Snapped second spike

obsidianlycanthropeJune 13, 2014

Hi,

Righty my orchid (probably a Phalaenopsis, blue dyed one) started sending out a second spike while still in bloom much to my delight! However I managed to snap it while moving it, a few mm above the second node. I let a friend look after it right after, and the blooms on the original stem are now droopy and the lowest roots are brown and squishy (so I assume overwatering). Took it out of the pot, and cut off some of the squishiest (?new word) roots to free up the drainage holes and have started letting it dry out a little. There are 3 new buds on the top next to the droopy flowers, so I guess it can't be damaged beyond repair. It has also been in full bloom for a good 2+ months! My question is....what should I do with this second spike, bearing in mind the orchid now has a slightly sad looking root system. It has produced lots of sticky sap over the wound, but I am unsure if I should leave it in hope of regrowth or just lop it off :(

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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

You can cut spikes down to live nodes and you might get secondary spikes to grow and flower, but be warned the flower count will be less than on the primary spike.
Numerous past threads on this subject can be read in the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Past thread on this subject

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 7:28PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

I would cut off the spike and concentrate on the roots. Get the plant healthy and you'll get new, fresh spikes in the fall.

Where do you live and what are your growing conditions, light, temps, etc.?

Jane

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:41PM
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obsidianlycanthrope

Thanks for you advice arthurm and jan_ny, I have cut the second spike down the the lowest live node. Really not many healthy green roots now, most are collapsed and brown and dead. I will repot it tomorrow with fresh orchid potting medium. I will post a root photo when I repot if that is ok? I am in Wales (about 20 degrees C in the day this time of year), and the plant is in a north facing window that gets night bright sun in the evening but a tree outside helps prevent direct sunlight.Thinking I may have to cut off the main bloom spike as the flowers have now switched from looking droopy to almost "skeletal". The petals now feel a little firmer and some are standing back up again, but they feel a little dry and the veins are thickened and the parts between look thinned. I Would like your valuable opinions if you think it is best to chop the main spike off to try and save the plant (grow more roots specifically...)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:57PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

The flowers are finished. Cut the spike off. You are not giving the plant enough light. Do you have a window which gets some morning sun?

Jane

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 4:05PM
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obsidianlycanthrope

Aye I was thinking it is best to cut the spike off now :(. Should I cut it right down at the bottom of the spike, or above the second live node? Sure it will recover for next time I will keep a good eye on the roots from now on!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:16PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Cut it down to the base of the spike. Give it good care over the summer and you'll get new spikes in the fall.

Jane

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 12:18AM
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obsidianlycanthrope

Thank you so much Jane, you are magic. Cutting the spike tonight and will move it to a sunnier window. Last question...what is up with this new leaf? I have been careful not to get water on the leaves, and i only water in the evening to avoid scorching :(. Last question, I promise!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 5:47AM
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westoh Z6

Looks like sunburn to me??? If so, the brown spot will stay, but the rest of the leaf should progress as normal.

Also be careful watering in the evenings, you're have to be sure the portions of the plant that's above the pot will dry before nightfall, else fungal issues/crown rot can occur.

Good luck,

Bob

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 6:49AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

I agree with Bob. Looks like sunburn.

Jane

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 12:20AM
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