New shoot found after cutting stems half way. Advice?

shelbianne(Pretoria, South Africa, Humid Sub-Tropical Climate, Zone 11)June 11, 2014

Im new to caring for and owning an orchid. I bought one in March from a local grocery store because it was gorgeous and Id wanted one for a while, its a phaleonopsis. It wasn't doing to well, it was dying within a week of bringing it home, i looked at the roots and it was a disaster zone down there, rotten and clumped together, it really looked bad, so I decided to repot, which might not have been the best decision as my plan still had flowers on it but it worked out for the best and hes looking very healthy, new roots are growing and hes a lovely shade of green. The flowers did unfortunately die but the stem stayed green, it did not go brown and die as many websites suggested it would so I left it because i was very nervous about cutting the stem. I finally plucked up the courage today (a month after the flowers fell) to cut it down to the third node in the hopes that it might re-bloom because the stem still is very healthy. After I cut it and was applying cinnamon to the wounds and leaves ( I do this because I heard it helps prevent crown rot?) I noticed a little green thing between the first and second leaves, its pointing upwards and I think it is a new shoot and should grow into a stem or flower spike (I'm not too familiar with the terminology) It doesn't look anything like a root. So now I'm conflicted. Clearly my plant has recovered to the point where it feels it can support the two existing stems and a new one but I'm not sure whether I should leave the current stems as is and see if they grow and hope the little guy between the leaves continues to grow or if I should rather cut the stems down to the base so that all the plants energy can be focused on the new shoot. I don't want to make a mistake, Ive invested a lot of time and love into this plant and its incredibly exciting to see how far its come despite my lack of knowledge and I'm scared if I do the wrong thing here I could end up killing all three stems. Any advice??

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westoh Z6

Cut the long stems, the flowers and arrangement of those flowers from a side spike won't be the best anyhow.

A new spike generally points up and looks a little bit like a mitten. Pretty tough to tell the difference between a spike and a root when it's just starting to grow.

No need to dust cinnamon on the leaves unless there is an open wound.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:34AM
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To be honest when a phal reblooms from a previous spike the blooms tend to be smaller and not as many as before.if you are sure you have a new spike coming you could cut the first one off.that being said I would wait to make sure I have a new spike before doing could post a pic so the experts could see it and advise better.velleta

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:40AM
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shelbianne(Pretoria, South Africa, Humid Sub-Tropical Climate, Zone 11)

Thanks for the advice, I've added a picture of the little thing growing between the leaves, it's still very small, so I'll wait to see what it is and be sure before cutting the existing stems down to the base:) does it look like a spike though or is it a root?
And thanks for letting me know about the cinnamon, I thought it can be added whenever, I'm glad to know I don't need to, cause it doesn't look too pretty sprinkled on the leaves and I'm not fond of the smell:)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 5:45AM
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shelbianne(Pretoria, South Africa, Humid Sub-Tropical Climate, Zone 11)

Here's another picture of it cause I'm not too sure the first on is clear enough:)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 5:51AM
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westoh Z6

I'd guess new root :(

Still, it's an indicator that things are doing OK.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 6:48AM
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Agree new root,if you look closely you will see the tip is green and the based. Silvery this is how a root looks,a new spike would be all green and the tip not pointy.anyways this shows your phal is getting happy so its still a very good signð velleta

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:08AM
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It's a root. This is fairly common for phals that are recovering after losing a lot of roots. A good sign!

Edited to add a photo of a phal I rescued that's doing the same thing. The two bottom leaves are in really rough shape, and probably should have fallen off when the others did (I found this in a coworker's trash, totally dehydrated), but shockingly, they never died. This guy finally has a root system that can support the plant again. After three less-than-stellar leaves, it has sprouted a perfect, healthy, normal-sized leaf. Hopefully a spike isn't too far behind.

This post was edited by Danielle317 on Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 15:18

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:12PM
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I have had this one baby pphalaenopsis
that had flowers 2 yrs ago n hasn't grown well this the frist day of spring I recived a Orchid Garden for
My birthday which had 3 phalaenopsis n a lucky bamboo the banboo is doing fine. But I seem to have a
Brown thumb with Orchids. So come to find out the Orchids all had
Root rot got that all cleared up, but now the flowers which I knew die after the rot problem. I cut off a green steam not know where to cut cut it below the second node now just like the baby its drying up will I get more spikes r did I just get another green plant with no flowers ever again?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:03AM
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