Is this Phal growing or dieing slowly
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  #1  
Old 09-06-2018, 01:11 AM
ArronOB ArronOB is offline
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Default Is this Phal growing or dieing slowly

Iíve always avoided supermarket phals because I didnít want to grow something thats not exotic - in the sense of not common hereabouts.

Anyway, late last year a neighbour said she had a phal which was finished flowering, and how should she look after it. I told her to toss it, as it wouldnít survive in our climate.

She didnít toss it but gave it to me. I repotted it and put it in a shady part of our shadehouse to die with dignity. About 3 months later I looked at it and it was in fact doing well and had a spike. Over winter that spike has matured into flowers which - thereís no way round the fact - are really stunning.

Itís affected me, today I even found myself stopping in the hardware store to admire the Phals. I nearly bought one with outsize red flowers with a velvety texture. I just have one question to get out of the way first.

My question is, does the fact that a phal is able to reflower 10 to 12 months after it was bought indicate that it is growing well, or is it simply running on empty?

Is it simply dieing slowly, with one last gasp being a flower spike - although a spike with large and pefectly formed flowers?

Over winter it was inside - with temps getting down to about 12 degrees Celsius just before dawn, which I would have thought cold enough to make a phal decline slowly.

Cheers
Arron

Last edited by ArronOB; 09-06-2018 at 01:14 AM..
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2018, 06:28 AM
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I would say it's going quite well. If the plant was on its way out, the plant would be low on resources, so the flowers would likely be fewer and/or smaller than before.

12įC is probably cooler than the phalaenopsis would prefer (personally, I never let them go below about 18į-20įC), but as long as the root system is relatively dry at that temp, it'll probably tolerate it.
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2018, 10:50 AM
Puja Puja is offline
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My phals sometimes go down to 15-16 degrees celcius in fall and winter and it doesn't bother them at all.
A month ago I left two outside late at night, almost forgetting to bring them in until it was midnight. Temperature was around 13 degrees celcius. So far I don't see any signs of a setback.

I'm not quite sure what the cutoff point is but gradually lowering temperatures (as happens when the plant is left out in the seasons) is a lot less riskier than accidental exposure to a much colder temperature with a plant that is not used to it.
Not all individual plants might be strong enough to survive those temperatures though.
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:21 PM
WeirdGuySeattle WeirdGuySeattle is offline
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I've wondered about low winter temps for Phals too... I've had a greenhouse for years running at a sort of intermediate temp range - where its getting to high 50s (farenheit) at night during the winter months.
My phals don't die (unless the power fails in the winter - then they get a bunch of cold damage) - but they don't really seem to grow very quickly. I get less than 1 new leaf per year. They bloom periodically, but not huge sprays of blooms like you see from the store bought plants.
I think their metabolism slows a lot, and they sort of achieve a balance, but they need mid-high 60s for winter night time lows to really put on a show. They probably would prefer warmer.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:01 PM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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I grow a lot of my Phals outside. Most have to come in when nighttime lows dip into the low 40s (Fahrenheit), but 3 have tolerated temperatures into the upper 30s and spent the winter outside only being brought in when there was a frost potential. They do things a lot slower, but because theyíre slow the spikes last forever. One has been in bloom since March, one is sending up double spikes now which look to have a lot of buds, the third had some husbandry hiccups unrelated to temperature and is putting out a keiki. I think if acclimated Phals can tolerate quite a bit.
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:45 PM
Puja Puja is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliceinwl View Post
I grow a lot of my Phals outside. Most have to come in when nighttime lows dip into the low 40s (Fahrenheit), but 3 have tolerated temperatures into the upper 30s and spent the winter outside only being brought in when there was a frost potential. They do things a lot slower, but because theyíre slow the spikes last forever. One has been in bloom since March, one is sending up double spikes now which look to have a lot of buds, the third had some husbandry hiccups unrelated to temperature and is putting out a keiki. I think if acclimated Phals can tolerate quite a bit.
Thank you for this post! This is very good to know in case we have a cold summer and I need to give them a cooler-than-indoors dip in fall/early winter to get them spiking.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:26 PM
ArronOB ArronOB is offline
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Well I was in the hardware store yesterday and bought one of those very large flowered red ones - so I guess you could say Iím converted. Itís good to have an abundance of flowers in the house. I have about 90 orchids already but most are too young to flower or I am unable to give them enough light. Iím very good at growing roots and dark green leaves.

In the shop, it made me wonder what happens to all the phals which are damaged before they can sell, or finish flowering first. There must be lots of these but you never see them for sale - they must be taken back rather then sold at reduced prices. I canít see they are of any use to the producer - what could they do with thousands of mangey rescue jobs. Iíd be happy to buy some (if the price is low) as when a plant reflowers I feel Iíve contributed some expertise - a feeling you obviously donít get when you buy a flowering plant.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:57 PM
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Dollythehun Dollythehun is offline
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Near us, one supplier sends them back (they won't clearance them) another, Lowe's, puts them on a clearance rack...conclusion, it varies supplier to supplier.
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:48 AM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puja View Post
Thank you for this post! This is very good to know in case we have a cold summer and I need to give them a cooler-than-indoors dip in fall/early winter to get them spiking.
As a caveat, my Phals have been given a chance to acclimate. Theyíre introduced to the great out doors during the warm part of the year. Iíve read posts by other users where sudden temperate drops into the low 40s due to a power outage led to death.
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