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Orchids: Phal on cork

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Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

October 20, 2012
11:42 AM

Post #9310631

Last winter I put my phal on a slab of cork. Bought a piece at a pet store (cheaper than a garden center). Used sphagnum all around it, and secured it as best I could with pantyhose. Ok, crude, but the zipties didn't work. LOL Any-hoo...someone that is an orchid person looked at it this summer when I had it hanging in a tree and said "Looks pretty bad, it will probably die. I'd remove the crappy leaf off the bottom tho." Ok, I did that and I could see nice, healthy green roots in amonst the moss. Well, shut my mouth...a couple days ago in the g'house I see it is making a bloom spike!!!!! Yay! No photo of that, but here it is shortly after I secured it to the cork.

Thumbnail by Anna_Z
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dyzzypyxxy

dyzzypyxxy
Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 20, 2012
12:54 PM

Post #9310679

Does it have any new leaves since you took the picture above, Anna? That reddish cast to the leaves looks like a bit of a problem, maybe too bright light? The leaves aren't shriveled though, so that's a good sign.

Did you fertilize it regularly through the summer? Phals do like to dry out between waterings, but when they're mounted they dry out a lot faster than if they are in a pot because of all the good air flow around them. Probably through summer it would need watering every day or two if you didn't get rain.

Sometimes plants will put on a flower spike as an adios (as Laurel so perfectly said it) right before they die. Did you leave it outside after the nights were cooling off, and now it's warmer in the greenhouse? It might think it's had winter and now it's spring. My phals all bloom in the spring (but they stay outside year 'round).

A new picture of how it looks right now would be enlightening
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

October 20, 2012
1:32 PM

Post #9310707

Yes, it has a couple of new leaves. It looks very healthy to me. I will go take a pic...
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

October 20, 2012
1:59 PM

Post #9310725

Ok, now, let's see if my computer will cooperate on this.

I just went and took these 2 pix. Hope you can see the bloom spike. I think it looks quite healthy. The whole plant, I mean. I had it hanging in a tree all summer and just took it in the g'house a couple weeks ago. I really don't care WHEN it blooms, if it has a desire to it may bloom any darn time it pleases. LOL

Thumbnail by Anna_Z   Thumbnail by Anna_Z         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

OCCAROL
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 10b)

October 20, 2012
2:11 PM

Post #9310731

Looks happy to me!
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

October 20, 2012
2:23 PM

Post #9310736

I guess if you go back and look at the original pic it looks MUCH better now than it did 10 months ago, which is when I put it on the cork.

dyzzypyxxy

dyzzypyxxy
Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 20, 2012
3:06 PM

Post #9310753

It absolutely does Anna. It looks fine.

You're right of course, since you have a greenhouse your phals can bloom any ol' time. If you give them a week or two of cool-ish nights outside before you bring them into the greenhouse each fall, I'll bet they'll put out spikes every year at this time. Mine respond to the temperature changes that way, too. Last winter, in January we had a couple of nights going down into the 30's so I brought all my phals indoors just for those two nights. By the next week all 4 of them had spikes starting.

One other thing to watch is that water doesn't pool and sit in the cup of the leaves. Phals grow on tree trunks with the leaves facing downwards in nature, so they drain perfectly.You've got it sitting at an angle right now so it looks like the crown would drain just fine, but some people insist on setting their plants "at attention". If water sits in the crown the plant will rot.

Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

October 20, 2012
3:10 PM

Post #9310759

I was told that at the onset that it would probably do ok on the cork as long as it was at an angle.

Makes me want to go grab a couple at WM when they have them. I still kick myself for not getting one of those gorgeous green ones when they had them. Now that I know that I can do "this" with a phal, I'm not so scared. And i LOVE the Vanda's. Just wish I could find a couple in some bright, pretty color. My blue one bloomed twice in about 6 months. The pink one is pouting its way to death. Treated it the same as the blue, which is going great. I need to come to Florida and get a couple, I guess. Hmmm...would any of you nice Florida people consider being purchase agents for some Wisconsin cheese as your fee??? I would pay, of course. :>)
Qwilter
Fleming Island, FL
(Zone 9a)

October 20, 2012
4:27 PM

Post #9310805

I LOVE WI cheese but am such a novice I would not trust myself to purchase an orchid for anyone else.
hawkarica
Odessa, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 21, 2012
5:45 AM

Post #9311076

Anna, Phals absolutely hate change. When you mounted it on the cork, it rebelled and went into a funk. It looks like it is over that and I think it will do fine for you now. Don't move it around unless you have to.

Jim
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

October 21, 2012
7:08 AM

Post #9311135

Gads, it is just like my Spousal Unit...he hates change and doesn't like to move around much either. Do I have a male orchid???? LOLOL
hawkarica
Odessa, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 21, 2012
2:45 PM

Post #9311457

:>)

Jim
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

December 25, 2012
3:22 PM

Post #9366957

The bloom spike on the phal is looking great. AND...*drum roll*...it has ANOTHER bloom spike started out of the bottom of the plant. It's maybe about 3 inches long. I feel so lucky!!!!! And on Christmas Day I see this gift. :>)
OCCAROL
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 10b)

December 25, 2012
5:39 PM

Post #9367026

Congratulations! You're a good orchid mom. That's a nice Christmas gift!
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

December 25, 2012
5:44 PM

Post #9367029

I must be...or else it's beginner's luck!
Qwilter
Fleming Island, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 26, 2012
6:27 AM

Post #9367292

Congrats. I have a Phal that I'm hoping doesn't die on me. The new leaves look healthy & I repotted him a couple weeks ago. looking forward to seeing yours blooming.

dyzzypyxxy

dyzzypyxxy
Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 26, 2012
9:42 AM

Post #9367505

We want to see, Anna! Pictures, pictures please.

I've been rescuing Phals off the death rack at Lowe's for $3 to $5 all this fall. They got a little chillin in October when Sandy went by, and now all but one of the rescues has spikes, and one actually opened a flower a couple of days ago! It pays to have patience with Phals, I figure.

Both of these are rescues, the second one has been blooming for nearly 6 weeks!

Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy   Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

December 26, 2012
10:06 AM

Post #9367527

I want to go to a Lowe's...either Rockford or Dubuque. None in Madison. HD won't sell them cheap, they say they go back to the grower. *sigh*...could have had quite a few phal rescues. LOL

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