Phals have tiny buds, what's the best location?
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:59 AM
NewBloom NewBloom is offline

Join Date: Apr 2010
Zone: 9b
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 80
Phals have tiny buds, what's the best location? Female
Question Phals have tiny buds, what's the best location?


I got my first 2 phalaenopsis orchids in January at a local Home Depot.

The flowers on the smaller plant (6.5" leaf span) lasted until early March but it has three tiny buds (the size of a pencil tip) where potential flowers will bloom. The bigger orchid (9" leaf span) has one remaining flower blooming and it has a tiny bud as well.

What's the best location and care program for these orchids to get the new buds to flower?

Two weeks ago I relocated them to a covered area outside. I figured since there was only one flower going, it was the appropriate time for being outdoors and the weather had gotten up to the 70s. But the trees that shade the garden started dropping pollen and my phals were left covered in green dust.

Last weekend I wiped off the leaves with damp kitchen paper and brought the orchids back inside. They are near a shaded window which I open during the day for air and they're resting atop clay saucers filled with rocks and a little water, for humidity.

The indoor temp is 71-75. I'm concerned that I don't get enough indoor light because the oaks around the house provide shade. It's bright enough to read (just barely) but I don't have areas where the sunlight is so bright that I need to adjust the blinds. Could the filtered light be the reason why the first blooms lasted just a month? (Maybe this is a case of needing time to get to know the growth patterns of these particular orchids.)

Should I keep the orchids inside until the "pollen snowfall" is over? I thought a 10-15 degree temperature differentiation was required for flowers to bloom. Am I wrong? And would moving them back and forth (indoors/outdoors) cause problems in getting them to bloom?

I live in Tampa. The days are soon nearing the upper 70s with nights in the 50s-60s. We've had a cooler and longer than usual winter here and since I'm a newbie, I'm unsure what to do.

Forgive the long post, I thought more info would be helpful to you all in offering guidance. I'd really appreciate your advice.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 04-01-2010, 06:31 AM
Zoi2 Zoi2 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Zone: 5a
Member of:OSGKC
Location: Kansas City, MO
Age: 63
Posts: 4,773

Hello and welcome to the OB.
Don't worry about the temp. drop for buds right now, that is for fall, to initiate the bud spike. Good culture will get the current buds to bloom.
What are your phals planted in and how are you watering/fertilizing?
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:32 AM
NewBloom NewBloom is offline

Join Date: Apr 2010
Zone: 9b
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 80
Phals have tiny buds, what's the best location? Female

Thanks for the welcome, Joann.

One is planted in a clay pot. The roots at the top of the plant are sticking out above the medium. Both are planted in moss (the New Zealand type, I think). When I repot it, I think I'll opt out of moss 'cause it's trickier to gauge when the plant is dry.

Second plant (with the flower) is in a plastic pot. No roots poking on out on top. I noticed today that the bottom roots are near the drainage hole, so this guy might need a bigger pot. Also there's a nub at the base.

I would water lightly about every ten days or so when the medium felt close to dry. I alternate between Better-Gro's Bloom Booster and Orchid Plus food. Used a weak solution of Bloom Booster today. Going to slow down to once/twice a month fertilizing to avoid overdoing it.

A bit concerned that I gave them too much water today because I drenched them for the first time. The moss really retained moisture, so I put them outside during the day and brought them back in tonight because it's warmer inside. Had the fan going for damage control.

Thanks for solving the temperature mystery.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:16 AM
orchidsamore orchidsamore is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Zone: 9a
Location: Fort myers Florida
Posts: 555
Phals have tiny buds, what's the best location? Male

Phals only bloom once a year and you need to wait until next January for additional flowering.

Phals are popular since they only need very low light to flower. 800-1200 foot candles. so indoor light from a bright window is sufficient. Unlike other orchids they do not need outd0oor light to flower.

When you water them you should drench them. You need to give the enough water for the velum to soak and the water to reach the root inside. Too light a watering or only misting causes the water to evaporate before it gets into the plant. When you are told not to over water it is the frequency that is important not the quantity of water at one time. After all when it rains plants get watered for hours. Just let it almost dry out between waterings,
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:11 AM
NewBloom NewBloom is offline

Join Date: Apr 2010
Zone: 9b
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 80
Phals have tiny buds, what's the best location? Female

Thanks Jerry. There isn't bright light near the windows because of all the trees outside, but I'll keep an eye on leaf color etc then adjust as needed.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:45 PM
Hedge Hedge is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Zone: 8a
Location: currently in North Lincolnshire
Age: 61
Posts: 946

I think you would be surprised how much light you are getting even with shade from trees - we manage to grow Phals in the north of England in east facing windows and we must be about 20 degrees latitude further north than you!!
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bloom, buds, flowers, orchids, phalaenopsis, location, tiny, phals

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