Help needed re: quickly growing flower spike.
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  #1  
Old 09-19-2021, 03:00 PM
desirue desirue is offline
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Help needed re: quickly growing flower spike. Female
Default Help needed re: quickly growing flower spike.

So, my Phal is growing a flower spike off of an old flower spike. It's growing rapidly. I'm attaching two pictures; one from today and one from seven days ago. I'm worried about how/if I should attempt to stake this. It's growing pretty horizontally at the moment. Should I attempt to stake this? Move my current stake from the old spike to instead support the new? I've never staked a spike before. I've looked at videos regarding staking; but all of them that I've seen are when they are base/stem spikes. Any help is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2021, 03:16 PM
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You may let it grow where it will or stake it. I think it's not long enough to manipulate yet. Realize it is extremely fragile and will snap with less pressure than you imagine. I would wait until it's a lot longer.
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Old 09-19-2021, 03:20 PM
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Okay ... I'll leave it be for now. Do you think it's okay to turn the pot right now? Currently I have the spike facing my window. I've read to not change the direction as it'll put too much strain on the spike being that it will attempt to grow towards the light. But as it is now, I have to keep moving further away from the window for fear that it's going to grow into it. :/
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Old 09-19-2021, 03:55 PM
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Help needed re: quickly growing flower spike. Female
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Changing the orientation of a spiking Phal won't hurt the spike - what it likely will do is to simply make the presentation less appealing by introducing a "twist" to the spike as it chases the light. in your case, with the spike as a branch of an old spike, don't worry too much about the presentation... you are getting a bonus, don't argue with it. See what it does and enjoy. Moving so that it doesn't bump in to the window is a good idea. Not only the physical bump, but the window this time of year may get cold at night, and that is likely to cause bud blast so rotating it away from the window makes a lot of sense.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:28 PM
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yes to rotating the plant. Sure it might actually delay flowering by a day or two..

That I think anybody can live with. The plant will just twist the flower spike which will require a day or two extra and that is all.

This flower spike will need no staking. Staking is only needed if the spike could fall over. This one will not fall over. It is forming on an already staked, woody (stronger) stem so no risk of falling over so nothing much to worry about. Unless you wanted the flower spike to grow upwards? You can always attach a tall stick into the pot and tie some string to it to pull up the spike gently, a little more every day, a bit like stretching a hamstring, never bend or stretch it too much at once or it will snap. But nothing is needed for this one if you just want to leave it
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Old 09-20-2021, 12:22 AM
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oh man, we also have this problem as beginners. what to do with the spikes?!

personally, im starting to lean towards just let them grow and hang. i like the more natural look. but, like yours, quickly we run into space problems and worry about breaking off and precious blooms we do get.

so, ive come to the super relaible and immensely informed opinion that a big reason orchids are spiked is to maximize space and profit in the nursery, and of course because people (not me)seem to like the look of those high standing flowers. leave em be is my but dont break it when you are vacuuming!
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:46 AM
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To a non-gardener a tall spike with lots of flowers is far more attractive than a spike leaning sideways. The tall ones also fit into shipping boxes without damaging their neighbors.

I heard Norman Fang give a talk on the history of harlequin Phal hybrids. He said many, many superb and award-quality seedlings are discarded at the growers' because the spikes are too tall to fit into standard shipping boxes.
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:47 PM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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I have one that's doing the exact same thing. The secondary spike grew horizontally, and it now has six large flowers. I did not stake the secondary spike, but the primary spike still has its stake which is helping to hold everything in place. Due to the heaviness of the new flowers, the pot wants to tip now, so I did have to put it in a heavier outer pot for the time being.

I would just leave the new spike to grow as it wants. It probably won't get overly long. Do keep an eye out for any tipping tendency, though.
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaineer370 View Post
I have one that's doing the exact same thing. The secondary spike grew horizontally, and it now has six large flowers. I did not stake the secondary spike, but the primary spike still has its stake which is helping to hold everything in place. Due to the heaviness of the new flowers, the pot wants to tip now, so I did have to put it in a heavier outer pot for the time being.

I would just leave the new spike to grow as it wants. It probably won't get overly long. Do keep an eye out for any tipping tendency, though.
Yeah, I'm a little worried about it tipping. This particular orchid is huge. It's leaves are over a foot long; it's becoming quite the monstrosity, lol. I feel like I might need to secure the stake that's in there right now a little more securely. I think you're right though, I looked at it this morning and it seems like the flower buds are starting to form on the end. We'll see ... nonetheless, I'm still excited to see them.
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:31 AM
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Just drop the whole thing into a clay pot for the weight so it doesn't tip over.
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