Question re: growing phals in Canada

stephf(5a)January 26, 2012

I'm stuck. I seem to have a big problem with getting phals to rebloom after the blooms fall off (they are always blooming when I buy them). I had a phal years ago and when the store-bought blooms fell off I cut the flower spike down to the first node and it bloomed again. When those blooms fell off, I cut the flower spike down at the base (I had heard to only cut the spike partway down once. Is this true or can you keep cutting down to the next node?), and it never bloomed again.

Fast forward to my second phal purchase. When its store-bought blooms fell off I thought to myself "No problem, I've gotten this far before. I'll just cut to the first node and it will bloom again". A couple days later I noticed that the stem had turned brown and woody where I had cut it, so I cut it down to the next node thinking maybe I had cut it too close. The same thing happened. I have been staring at this naked stem for months now, afraid to do anything with it. I realize now that the poor thing needs more light and I have moved it to a south facing window, but I don't know what to do with the spike. Do I leave it alone? (The little bit of stem above the node is dead, but the node itself is still green.) Do I cut down to the next node? Or do I go for broke, cut to the base and hope for the best?

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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

There are some Phals that will bloom and bloom for years if you cut down to a node and then cut to another node and then cut.....But the result is not beautiful.

There are some exceptions such as some of the species but for the general run of hybrids you are better off cutting the spike off at the base and with good culture getting the plant to grow a new spike.

Google the Canadian Orchid Congress for a complete set of culture notes.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 3:04PM
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