Psychopsis Flower Spike
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  #1  
Old 11-10-2008, 01:46 PM
kinknstein kinknstein is offline
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Default Psychopsis Flower Spike

Hi Everyone
Kind of new here on the orchid board, been lurking for a while now. I have one question I was hoping the many experts might be able to help me with. I purchased a Psychopsis papilio about 3 years ago, it had a spike at the time, but had not flowered yet. It is three years onnow, and I still have not recieved a flower, I suspect that my light levels have been way too low. Now the question is, the spike is still green from base to tip and appears healthy, no shrivelling or anything. From other posts I have read this species can stay in flower for extended periods of time on the same spike. Do you think that after three years this spike might be okay? I was wanting to repot it as the media is quite decomposed, but was unsure if I should trim the spike maybe halfway down, and then repot, or just repot and hope for the best. I would love to hear any opinions you might have.

Nick
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2008, 01:48 PM
kinknstein kinknstein is offline
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In furtherance to above, I have just placed the plant under a new T5 4Lamp fixture, and it looks like it is recieving about 2000fc, I had read on AOS Orchid Sheets A-Z that it can handle anywhere from 2400 - 3600fc, but seemed high, so I thought I better start a little further away and work my way closer.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2008, 02:09 PM
John D. John D. is offline
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I would not cut the spike. They form the bloom bud at the tip.
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2008, 08:24 PM
bonsai1504 bonsai1504 is offline
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I'd re-pot and leave the spike. there might be a stall in flowering but once the plant gets established it will just keep going again!
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2008, 09:21 PM
shams shams is offline
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Psychopsis always bloom from the same place on the same spike, so... don't cut it!! Repotting it should be fine. My first one took a really long time to bud between flowers. Repotting might even give it that boost
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  #6  
Old 11-11-2008, 11:02 AM
kinknstein kinknstein is offline
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Awesome, thanks for all your replies, most helpful and a heck of a lot easier than poring through books. Will repot and see what happens!
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  #7  
Old 11-12-2008, 11:09 PM
dgenovese1 dgenovese1 is offline
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Hey Nick....thanks for your post, and to others who provided you with some insight. I just bought my first Psychopsis, and now I have clues as to how to care for it, and also what to expect.
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2008, 12:18 AM
gixrj18 gixrj18 is offline
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If the spike is still good, don't cut it....but even if you did, when it wants to flower cutting won't stop it. It will just split into two spikes, and keep on going. I have one that had three 5' spikes on it. Some water got trapped in the sheaths, and started a fungus going up all three spikes (starting at the tips). It started heading toward the plant, so I had to cut all of them at about 2'. Once I got rid of the fungus, those three spikes turned into five, and bloomed almost simultaneously. As far as getting it to bloom, I would up the light and make sure they are getting ample micronutrients (calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.). They don't need much, but they are just as important as the macronutrients (N-P-K). A lot of people overlook these, I am a firm believer in them. There are many easily attainable products to find these in (molasses, Epsom salt, Milk of Magnesia, etc.). All my butterflies are mounted, and fed all of these (plus a little vitamin B), I have blooms almost year round between the four that are bloom-sized. Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2008, 11:41 AM
kinknstein kinknstein is offline
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Hi gixrj18
Thanks for your reply. Did you say UP the light? I was quite curious about the light levels, on the AOS website they advise 2400 - 3600fc, which seems high compared to some info I have read on the board here, with most ppl saying 2000fc for Catt's and such, which I thought would need higher light than a Psychopsis. I have it at about 2400 and I am concerned I might burn the foliage. No signs yet, been four days at that light level, leaves were quite a bit stiffer before placing under the light, but now they seem to be quite soft and pliable. Could this just be from the higher temps closer to the light?
Definitely hear you on the micronutrients though,I have been looking for some better more balanced fertilizers, I have some Schultz Orchid Fert 19-31-17 and another general fert 1-2-1. Neither og them seem to mention much in the way of micro's though, so I will have to keep my eyes peeled in the greenhouses. I have used Epsom Salts before on house plants, but have never used for Orchids, have you? You mention them so I was quite curious. Used to use in my houseplant collection, and it seemed to help produce very robust growth, but was too nervous to try with my chids.
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2008, 11:51 AM
kinknstein kinknstein is offline
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I have noticed a bit of drying out on the tip of the flower spike, I should take a picture for you, but am at work right now. But basically the spike looked like it had a bud, same since day I got, but now it seems to be drying out a bit, not quite totally dry yet, but seems well on the way.
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