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  #1  
Old 05-02-2020, 10:12 PM
ghuylar ghuylar is offline
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Default Blooming Issues

Hi everyone,

This orchid is the orchid I have had the longest (3 years). Despite all my research and ever growing collection, the one thing that has continued to confuse me is how this plant flowers.

When I bought it, the plant was in full bloom with about 2 dozen perfectly formed buds.

The next time it bloomed, it formed a large and complete spike with about the same number of buds. This year, all the buds except three blasted. The three that remained only partially opened.

This past winter she bloomed for me again. This time only a couple buds blasted. The remaining buds survived, but as they continued to open they became more and more disfigured. It started with the first few having small dimples on the petals, progressing until the last bud just never opened or formed separate petals and sepals (shown in the photos below).

It can't be a genetic problem, because it has bloomed without issue before, granted that was when it was grown in a commercial greenhouse. I am assuming it must be an issue with my care, and was wondering if anyone else has had a similar issue. She has a robust root system and very healthy and regular vegetative growth. Spikes form each September like clockwork, and I fertilize VERY regularly.

Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2020, 10:47 PM
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Roberta Roberta is online now
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It's reblooming for you, so basically it's doing fine. Phalanopsis buds can be really sensitive to drafts, that can cause that pesky bud blast. Also... do you have it anyplace near a gas stove (like in the kitche)? Even a little bit of free natural gas, as you'd get when the burner is lit, can also cause bud blast.
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:11 PM
ghuylar ghuylar is offline
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Hi Roberta,

No, it is not anywhere near a gas stove or fireplace and is upstairs in my house where there aren't any drafts. I'm most concerned about what could be a potential outside cause for the flower deformations. Bud blast happens--but something has to be causing the disformed flowers.
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:19 PM
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Those malformations do seem to be genetic. Strange that they don't show up consistently. Perhaps someone else on the Board has some ideas.

---------- Post added at 08:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:14 PM ----------

Only one other thought... you say that you fertilize very regularly... at what concentration? What fertilizer? Any "additives" that might cause mutations... like SuperThrive?
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  #5  
Old 05-02-2020, 11:43 PM
ghuylar ghuylar is offline
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I use MiracleGro Orchid Mist, usually a spritz or two every couple weeks. I fertilize my phals less than my dendrobiums, but more than oncidiums, which seems to be about on par with what I have heard from others. I use it with all my other orchids which are kept in the same conditions, and haven't experienced mutations from any other plant.
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:51 PM
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I think the plant has a genetic issue... why it shows up sometimes and not others, perhaps someone else can jump in and cast more light on it.
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:55 PM
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I'm no expert, but I would highly caution against spraying any chemicals on your plants, and especially your flowers. Most orchids do most of their nutrient absorption through their roots anyways, so spraying their leaves generally doesn't do much good. So even if these deformities don't show up on other plants, it's really just not a good idea to spray (potentially deformity-inducing) chemicals on flowers. It won't hurt to stop applying fertilizer through misting. Give it a try (you can still fertilize using other methods) and see if future blooms (maybe next season's) are malformed.

ps: the instructions on the miraclegro orchid mist package recommend that users to avoid getting mist on flowers.

Last edited by neophyte; 05-02-2020 at 11:59 PM..
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:38 AM
ghuylar ghuylar is offline
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Yes, I never fertilize the flowers themselves of the spikes, and I don't see why anyone would want to try that lol. The mist is applied to the roots and very occasionally the leaves ( as I assume all others do to fertilize their orchids as well?). I have read that orchids can take in nutrients through their leaves to a certain extent, but I usually don't do this as I am afraid of burning the leaves. I like to use the mist as a way for me to not have to premix the fertilizer in a separate container and dilute it, since it is already such a small amount.
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:43 PM
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ghuylar ----- hard to say what the cause is at this moment. It will be beneficial to start with some reference conditions - such as - what the growing conditions are - temperature, lighting levels, growing indoors/outdoors, humidity, media type, drainage details, watering details (how it is watered, how often, and how much).

Even details about temperature range, and light level range might provide clues.

The orchid appears to be extremely well cared for ---- as you mentioned the roots are good.

That was great how you posted photos too! The only small thing is that there's some limit to what we can see, due to the relatively small image size. Some close-ups to show the deformities could possibly provide more clues about what might be happening here with the flowering.

If the treatment for this orchid (watering, fertilising, etc etc) is the same as for your other orchids, then it will be a nice exercise to determine a possible cause for that behaviour.

Could also try fertilising less regularly. For my orchids, I only put in some fertiliser (into the media) once a month.
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Old 05-03-2020, 09:37 PM
ghuylar ghuylar is offline
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SouthPark,

Temperature is 72 degrees F during the day and 65 at night. Once a spike it triggered I move it away from my phal spot next to a cool window where it usually grows and is moved underneath a very bright skylight. It is the kind of light to grow succulents and ficus under without experiencing stretching.
Media is loose sphagnum moss, I keep all my phals in a chunky moss. Lowe's moss, while not the softest, is amazing! Drains very well, and I use a ceramic orchid pot, the "Lace Pots" from Home Depot, they're amazing for use with sphag since they're so airy.
Has VERY healthy root system and leaves, and always produces a spike. Unfortunately this is a plant I had in bloom over the winter which is no longer in bloom. I wasn't a member in the winter or else I would have posted sooner!
All the care for this plant is the same as for the rest of my collection, except my catts and dens which are kept in bark. No other plant has had misformed blooms, and I don't have issues blooming any other plant. I had my friend, the greenhouse manager at my University, take a look at the photos as well, and he has no possible input for me. It's a mystery!
Seems to almost be some type of peloria, but it is not consistent enough. It is as if the plant just gets tired of making blooms and slowly gives up on opening and forming them. I have two summer blooming phals coming into bloom here soon, so we will see if it continues with them or if it is isolated to that particular phal.
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