approximately southeast. It has been incredibly cloudy the last few months and I'd say the main source of light for my orchid is my dinette light. I don't know the humidity, but my plant's aerial roots aren't shriveled in any way, so I imagine the humidity's sufficient. The daytime temp in the house is approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit and I drop the temp to about 60 degrees for a few hours every night so the plant feels the chill of the winter.

Okay, so I know that's a lot of information and probably not all relevant. So back to my main problem and the title of my post. I've had no spike yet, but, one of my roots hasn't stopped growing. All of them minus one stopped growing a few months ago, yet one just won't stop. It's growing very slowly, but growing nonetheless. So I was wondering, could this be connected? Is it possible my phal isn't spiking because this root isn't growing? I know usual reasons for lack of a spike are the lack of light and not feeling that coolness at night. With my phal in its current location, I can't help in either of those two areas. There's just one other location in my house where I might be able to provide better lighting and a longer chill every night, but that same location has lower humidity and is too cold during the day, I believe.

So what do you all advise? Leave the plant where it is, wait for the root to stop growing, and see if it spikes? Move the plant to the other location where the daytime temps are too cold and the humidity too low? Any way to give that root a clue that it doesn't need to grow any more?

Thank you in advance for your help and I'm sorry for the super-long post!
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2014, 07:05 PM
mimigirl mimigirl is offline
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Phal with no spike, but has a root that won't stop growing Female
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Can u post a pic? You dont want to do anything to stop the growth of the root, as far as i know. Could it be a keiki? Someone who knows way more than me may find a pic helpful.
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2014, 07:18 PM
The Mutant The Mutant is offline
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Three things:

1) If the Phal looks healthy and has firm leaves, then I wouldn't worry. Sometimes they can take a while to adapt to their new environment before they start flowering again.

2) Growing roots are never a bad thing.

3) I wouldn't be surprised if your Phal spikes as soon as the light starts returning. Keep it in the same location and wait for a couple of months.
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2014, 09:18 PM
Chani Chani is offline
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Phal with no spike, but has a root that won't stop growing Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimigirl View Post
Can u post a pic? You dont want to do anything to stop the growth of the root, as far as i know. Could it be a keiki? Someone who knows way more than me may find a pic helpful.

I can't post a pic just yet, perhaps in a day or two, but it looks like a regular phal . Oh, and definitely not a keiki. It's a root well into the media.

---------- Post added at 08:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:15 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mutant View Post
Three things:

1) If the Phal looks healthy and has firm leaves, then I wouldn't worry. Sometimes they can take a while to adapt to their new environment before they start flowering again.

2) Growing roots are never a bad thing.

3) I wouldn't be surprised if your Phal spikes as soon as the light starts returning. Keep it in the same location and wait for a couple of months.
1) It looks healthy to me and does have fairly firm leaves. The two leaves grown by me don't seem as thick as the ones grown at the nursery, but I suspect that they may have been getting more fertilizer there.

2)I agree with that! I love me some new roots!

3)Thank you for the advice! That's what I'm hoping will happen. I just need some sun...

Last edited by Chani; 12-29-2014 at 09:23 PM..
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2014, 10:42 PM
CA2FLxplant CA2FLxplant is offline
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Phal with no spike, but has a root that won't stop growing Female
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Hi Chani...I think The Mutant gives good advice, it's probably just not "ready" to spike post-repotting and still acclimating. If your phal is happy, the newest set of leaves will be at least the size of the previous set, and quite possibly bigger. If not, then it needs "something" that it's not getting, most probably more light, which it seems you're kinda leaning toward as far as whatever may be lacking.
Also, the color of the leaves should be like the color of healthy grass...dark green means not enough light; yellowing means too much light or water, or if it's a lower leaf yellowing, that's normal "old age" and will fall off on its own. And...a purplish color can indicate either sunburn or cold damage. You'd know which via the time of year it appeared, if at all.
Good luck to you!

Last edited by CA2FLxplant; 12-29-2014 at 10:47 PM..
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2014, 12:20 AM
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Leafmite Leafmite is offline
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Phal with no spike, but has a root that won't stop growing
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Hello and welcome from cloudy, cold and dreary Ohio!
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2014, 08:18 AM
The Mutant The Mutant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chani View Post
I can't post a pic just yet, perhaps in a day or two, but it looks like a regular phal . Oh, and definitely not a keiki. It's a root well into the media.

---------- Post added at 08:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:15 PM ----------



1) It looks healthy to me and does have fairly firm leaves. The two leaves grown by me don't seem as thick as the ones grown at the nursery, but I suspect that they may have been getting more fertilizer there.

2)I agree with that! I love me some new roots!

3)Thank you for the advice! That's what I'm hoping will happen. I just need some sun...
I have some Phals that only flower during summer; these I think need the light to initiate spikes. I have some other Phals that are flowering now, and these I think need the temperature drop that happens naturally during autumn to flower.

My guess is it's all dependant on what genes your Phals have which environmental change trigger the spiking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CA2FLxplant View Post
Hi Chani...I think The Mutant gives good advice, it's probably just not "ready" to spike post-repotting and still acclimating. If your phal is happy, the newest set of leaves will be at least the size of the previous set, and quite possibly bigger. If not, then it needs "something" that it's not getting, most probably more light, which it seems you're kinda leaning toward as far as whatever may be lacking.
Also, the color of the leaves should be like the color of healthy grass...dark green means not enough light; yellowing means too much light or water, or if it's a lower leaf yellowing, that's normal "old age" and will fall off on its own. And...a purplish color can indicate either sunburn or cold damage. You'd know which via the time of year it appeared, if at all.
Good luck to you!
The colour of the leaves also depends on what hybrid you have. I have Phals with bright grass-green coloured leaves, others with dark green ones, and one with very dark green leaves. They all receive the same light levels, but they are different hybrids/species (the one with the very dark leaves has schilleriana in its heritage somewhere, for example).

If there's some purple pigmentation on the underside of the leaves, they'll probably be darker than leaves that are plain green, no matter what light they receive. Yet another thing to keep in mind.

It never ends!
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2014, 10:07 AM
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LovePhals LovePhals is offline
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Phal with no spike, but has a root that won't stop growing Female
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I have a phal that I bought in the summer 2012 and it has still not spiked! I got it out of bloom and has one old spike nub. All my other ones do faithfully but I have one that does not. I have no idea what is wrong with it b/c it gets the same treatment as my others. I think some have a mind of their own.
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2014, 10:32 AM
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Raqsharqi Raqsharqi is offline
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Phal with no spike, but has a root that won't stop growing Female
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I could tell you the same story about half of my phals. They have roots like a banyon tree, but no spikes. I've given up worrying about it. I figure as long as I have roots and leaves, the plant is doing okay and will do its thing when it's good and ready.
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2014, 03:23 PM
Chani Chani is offline
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Phal with no spike, but has a root that won't stop growing Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA2FLxplant View Post
Hi Chani...I think The Mutant gives good advice, it's probably just not "ready" to spike post-repotting and still acclimating. If your phal is happy, the newest set of leaves will be at least the size of the previous set, and quite possibly bigger. If not, then it needs "something" that it's not getting, most probably more light, which it seems you're kinda leaning toward as far as whatever may be lacking.
Also, the color of the leaves should be like the color of healthy grass...dark green means not enough light; yellowing means too much light or water, or if it's a lower leaf yellowing, that's normal "old age" and will fall off on its own. And...a purplish color can indicate either sunburn or cold damage. You'd know which via the time of year it appeared, if at all.
Good luck to you!
Well, I must've repotted it, let's see...maybe six months ago? Do you think it's still acclimating? Regarding the newest set of leaves, one is smaller than the previous ones (I didn't have my fertilizer yet as it was growing) and the newest one is longer and a bit narrower than the ones previous. Regarding the color, I'd say...medium green? Hard to tell. Definitely no yellowing or purple, so I'm good on that front.

---------- Post added at 02:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:12 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafmite View Post
Hello and welcome from cloudy, cold and dreary Ohio!
Thank you, Leafmite! Hopefully we'll see some sun and get some warmth...eventually!

---------- Post added at 02:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:14 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mutant View Post
I have some Phals that only flower during summer; these I think need the light to initiate spikes. I have some other Phals that are flowering now, and these I think need the temperature drop that happens naturally during autumn to flower.

My guess is it's all dependant on what genes your Phals have which environmental change trigger the spiking.


The colour of the leaves also depends on what hybrid you have. I have Phals with bright grass-green coloured leaves, others with dark green ones, and one with very dark green leaves. They all receive the same light levels, but they are different hybrids/species (the one with the very dark leaves has schilleriana in its heritage somewhere, for example).

If there's some purple pigmentation on the underside of the leaves, they'll probably be darker than leaves that are plain green, no matter what light they receive. Yet another thing to keep in mind.

It never ends!
Yeah, I've been reading up a lot on phals and it seems there's such variability, especially with the no-id's! I hope this isn't a summer bloomer because I've been staying up late every night to keep the window open for months now and I've very tired. Regarding the color of the leaves, I'd say they're about the same shade as when I purchased the phal, so I figure that's good. They seem turgid and healthy.

---------- Post added at 02:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:19 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovePhals View Post
I have a phal that I bought in the summer 2012 and it has still not spiked! I got it out of bloom and has one old spike nub. All my other ones do faithfully but I have one that does not. I have no idea what is wrong with it b/c it gets the same treatment as my others. I think some have a mind of their own.
I really hope my phal's like that. If I don't get a spike, I might be tempted to get another orchid to cheer me up and I reeeeeally don't have the room in my present conditions.

---------- Post added at 02:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:21 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raqsharqi View Post
I could tell you the same story about half of my phals. They have roots like a banyon tree, but no spikes. I've given up worrying about it. I figure as long as I have roots and leaves, the plant is doing okay and will do its thing when it's good and ready.

I just hope it's good and ready really soon. I love flowers!
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