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  #11  
Old 06-21-2021, 12:05 PM
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I'm a bit divided on phals. They are lovely when they bloom but they can be such slow growers compared to a dendrobium or a cattleya or even a cymbidium, grows like a weed as I've discovered

I would never consider phals a beginner plant or even an easy orchid to start with.
The easiest to start with imo are Odontoglossums. Phals, especially supermarket phals which don't have a fragrance tend to be a bit boring but one I have has made a new record of keeping it's flowers for 8 months. They opened in November and they are still open in June! Beat that neo growers
I'm not too fond of pinks or really frilly Cattleya flowers but we all find something we like about orchids.

I think the reason they are considered a beginner orchid is not so much because they are particularly easy but the reason people that have been growing longer grow out of them is I think because they have so little potential compared to other orchids.

For example, a dendrobium will produce keikis and can be divided so grow a few dendrobiums for 10 years and if you are good at it you will have produced several new plants off the original in that time. Same with Cattleya's which can be divided and donated to a friend. If you compare that to a phal, you might be lucky if it produces a keiki in that time but part from lots of flowers there won't be much work involved potting up or diving keikis with phals.

Some people might prefer that, but me, I like the aspect of replicating my plants, it's far more interesting than "just growing a boring phal" and I am nowhere near experienced enough to be making seeds which I wish I was. But even then I'd stick to Cattleya's. My track record with them has been far better than with phals.
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  #12  
Old 06-21-2021, 02:15 PM
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Shadeflower, thanks for sharing your perspective on Phals, it's interesting to hear the other side, even if I somewhat disagree! What I find interesting is that the things that make Phals or Oncs/Catts appealing (or not) for both of us are opposites. I wouldn't say that Phals grow slow, it's just that they grow vertically instead of horizontally. I prefer Phals for the same reason you dislike them. While I do have some Phals/Oncs, I dislike that they get increasingly larger and need to be divided and or otherwise repotted into ever larger pots. Phals stay compact and rather low maintenance. Unlike you I find them to be the easiest type to grow, though this is subjective and largely dependant on climate and cultural/watering habits.

I like Catt flowers (not the floofy types), but think the blooms don't last long enough when I consider the space they take up. Mini Catts are the exception, but there's not much selection for those here, compared to the USA.(I've been drooling over SVO crosses). Therefore I prefer giving my limited space to orchids which bloom for months on end (Phals!). If you get the right rights, they can be fragrant too.

It's true that it would be nice if more Phal species/hybrids readily make keikis, but I'm also quite happy to NOT be drowning in an endless supply of them.
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  #13  
Old 06-21-2021, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadeflower View Post
I'm a bit divided on phals. They are lovely when they bloom but they can be such slow growers compared to a dendrobium or a cattleya or even a cymbidium, grows like a weed as I've discovered
...

the reason people that have been growing longer grow out of them is I think because they have so little potential compared to other orchids.
I think your opinion is a good example of what was mentioned earlier in the thread, and it comes from a lack of awareness of the Phal family (I'm not judging).

Growing Phal is easy. Growing them properly is another story; like almost all genera.
Most Phal won't do much if they're not grown properly, and you can end up with a very old plant with only a pair of leaves, that doesn't bloom.

A good Phal, given the proper care, has a tremendous potential; it's just that you don't see it often.

In the 10 years time you grow and divide your Catt or Den, you can grow a Phal cornu-cervi that has keikis on keikis on keikis, all blooming.
You can grow a speciosa with 10 spikes, with flowers every day of the year, a bellina with giant shiny leaves that fills your house with wonderful fragrance, or a Phal. pulcherrima var marmorata that becomes a bush of crazy speckled leaves.

Most people don't even know that Phal can be terrestrial, or leafless plants that survive freezing temps.
It's not that they don't have potential, but we usually associate "Phalaenopsis" with "basic supermarket orchid", and it's far from the truth.
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  #14  
Old 06-21-2021, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Fakename View Post
A good Phal, given the proper care, has a tremendous potential; it's just that you don't see it often.
I didn't even realize I started rambling a bit in your thread Mr Fakename, sorry about that and you are absolutely correct that one doesn't see them grown well that often. That canadian guy from here but not has grown some of the best phals I have seen.

In comparison my Tetraspis has been my pride and joy lately but again compared to a mature plant my first bloom will just be a couple of flowers
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2021, 06:27 PM
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Nice job, tetraspis isn't that easy!

Be careful with summer light on that Phal, they are deep shade plants and sulk when it gets too sunny for them.
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  #16  
Old 06-21-2021, 09:26 PM
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I really love Phals, I have all kinds, colors; hybrid and species, big, mini... I enjoy the flowers, the structure and how beautiful and elegant they stand.

I have Phals all year round and they decore every corner of our house.

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  #17  
Old 06-21-2021, 11:22 PM
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The long blooming life of Phals is one of their very attractive features. How many orchids will stay in bloom for 3, 4,5, or more months? OK, there are a few (like some special Dendrobiums)... but most of them are MUCH harder to grow, MUCH harder to find, and MUCH more expensive. (A Den. cuthbersonii can theoretically stay in bloom for 8-9 months... but is much more likely to die than to do that!)

Once you master their cultural needs (and @SADE, you certainly have!) the beauty and grace of Phals is so very rewarding!
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  #18  
Old 06-23-2021, 07:08 AM
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I tried capturing the true color of the flower (ps it is a Tetraspis Red x self) but the camera never quite gets it the way we see it does it.
A lot of times the picture ends up looking better than the flower does in RL - at least the colors.

Developing it looked almost purple to me and the red is not a pure red. It has slight shades of brown in it but you can't see that on the picture. It's also quite a slender fragile flower. It's not quite what I was expecting but I'm hoping it has a great smell that will make it a keeper. I will have to let it open fully.

Also showing a violacea which is just starting the phal season for me. It usually extends into August. My liodora has just started making a flower spike.
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  #19  
Old 06-23-2021, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Fakename View Post
Thanks! And that's wild, I thought we roughly had the same climate and would be on the same page.
Spring bloomers were very late and had few flowers here, we've had one of the worst spring ever recorded.




Thanks, you have some very neat plants yourself! I'm expecting showier Phal soon, if I don't mess it up
This violacea has been crossed with a blue Malaysian violacea, I'm really curious to see how the blooms will turn out!


The problem with "boring Phal" is that the market is overloaded with white/pink hybrids with huge flowers/high flower count and equestris type miniatures.
There are literally thousands and thousands of uniquely registered Phal that end up being 98% schilleriana or amabilis.

They are cloned by millions and sold for cheap, in bad condition, a lot of the time with mutations, without a name, all over the world.

I think it associates Phal with starter orchids because, well, that's what they are in most cases.
When you start getting deeper into the hobby and you see all these plants with fancy names, flowers, growth habits, awards etc; it's hard justifying spending on a supermarket Phal when you can grab something much more thrilling.

Like you say Camille, people don't necessarily realise there's much more to Phalaenopsis than what they think.
I've found it fascinating to read different peoples' take on 'supermarket' phals, and the other thread talking about phals as beginner's orchids.
Take a moment and think what you would do in my position! I can only buy 'supermarket' phals, all NOIDs, large and minis. Just once there was 1 vanda in a glass vase for sale. (I bought it and it is slowly declining.) Never anything else. We have no orchid specialist nursery or vendor. No vendors in mainland Europe will ship to The Canary Islands because our post/delivery services are so dire! (An ordinary letter can take 6 - 8 weeks from the UK. One of my friends Christmas cards went via India!!)
My only alternative would be to take a 2 day ferry trip to mainland Spain and then drive to wherever I could buy a wanted orchid! This makes them rather expensive!!

So, I love 'supermarket' phals

My season here starts around Christmas (I have one large white that opened it's first bloom on Boxing Day and hasn't dropped one yet!). About half of the plants finished blooming a month ago but a lot are on repeats.





I'm very envious of all you lucky people that can make virtually unlimited choices. And I thank you for sharing your pics - I can enjoy them vicariously without the headaches!
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  #20  
Old 06-23-2021, 08:36 PM
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Take a moment and think what you would do in my position! I can only buy 'supermarket' phals, all NOIDs, large and minis. Just once there was 1 vanda in a glass vase for sale. (I bought it and it is slowly declining.) Never anything else. We have no orchid specialist nursery or vendor. No vendors in mainland Europe will ship to The Canary Islands because our post/delivery services are so dire! (An ordinary letter can take 6 - 8 weeks from the UK. One of my friends Christmas cards went via India!!)
My only alternative would be to take a 2 day ferry trip to mainland Spain and then drive to wherever I could buy a wanted orchid! This makes them rather expensive!!
The ones that you can get, you grow beautifully! Perhaps soon shows will start happening, then you will have an excuse for a holiday trip to visit one. Bring a large, empty suitcase...
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