Excessive flowering

orchidnickNovember 6, 2011

Too much of anything is no good (I can think of a couple of exceptions). Too much ice cream gives you a belly ache I tell my grand kids. I have heard of plants blooming themselves to death but saw a first hand example yesterday. An excellent grower in our group brought in a Masd roseola which was covered with flowers. There were so many flowers you could hardly see the leaves.

She stated that she only left the flowers on to display it to the group. As soon as she gets it home, she plans to remove all of the flowers. It's not a large plant and that huge flower load may stress the plant to the extreme she stated. The group of seasoned growers agreed with her.

I seldom face 'too many flowers' but it pays to be aware of the problem.


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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

I'll cut these off as soon as i get a decent pic. before mum gets set back too much.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 7:25PM
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Beautiful Tollumnia. Apparently you have many of them. Do you ever sell them and import them to the US? I have an import lic and would be interested in talking about it. I have about 20 of them and find a limited supply here. Let me know.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 8:12PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Well, there are a couple of ways to look at this.

As you mentioned there's the possible problem of taxing a plant into ill health by allowing a huge flower display to go on and on too long. I generally don't like that kind of display. I can appreciate the growers skill and ability, but I find it visually rather overwhelming. That's one of the reasons I hate African Violets. That massive glob of flowers on well grown plants just turns me off. The weird thing is I actually like the individual flowers, but not en mass.

What about plants that just naturally bloom themselves silly? My Scaphosepalum verrucosa has been in bloom continually for almost a year now and shows no signs of letting up (Thank you by the way. I love this one.) Over the weekend I was reading up on this plant and came across a blurb on the SBOE website which stated their original plant has been in flower continually since 1972. That's 39 years! So do you remove the flowers periodically on something like this?


    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 3:10PM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

It sounds like there are two problems here. The first is too many flowers on the plant at one time, as stated by Nick, and flowering for too long a period, as stated by Kevin. How do you treat each problem? Is the answer in both cases to cut off all the flowers? Or is each case treated differently? Why can't say only 50% of the flowers be cut off? And how do you know that you have a plant that does this naturally, and you'd be cutting the flowers off for naught?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 3:25PM
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On the Scaphosepalum verrucosum, I bought this plant from SBOE over 10 years ago and it has been in continuous bloom ever since. The flowers are small so their biomass compared to the rest of the plant is negligible. I never considered removing them. We all know that Dendrobium cuthbersonii blooms for up to 9 month. I know that Tom Perlite removes flowers from weak plants but ignores strong, robust plants and lets them do their thing.

The new member of that group of 'always in bloom' plants is a gigantic Pleurothallis titan which is really coming into it's own. I got it almost 2 years ago, it made it's first flower 1 1/2 years ago and it has not been without flower since then. Now it's making 2 to 3 three foot tall leaves larger than an outstretched hand every month and has 4 to 5 flowers most the time. I wonder how big this monster is going to get?

I have gotten trades and even purchases where a big selling point is that the division I'm getting is in bud. The first thing I do is to remove the bud as soon as I get the plant. Divided, transported, repotted in a different environment and on top of all that it should bloom? Maybe asking a little bit much.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 3:51PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Sorry Nick, I'm not about to tackle the guardians at the gates both there and here by trying to export some Tolumnias. Hard to find a source here and most of mine have come from an orchid growing buddy.

Burbank Orchids situated in Queensland Australia have some crosses of promise in their catalogue but i have no idea if they export to the USA.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 7:38PM
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