Friday, September 14, 2007
Orchids in Action
While my dendrobiums grow, bloom, and multiply faster than I can keep up with, I have waited patiently for my large phalaenopsis (moth orchid) to bloom. My largest one (Phal. Brother Mirage "Brother") has many aerial roots and lots of dark green healthy foliage. It sits inside a bright window with sheer curtains shielding it from direct sunlight.
I'm not certain how to best treat this orchid now, but I'm following the tricks I learned from my Dendrobium nobile: give them little water and no fertilizer until the flower buds are definitely set, and then water and use a high phosphorus orchid fertilizer. The Dendrobium nobile would turn its little buds into new plants (keikis) instead of flowers if watered/fertilizer too soon.
A phalaenopsis reblooming from a spent spike: this one was purchased for us as a gift and we watched it bloom from May till late August. As recommended, I cut it off just above the uppermost green node (watch that you don't confuse the nodes for the marks left on the spike from where the dead flowers fell off -- you want to cut below these). You can see the beginnings of a new flower spike growing from this node.