Phal Orchid

jasdipJuly 22, 2012

I asked for, and got a phalaeonopsis orchid from Freecycle.

It's finished blooming, and I know, that on occasion they can re-bloom.

Mom loved these orchids, and when the blooms died, she always just bought a new one.

Has anyone had any luck in getting it to re-bloom? Any tips you can give me?

I'll see if there's an orchid forum (if there is one) and search as well, but of course, as always you guys are my first choice in finding anything out.

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Sue, yes - they will rest a couple of months and then set bud again. IF the stalk turns yellow/brown, just cut it off until you reach green. If it dies down to the crown, that's O.K., too - just cut it off - another will emerge to take its place.

In order to re-bloom, they require bright light and humidity. When you see a new bud stalk forming, you can give it a weak dose of fertilizer, made for blooming houseplants.

When the blooms fall off and the stalk dies back is when I prune the dead roots off - those roots that are black and hollow - just pop it out of the pot and cut the dead roots off with scissors and place in FRESH medium.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 12:59PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Yes there is an orchid forum I have asked for help recently when my new plant started wilting.

I have many Phals, I have had some send out new flower stalks and bloom.
The method I now use for watering is to pop out the clear inner pot and looking at the roots, bright green means that they are nice and wet if they are the silvery gray they need water. If you see black or mushy roots that means too much water and the roots are rotten those are the ones that need removing. If it is not in bloom you can take it out of the clear pot clean up the roots trim any damaged ones and add new media. But you must sterilize everything, use a bleach water solution, wash the scissors, tools and new pots, don't reuse media from other plants. Use orchid media from a garden center.

If the one you get still has the stalk if it is dry and brown cut it off about an inch from the bottom, if the stalk still looks and feels green it is possible for it to rebloom, some people say they cut it back to the first node at the top, if you have a tiny bud looking thing on the tip, called a mitten it does look like one, leave it be.
There's a ton of information online to search.
Right now I have my non flowered ones outside in the atrium, they love to be out side but pay attention to good drainage,
Inside ones I put the clear pots in the sink and give the rootball a good soaking, leaving them in the sink to fully drain before returning to the pots, all the pots need drainage holes.

My emergency plant reacted to the big temperature change from the store, sitting in the car for a while in the hot car then into the house. It went into a major wilt and lost most of the flowers but the two on the blooming end are good so maybe it will put on more, it does have a mitten.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Here's the AOS (American Orchid Society)culture sheet for Phals.
They grow differently depending on where you are located. I'm in Florida so my phals are outside in the shade. They start putting out spikes after the 1st cold snap and start to bloom after February.
Be careful. They are addictive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Phalaenopsis

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 2:51PM
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I picked it up Sunday nite. It has lovely tall stalks, no dried brown ones at all. I think I see a little bright green bud.

Should I let it get completely dry before watering?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 7:54PM
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You don't want it to completely dry out, Jas - mist it occasionally during the week. Pick one day a week and water it that day, until water runs through the pot, then drain it.

One thing to remember about Orchids is that they need to be DUSTED - dust clogs the pores in the leaves and the plant can't process the elements - ie - it will die from lack of oxygen and moisture.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 8:00PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Right never let it get bone dry! It should have a clear inner pot unless someone repotted with out one, so you can see those roots, nice healthy green is good, when silvery gray they are dry.
Also I don't think we mentioned it but you don't want to get water into the center of the leaves that can cause rotting, if you do be sure to wick it out dry, the saying is never let daylight set with it wet. So water early, let it set to drain, and put back in its place. I watered all of my indoors ones today, I always do it at the beginning of the week. I wipe the leaves down with a wet cloth when I water.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:35AM
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It's a lovely plant. So tall, and the leaves are huge. The ends have a little nubby thing, is that the "mitten" you are referring to, RC?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:42AM
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Raven, that's a beautiful, healthy Orchid - mine are going into their rest period right now - I will miss their blooms!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:05AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

that is Jasdips orchid LOL and yes it is a nice healthy one and YES that is the mitten there on the very tip, if you keep it happy it definitely could turn that mitten into a bloom for you.
I noticed yesterday when watering one of mine that had dropped the flowers and I thought was all done has put out a new bright green mitten. I am hopeful! The new one that went through the climate changed and dropped most of the blooms is also looking like it may want to put on more blooms.

Jas, inside of that pot is there a clear plastic liner pot? there usually always is and it can be very hard to see if they stuffed moss around it, try and dig around and see. because if there is you will be better off pulling that entire pot out to do the watering. I see the bottom of your clay pot showing a lot of moisture that is not good you do not want to have moisture staying in the pot or the bottom it will cause root rot. The new plant I got the liner is more like a heavy plastic bag instead of a hard pot but it does come out once I pulled the moss out, I always put some little gravel down in between the real pot and the plastic one.
If you want to have it get humidity you can put a tray with just a little water in it and a layer of gravel and set your pot on that, it provides moisture to the air but not soak the pot in it.

very nice plant you got there. You can put it outside during the day they love being outside just don't let it get too much direct sun it can scorch the leaves.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:44PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Since I have one that I just watered that is sitting in the bathroom sink draining I thought it might help to take pictures of the roots through the clear inner pot. As you can see the very tips of the growing root may have a tint of red or rosy color.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:09PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX


    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:11PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

And a couple of my orchids

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:13PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

The one whose roots are above

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:46PM
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Oh, geeze - I knew that was Jas' Orchid - I have CRS, so please excuse me!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:49PM
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LOL Kay.

Raven, the clay pot was moist, as I had just watered it.

Here are my roots. They look good to me......?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 3:11PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Jasdip it looks like it could use a bit more water when you water it really let it soak in so all the roots are green, I see some of the very bottom ones are silvery that's okay if it has been a few days since watering, but if you just watered that area should be green not silver. Really important is after you soak it really well in the clear pot is to let it set in the sink to drain before going back into the clay pot.

You have a very nice healthy plant.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:03PM
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I soaked it in a container, drained and now back in a pot.
I'm not used to a plant without any soil. Do the roots just grow out the holes and above the plant all the time? How do you know when it's pot-bound? No need to put in a larger pot?

Is there a purpose for the bark chips? I put the plastic pot in another solid ceramic pot, without the chips for now, just for ease to take the plastic pot out and soak it when I water it.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:07PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Yes the roots are supposed to be all over like that, they are actually air roots. In the wild orchids grow hanging on to trees, not in the dirt like the regular plants we are used to. So no soil. The bark and moss are more to keep it compact and fitting into pots, they will always look root bound but the like that. You can get ones that hang in trees with the roots hanging free. My sister has some that are on a big piece of drift wood that hangs outside on the pool patio.
It takes a while to make your self grasp how to do it.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:27PM
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If you want healthy roots for your orchids, read more about Semi-Hydroponics culture for your orchids at First Rays-dot-com.

Phals especially love semi-hydroponic culture. If you're like me and tend to under water your phals, when repot the plant, alter a layer of sphagnum moss with a layer of hydroponic medium. The moss will keep the medium moisture longer without rotting its roots.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:47AM
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Thanks for all of your help!!

Since this is such a healthy, lovely plant that I got from Freecycle, I'd love to see it burst forth into blooms!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:24AM
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I have one that was given to my mother before she got sick (2000) and she died later that year. It has bloomed every year since, I re-potted it once. In late Fall I give it a minute dose of fertilizer and it will put out a new flower stem that will bloom and stay in bloom for months. I don't know if it is me or her, but that crazy plant won't give up...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:44PM
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