Phal growing roots from its flowering spike

anotherstephanie(8)February 2, 2012

Hi, everyone. The attached photo is an orchid that I'd nearly given up on-- yet it recently decided to bloom. It also decided to put out a root just below its flower spike-- I think you can see that in the photo.

I'm not sure what the plant wants. The roots in the substrate don't appear to be in amazing shape-- should I replant it at the level of its new roots? Should I try spray-feeding it at the new root? Thanks in advance for your help and expertise!

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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

I'm not even sure that you have a Phalaenopsis. Perhaps it is a hard-Cane Dendrobium (one of those so-called Phal. Type Dens).

Anyway, if it is a hard-cane Den. It is way over-potted, probably watered too much for the potting material used and the flower and the aerial roots are the plants attempt to survive.

If you can tell the posters here more about your growing conditions and post a better picture of the plant maybe someone will be able to give better advice.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 4:16AM
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westoh Z6

Looking at all the pictures, I'd say Authur nailed it. Let the new growth go until you have several roots at least 2"-3" long, carely remove the new cane from the old cane (where the roots are growing) leaving all roots with the new cane. Plant the new cane in a small pot and in few/several months you may have a nice plant. BTW: These hard-cane Dendrobiums plants like to be potbound, dry out between waterings and can handle fairly bright light.

Good luck and keep us informed,


    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 7:29AM
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Thank you both. I think you're right that it's a Dendrobium.

I can't post a better picture of the plant and its site at the moment, but it's in a south facing window in a pot that's about 5" in diameter. It generally gets watered twice a week, because I'd been under the impression that it shouldn't dry out entirely.

It's exciting to see all of these recent signs of life. Do you think that misting the roots with a very dilute solution of liquid fertilizer would help it on its way?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 6:00PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

You are killing it with kindness! In nature the ancestors grow in tropical Monsoonal Climates where there is a wet season and a dry(er) season. The dry season in general is still warm especially by day and humidity is lower.

Those ancestors grow on a rock or a tree and the roots get wet and then they dry. The roots are not growing in something like spag. that never dries out.

I was trying to find the thread where Jane who used to live in NY posted pictures of her hard-cane Dendrobiums. Couldn't find it but it is on the page 1 somewhere.

The conditions in your growing area cannot be too bad because the plant has bloomed and the flower didn't drop off. Follow what Bob said and see how you go. Forget about all this misting stuff. Water thoroughly and let dry is the go unless you are trying to grow cloud forest orchids.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:24AM
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Fair enough. No misting. :) And I did manage to find Jane's Dendrobiums. They were breathtaking.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 4:01AM
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