Phal. spikes. To cut or not to cut?
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Phal. spikes. To cut or not to cut?
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  #1  
Old 01-29-2024, 11:53 AM
FranningtonBear FranningtonBear is offline
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Phal. spikes. To cut or not to cut?
Default Phal. spikes. To cut or not to cut?

Like, I imagine most of us, my introduction to orchids came by way of a supermarket NOID Phalaenopsis that I managed to keep alive more by luck than correct care.

Since my collection has grown and my Phals have survived and re-bloomed without issue, I have neglected to really finely hone my care of them. I have always cut a flower spike back, as close to the base as I can manage once all the flowers have gone over. Now by the somewhat confusing powers of the internet, I see some people advocate doing what I have been doing, some advise cutting it higher up and some say not to interfere at all.

What is the general consensus here?
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2024, 12:34 PM
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Phal. spikes. To cut or not to cut? Male
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Old spikes may rebloom if they have bracts that haven't produced anything. I only cut back what turns dry and brown on its own.
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Old 01-29-2024, 01:03 PM
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Phal. spikes. To cut or not to cut?
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for the standard large-flowered phals, some might choose to cut to a lower node to get a secondary (smaller) spike. I never did this, preferring to get larger, more elegant spikes the next year.

the novelty phals, with the bright colors and thick substance, most of them can keep blooming on the same spikes, so I would not cut anything back unless it's brown. the green spike may bloom again the next season (in conjunction with new spikes)
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Old 01-29-2024, 02:09 PM
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I am learning to take better care of my phals too. I always used to cut my spikes at the base when flowers faded whether the spike continued to remain green or not. Two years ago was the first time I didn't and last year two spikes developed off the old one. After flowers fell, I removed it at the base because I thought the plant needed a rest, but I was wrong because it grew a new spike and is currently blooming again. So now I'm inclined to only remove whatever dies back. I also didn't know until last year sometimes a keiki can naturally develop on an old spike. I think it would be a great experience to propagate one without using rooting hormones and give it away so that is my secondary motive.
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Old 01-29-2024, 02:33 PM
Dimples Dimples is offline
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I have one phal. (of about 22) that’s a no-ID but is a dead ringer for Elegant Polka Dot. I decided to never cut the spikes after they were done blooming, unless they dried, which none ever did fully. Occasionally a branch tip would die back but the phal. kept more than 95% of each spike for a few years. It would rebloom off the old spikes each season. Made a big but messy show. It was a fun experiment that had to end when the spikes got numerous enough to be a real hazard when moving things around. I’ll try and find a photo.
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Old 01-29-2024, 02:40 PM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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Phal. spikes. To cut or not to cut? Female
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My general rule of thumb for Phals is I do not cut anything that is still green, though I have made rare exceptions. I have one that blooms nearly all year long, from both new spikes and secondary spikes off of old ones. (It's not a novelty type but a typical winter-blooming hybrid.) It was becoming a real space hog in my limited growing area, so I have trimmed some of the old spikes back on that one.
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Old 01-29-2024, 10:00 PM
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Phal. spikes. To cut or not to cut? Male
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LOL!

Dear Orchid Board, my plants bloom too much. It's getting really troublesome. Should I cut off the spikes?
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Old 01-30-2024, 08:41 AM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
LOL!

Dear Orchid Board, my plants bloom too much. It's getting really troublesome. Should I cut off the spikes?
Just to clarify, regarding the particular plant in my response above, I would never cut off a blooming spike, only older ones that have been dormant for a couple years but are still green. The plant, in the meantime, always has other younger green and blooming spikes.

It's not a troublesome plant at all. It was the second orchid I ever acquired, and I love it. I wish I had the space to try an experiment like Dimples did with his!
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