To cut, or not to cut

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KategoricalKarnivore

 
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To cut, or not to cut

by KategoricalKarnivore » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:31 pm

Ok so I have no orchid experience. I got 2 as impulse buys at Walmart. They are growing well but I have a question.

My small one is sending up a flower spike but it still has the old spike from when I bought it. It is still green and alive. Should I cut the old one or leave it? Will it bloom again from the old one even though a new one is growing?

Thanks for any help y'all.
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Re: To cut, or not to cut

by Sakaaaaa » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:31 am

I cut flower stalks only when they're yellow, wrinkled, and dry. Yes, sometimes an old stalk can bloom while another new stalk is blooming. One phal I know created a spike, bloomed on a new, and bloomed on an old stalk at the same time.
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Re: To cut, or not to cut

by xr280xr » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:16 pm

I agree. It will probably grow a branch from one of the dormant buds on the spike. Their willingness to do this varies from plant to plant. One of my orchids refuses to keep a spike. As soon as its done blooming, the spike immediately dies off, which has made it very difficult to propagate.
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Re: To cut, or not to cut

by KategoricalKarnivore » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:17 pm

xr280xr wrote: As soon as its done blooming, the spike immediately dies off, which has made it very difficult to propagate.

Again, no experience here, but what do you mean it's hard to propagate because it dies off? Can you get more plants from the spike like cutting VFT spikes and planting?
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Re: To cut, or not to cut

by xr280xr » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:23 pm

KategoricalKarnivore wrote:Again, no experience here, but what do you mean it's hard to propagate because it dies off? Can you get more plants from the spike like cutting VFT spikes and planting?

Yes, but not as easily as a VFT spike. Those little lumps or seams every few inches on the spike are a bract covering a dormant bud. The bud is capable of becoming a flower, a branch, a clone of the plant. Sometimes it will happen spontaneously (or when the mother plant is in bad health) and the little plantlet is known as a keiki. You can buy a paste containing hormones called keiki paste to apply to those nodes to encourage a keiki to sprout but it's best done after it has finished flowering because that's when the plant's internal hormones are most cooperative. Keiki paste is the most common way of cloning an orchid.

You can also cut up the spike and grow them in sterile culture. I've tried in basic MS media, which isn't really what you're supposed to use, without any luck. I've also cut off the spike and just laid it on some live sphagnum moss and kept it very humid and gotten a few strikes. But I made the mistake of leaving them in that humidity too long and they rotted. I think water probably dripped into their crown which is always the easiest way to kill an adult.

I've also read that on a very mature phal that's getting very tall/long, you can cut off the stump below the leaves and the newest roots, but with a few roots attached and it can supposedly grow a new plant. I've never tried that one.

Since my spike on the one plant dies off so quickly, it has been hard to get a keiki from keiki paste. I tried last year and it just ended up growing new branches and flowered for the entire year instead :lol:
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Re: To cut, or not to cut

by KategoricalKarnivore » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:22 pm

Awesome. Great information. Thanks a bunch.
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Re: To cut, or not to cut

by KategoricalKarnivore » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:18 pm

Ok so I noticed the little covering over the last bract on my other orchid was swelling and splitting so I tore it off. This was underneath. Am I correct in assuming this will be a new branch with flowers coming from it? Thanks.
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Re: To cut, or not to cut

by xr280xr » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:02 pm

Most likely. It might wait until next year before going for it though. That is what I was referring to above:

xr280xr wrote:Those little lumps or seams every few inches on the spike are a bract covering a dormant bud. The bud is capable of becoming a flower, a branch, a clone of the plant.

I believe it is initially a little clump of undifferentiated cells. I haven't ever noticed a keiki that early on so I'm not sure what they look like at that stage.
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Re: To cut, or not to cut

by KategoricalKarnivore » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:11 pm

Ok cool thanks. Well it went from basically nothing there to that size in about 2 weeks. So maybe it'll just keep right on growing. Fingers crossed.
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Re: To cut, or not to cut

by xr280xr » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:50 pm

KategoricalKarnivore wrote:Ok cool thanks. Well it went from basically nothing there to that size in about 2 weeks. So maybe it'll just keep right on growing. Fingers crossed.

No problem. Yeah, it actually might keep growing now. I wasn't thinking about what time of year it was yesterday! Cold/cooler nighttime temperatures are what prompt them to bloom.
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S. leuco "H.C. White"
D. muscipula: "Microdent", "Dentate"
C. follicularis: Hummer's Giant

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