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orchid help

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orchid help

Postby Smitty » Jul 23, 2010 9:49 am

most of my orchids are showing good signs of new growth and new flower stems... my question is...should I cut off old stems? normally I would just leave them but wondering if cutting them back would produce more energy for the new stems? there are a couple of old stems that are making new flowers...those I would leave alone.
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Re: orchid help

Postby agedgardener2 » Jul 23, 2010 2:40 pm

I would cut it back to the topmost new spike.I usually wait awhile then cut back to a couple of buds up from the plant. They sometimes they send out flower spikes farther up the stem..That's why I wait to cut it back. JOY
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Re: orchid help

Postby toothpick harry » Feb 14, 2011 12:55 am

Based on the submitted pictures, it appears that your plants are phaelenopsis hybrids.

With phals, the breeding lineage may pre-dispose the plant to being a re-bloomer, which means that the plant may finish blooming and potentially rebloom on the same spike at a later time, sometimes with significant new branching of the old spike.

I have grown phals for over 20 years and always leave the spikes on until they turn brown and dry out completely. In many cases the plants do rebloom sometimes as much as a year later, but on the same spike.

Leaving the spikes on the plant will do no harm to it or sap any resources from the plant unless the spike remains active and growing. As long as the spike is green, the potential for re-bloom is still there.

If you decide to cut the spikes green, do so only with a very sharp utensil which has been sterilsed over a flame or stove burner. This will help prevent numerous pathogens from entering the wounded tissues.
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Re: orchid help

Postby Lizcordysmum » Feb 19, 2011 12:50 am

Okeydokey, Smitty is MY guru...I have two Phals (I can't spell the rest of it!)

She told me about this thread and I am about to repot my two darlings.

I have cactus soil. I will use a sharp, STERILIZED knife (I'm not sure what to use it on tho!)

I will not leave roots in water, I don't mist/I use pebbles under the pot and when the water there is gone, I lift the pot and if very lightweight I water again/the soil/moss, until there is water beneath the top of the pebbles. My house is COLDer than a witch's t** especially where the light is as good as it gets in sullen/gloomy/grey Wet Coastal BC.

here are their pictures. Tomorrow, if I have the energy, I repot. I know about not cutting off those sticking out roots, or covering them. And that just about sums up what I know.
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Re: orchid help

Postby MatthewWilliam » Mar 29, 2011 4:25 am

Potting orchids is very different than potting ordinary houseplants. Repotting a houseplant is fairly simple. We just take the plant out of its pot, place it in a new larger pot and add dirt. With orchids, we don't normally use potting soil. What we use for orchid potting medium depends primarily on the type of orchid and how we are growing it in a pot or mounted. If we are going to confine our orchid to a pot, we should give them something that will make it happy.
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Re: orchid help

Postby Eeyore » Mar 29, 2011 9:53 am

I bought a bag of orchid potting material which is essentially a bag of bark chips and some other stuff. Not much soil mixed in with it at all.
Lyn
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Re: orchid help

Postby Smitty » Mar 29, 2011 10:30 am

yup...I've bought that before too but found that it really didn't hold the moisture well. so I opted to add some cactus soil to it and use it for most of my orchids. others are planted in just sphagnum moss. so far it seems to be working for me.
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Re: orchid help

Postby Eeyore » Mar 29, 2011 11:12 am

Yeah, I think that's the solution. My orchid died and I need a replacement...... I'll use different potting material this time.
Lyn
AB, Zone 3A
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Re: orchid help

Postby Northpine » Mar 29, 2011 12:23 pm

This is interesting. I can't say I'm very impressed with the bark chips either. It doesn't hold the moisture at all.
Marie
Zone 1b, Northern MB
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Re: orchid help

Postby davefrombc » Mar 29, 2011 12:34 pm

I use a mix of the bark/charcoal orchid mix and lots of the long fiber sphagnum moss to re-pot my phalaenopsis orchids.. The bark/ charcoal helps the drainage of the "soil" while the moss retains and releases the moisture to the plant.
You can work the moss around the new roots.. They develop more and the tips develop to draw in the moisture .. What kills phals is the roots laying and rotting in waterlogged moss ( most common problem ) or from dehydration from not enough moisture available to the roots. I add some fertilizer to the water I use for them about once a month at about half the concentration normally used for watering houseplants ..
To water my orchids , I use a spray bottle to dampen thoroughly , but not soak the moss around the orchid.Theyey should never be allowed to completely dry out or to be in waterlogged media . Mine get a moistening spray nearly every day .. If the moss feels moist, I leave it , if it feels dry, I mist it .
Flowering spikes are left on until they go brown and dry .. Older spikes ofter throw flowers several times, and don't seem to interfere with new spike production .
Last edited by davefrombc on Mar 29, 2011 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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