How big can a Phalaenopsis get?

bamboo_ca(z10 SoCA)September 25, 2009

Hi everyone,

My question is:

How big can a phal get?

I have seven phals in my tiny but growing collection. One of my phals in particular grows significantly faster than the others. It is also now very large by comparison (larger than all the others combined). I have been to several orchid shows now and I haven't yet seen a phal quite as large. I don't know which variety it is since I got it at Home Depot almost 18 months ago, however its blooms are large and white with a touch of yellow in their center. It has 12 leaves, which are also very large (most are almost a foot long and four inches wide).

I've noticed with my other phals that they like to take a rest after blooming. I've also noticed they typically don't put out new leaves and roots while the flower spike is nearing completion or while they are in bloom. My big phal however grows continuously, putting out new leaves and roots at almost the same rate year-round, regardless of whether or not the plant is flowering. The bloom spike is also large however the blooms only last a couple of months after they open and drop quickly. Sadly, the plant blooms only once a year (so far anyway). To a newbie like myself this seems unusual, but is it? What varieties get this large?

Thanks

Chad

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jerry_meola(SW Florida)

size is a function of age and consistent even care.

I have a friend that has oa Phal in a 24 inch pot, it is very old.

There is not much interest in large phals so that is why you do not see them raised.

Commercially we consider that the cost of the plant doubles each year it is held. Very few justify the expense of conitinued holding of the plant.

I raisw lots of Catleya in 14-20 inch baskets but am not interested in raising a large Phal. But even these find very few customers who are willing to pay the price necessary to justify the expense.

And Phals normally only flower once a year in the cooler months. They require a 15 degree drop in temperature from daytime to nighttime.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 5:46AM
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smwboxer

"And Phals normally only flower once a year in the cooler months. They require a 15 degree drop in temperature from daytime to nighttime."

Actually, your typical mature hybrid Phal. will bloom serveral times a year if you give it enough light. The only two I keep are in my office window and get just shy of Catt. light. They put out a new spike very soon after the old spike is cut off and have been doing so for years.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 7:10AM
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ttkidd(Toronto ON)

"And Phals normally only flower once a year in the cooler months. They require a 15 degree drop in temperature from daytime to nighttime."

...however, there are also a number of phal species that are summer bloomers. (ie: Phal violacea) and require no temp drop.

Ultimate size depends on the species, or hybrid parentage. Some phals will never get a leaf span more than a couple inches, while the individual leaves on Phal gigantea can get up to 36" long x 10" wide.

Tyler

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 8:16AM
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sakeofsilence(9)

Ive seen some HUGE Phal. lobbi...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 9:43PM
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