A Strange Flower Spike Question
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  #1  
Old 04-17-2019, 08:44 PM
CemeteryHaunts CemeteryHaunts is offline
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A Strange Flower Spike Question
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Hello fellow orchid lovers! Today is my first post! I'm fairly new to orchids, just bought my first one a year ago. It was in full bloom, went through its dormant cycle starting in Sept '18 then began growing a new spike in March.

Very excited I watched the growth everyday, however there was something strange occurring. As the stalk grew, it seemed like the top part of the stalk was stuck between 2 leaves. I wanted to assist the plant, but then I thought, hey this is nature, the plant knows what it's doing. And I didn't intervene. I also didn't want to risk breaking it, so I left it alone.

Well, I came home one day and noticed the stalk grew so much it broke in half. I pulled the stuck part out from between the leaves. And boy that really was stuck! So it's been about a month since that happened and I'm trying to get it to rebloom again but that stalk died back and no further ones have emerged.

The only new growth it has is 4 new air roots that came out of nowhere. And a bunch of new roots forming off of old ones. No new leaves, that stopped in Sept as well.

So have I missed my blooming window? Did this trauma knock the plant back and it's the waiting game again? And lastly, is this common?

Thanks for any help!!

Jen
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2019, 12:11 AM
JScott JScott is offline
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A Strange Flower Spike Question
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Flower spikes usually secrete a sticky, sugary sap as they grow. This sap can dry and make things stick together, and if they are stuck good enough, spikes can snap. If you see this happening, you should probably do something to help. Running some just barely warm water over the stuck portion of the spike will wash away the dried sugar and release the spike.

As far as when your plant will bloom again, it is impossible to say, especially without knowing what genus your plant is in. Many orchids bloom only once or twice a year, while other genera can bloom any time. Do you know what genus your plant belongs to, or can you post a picture?
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2019, 07:16 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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I'm guessing it is a phalaenopsis, in which case the broken spike may-, but is not likely to branch, so it's done until next year. It may send out another spike, but don't expect that immediately.

However, by the accidental removal of this year's flower spike, it'll just build up that much more reserves, so will likely bloom even better next year.
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2019, 07:31 AM
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I've had the same problem, generally with oncidiums. I VERY gently take a butter knife and pry open the leaf to free the spike. I was told this happens due to underwatering while the spike is developing.
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2019, 07:51 AM
CemeteryHaunts CemeteryHaunts is offline
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Yes, itís a phalaenopsis. Itís one of those Just Add Ice orchids. Believe it or not, I bought it at Walgreens. Lol! Just as an FYI, I never ďjust added iceĒ when watering it. I would water it once a week to 2 weeks by fully submerging it in water and letting it slowly drain over a half hour to an hour. Then Iíd make sure no water was left standing in the pot. My house is really dry in the winter.

This method has worked well. However I noticed while repotting last month that some of the roots were dark. Iíve posted photos. I think this is just from the prior media used because I started trimming away what I thought were dead roots, only to find they were still green on the inside. I left it alone.

After repotting it, it went through a massive root explosion! Not to mention I make sure to fertilize while watering too. So that contributes to its healthy root growth as well.
Well thatís unfortunate that itís a one and done! Itís alright, Iím building an orchid collection. I just recently picked up 2 nearly dead mini orchids from Loweís over a month ago. I have absolutely no idea what they are. Their tags were gone and for $1, I couldn't watch them die. I potted them together, and they do share the same media. I know itís a no-no, but Itís fine, they rebounded and are starting to grow new leaves and roots. Iíve posted a pic of them as well.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2019, 10:52 AM
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I've had his happen on Oncidiums and Phals. Dolly's suggestion for dealing with trapped spikes has worked for Oncidiums, but not for Phals. Trapped Phal spikes are usually stuck deep in the base of the leaf or even grow into the plant, while Onc spikes are just trapped in the leaf sheath. I've rarely gotten a Phal spike out without breaking it, and it's best done as soon as possible. One thing I noticed is that in Phals this seems genetic; it's always the same 2 Phals which were doing this. I've never had a broken trapped spike branch and flower, and only once did the plant develop an entirely new spike shortly after (which then also got trapped...).
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2019, 11:02 AM
CemeteryHaunts CemeteryHaunts is offline
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So this seems to be a ďthingĒ with them. Ok, now I know what to watch out for. That sux though! I was really excited when I saw it begin to grow a spike. I waited so long! Maybe next year. Letís see if I can get my mini ones to bloom! I donít know what colors they are since the blooms were done by the time I bought them
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