Initiating spikes?

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The Mutant

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I'm trying to get some of the Paphs I've recently purchased to bloom and figured they might want a temperature drop like Phals do to initiate some spikes. Is this correct thinking on my behalf?

If so, do they want a temperature drop for approximately six week like I've read on OB somewhere that Phals want?

I've only chosen the ones that I consider being blooming sized, so none of my babies will be put through this, and only the ones that love a bit of lower temperatures that might be hard to achieve in a flat. To ensure this temperature drop I've put some of them outside on my balcony since the Swedish summer nights are not particularly warm (and the temperatures in general are low at the moment), and I thought to move them inside during the warmer days since my living room is my "cold" room at the moment, thus making sure they don't suffer too big a temperature fluctuation.

The ones I have outside right now are: Paph. gratrixianum, Paph. villosum, Paph. helenae, Paph. venustum, Paph. appletonianum, Paph. hainanense, and Paph. wardii. If any of these do not like temperatures down to 12*C, please let me know so they can go inside again!

So, is this a good idea or a bad one, or should I wait until autumn to do this since I don't know how long these low temperatures will last? I know that if it's okay for me to do this, they'll have a bit of weird flowering cycle as compared to the rest, but I think I could live with that. :)
 
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biothanasis

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Sounds ok to do, but it would perhaps stress your plants. Even if they start to create a spike, what will happen to the spike if temps rise, is rather a mystery (but most probably blast?). Although, most of the paphs you mentioned, like cool temps.

On the other hand, one thing that we growers should have is patience. At least this is how I see it... :D

Good luck!!
 

Shiva

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Patience indeed and lots of it.
I just got the order I placed last december at Orchids Limited. I had to wait for spring and for Jason Fischer to come to Canada for a speaking engagement, then post it to me. Six whole months of waiting. But I'm glad I did. Very nice and vigorous plants. I'll do it again next fall if I find something I really like. ;)
 

The Mutant

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Sounds ok to do, but it would perhaps stress your plants. Even if they start to create a spike, what will happen to the spike if temps rise, is rather a mystery (but most probably blast?). Although, most of the paphs you mentioned, like cool temps.

On the other hand, one thing that we growers should have is patience. At least this is how I see it... :D

Good luck!!
It's stress I'm after since it's stress that makes them bloom I think (if Paphs work like Phals that is), but I don't want there to be too much stress as to be harmful to the plants - they're my babies after all.

I'll only do it with those that like colder temperatures which might be hard to achieve in a flat, the rest are staying indoors since I figured that for those the natural temperature drop that occurs every autumn/winter, even indoors here in Sweden, will be enough (it's enough for the Phals at least) and then these colder loving guys will move into my kitchen, which will then be my "cold" room although it's now my "warm" room (gigantic window with no protection from the sun except some shading cloth and an uninsulated cold storage underneath it is what's causing this). A lot of switching around which the Paphs probably won't appreciate.

Oh, when it comes to Paphs I think my patience might be limitless. I don't mind waiting at all. :D I have a superbiens putting up a sheath which I enjoy checking on from time to time, and that's doing nice but slow progress.


For how long period of time should I do this do you think? Should I let them stay outside during the entire summer? I don't mind doing so and I think they'll love it (as long as I take them inside when the temperatures drop too much which they'll apparently do during some of the nights of next week). It's a lousy summer for humans, but a great one for cold loving Paphs. :D
 

newbud

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I'm wondering. I have some Phals that haven't bloomed in 5 years. They look great, lots of roots, just won't spike and bloom. I've tried epsom salts and other blooming mixtures, nothing. What's this about cooling them? Although it's summer here now I really won't be able to give them any kind of cold shock other than the refrigerator. :)
 
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biothanasis

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The Mutant: I cannot suggest something as I do not know your conditions from close. The thing is that they will need something imitating their cycle to initiate spiking. But most plants are temperamental and there are many factors contributing to initiation of spiking (temps (actual temp range, differrence between day and night), light (intensity & time of exposure), nutrients etc). Since the required temps will not be constant for a period, then I think it does not worth it, not to mention that constant changes in conditions will stress them, but not in the good way. I repeat that it would be better to let them adjust to your conditions (give them the best you can provide for these species) and let them start doing things on their own. ;) :D
If you still would like to make them flower now, perhaps someone else could help you. I am not an expert, but I have killed many paphs, so that I know what to avoid......hehehehehe!!


newbud: most phals need a day-night difference in temprature of about 10oC (+-3oC), to initiate spiking...! Fertilizer mixtures might work, but it is in their nature to experience such temps in order to spike & bloom, usually growers do this at autumn in northern hemishpere. At least this is what I know, so perhaps someone else could help you more!
 

The Mutant

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The Mutant: I cannot suggest something as I do not know your conditions from close. The thing is that they will need something imitating their cycle to initiate spiking. But most plants are temperamental and there are many factors contributing to initiation of spiking (temps (actual temp range, differrence between day and night), light (intensity & time of exposure), nutrients etc). Since the required temps will not be constant for a period, then I think it does not worth it, not to mention that constant changes in conditions will stress them, but not in the good way. I repeat that it would be better to let them adjust to your conditions (give them the best you can provide for these species) and let them start doing things on their own. ;) :D
If you still would like to make them flower now, perhaps someone else could help you. I am not an expert, but I have killed many paphs, so that I know what to avoid......hehehehehe!!
Thanks biothanasis and since I have received similar advice from people on OB, I'll do as you guys say (rather, I've already done it). It's better to move those that want a cold period out during the autumn instead since the temperatures are more constant then.

I didn't want to make them flower now really, but I thought that it might take 6 months from the colder period for them to spike, I'm just a newbie in general so I have really no idea what I'm doing! :rollhappy: It's good I have experienced people to rein me in when I get my "great" ideas. ;)
 

Ruth

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Just my 2 cents, but if I understand right most plants including orchids have a specific blooming time. Check out http://www.slipperorchids.info/paphdatasheets/index.html

It's stress I'm after since it's stress that makes them bloom I think
It is an interesting thot. I don't think that stress is what makes them bloom. I think you would have better blooms if the plant wasn't under stress.:confused:

Hope that made sense. Just my thots.
 

NYEric

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Many Paphs bloom off-season; and shocking your plants with temp drops may kill some of the warmer growing species. The best way to initiate spikes/blooming is to have mature blooming size plants!
 

cnycharles

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the reason some of the phal species flower when there are cooler temps is because they grow where there are seasonal monsoons (usually). when the rainy season comes, the plants get cooled off from the cooling effects of lots of rain and breezes. if your paph is from an area that doesn't get monsoonal rains, or a cooler period in winter, then it isn't going to know what to do if you start dropping temps to cool it. it is better to learn where your species are from before you start changing things like temperatures on purpose. if a plant is from higher elevation, then it's likely that it will have a nightly drop in temperature, and if it's from higher latitude (say china instead of hawaii), then it's more likely to have seasonal temperature fluctuations. if it's from an area that has monsoons during one part of the year, then it will have periodic temperature changes, and if it has none of these, and/or it grows near sea level, it's likely to need higher temperatures with little seasonal or day/night temp changes
 

Carper

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Just to add to what's been suggested already, my collection is nearly all paphs, mainly warm growing, but some of the cooler ones also. Daytime temps are above 80F usually but nightime temps are set at around 56F. Living in the UK, this usually occurs most nights especially as we are having a really poor summer!:( Earlier this year I had a large number of trees removed which were surrounding my greenhouse. In short, this gave me a significant increase in daylight, and when the sun does come out, possibly around 4-5 hrs extra direct sunlight per day. As everything else, including culture has remained the same for quite a few months, I can only narrow this down to be one of the main reasons for a good number of my plants spiking. I'm also trying a feeding programme similar to the k-lite being experimented by some growers on this forum which I also feel is contributing.

Gary
UK
 

The Mutant

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Just my 2 cents, but if I understand right most plants including orchids have a specific blooming time. Check out http://www.slipperorchids.info/paphdatasheets/index.html


It is an interesting thot. I don't think that stress is what makes them bloom. I think you would have better blooms if the plant wasn't under stress.:confused:

Hope that made sense. Just my thots.
"Stress" was a bad choice of word, I should have written "cue" as Ray did on OB, my bad. Although stress is good for all creatures, plants and otherwise, but; it must be of the right kind and never for a longer period of time. But it's a word with too many negative associations, so I'll avoid it from now on. :)

Growers can manipulate plants into blooming out of season with temperature drops and increasing/decreasing of light levels etc. so even though plants do have a natural blooming cycle, this can be manipulated. Maybe that was what I was trying to do? I've no idea... What seemed a good idea at the time turned out not be one. I live and I learn. Hopefully ;)

the reason some of the phal species flower when there are cooler temps is because they grow where there are seasonal monsoons (usually). when the rainy season comes, the plants get cooled off from the cooling effects of lots of rain and breezes. if your paph is from an area that doesn't get monsoonal rains, or a cooler period in winter, then it isn't going to know what to do if you start dropping temps to cool it. it is better to learn where your species are from before you start changing things like temperatures on purpose. if a plant is from higher elevation, then it's likely that it will have a nightly drop in temperature, and if it's from higher latitude (say china instead of hawaii), then it's more likely to have seasonal temperature fluctuations. if it's from an area that has monsoons during one part of the year, then it will have periodic temperature changes, and if it has none of these, and/or it grows near sea level, it's likely to need higher temperatures with little seasonal or day/night temp changes
I checked the slipperorchids.info page so I wouldn't attempt this with the wrong species (I think that my Paph. lawrenceanum or my Paph. philippinense would've been very upset to be put outdoors in the middle of these cold temperatures we are experiencing at the moment). I don't want to kill my darlings after all!

Just to add to what's been suggested already, my collection is nearly all paphs, mainly warm growing, but some of the cooler ones also. Daytime temps are above 80F usually but nightime temps are set at around 56F. Living in the UK, this usually occurs most nights especially as we are having a really poor summer!:( Earlier this year I had a large number of trees removed which were surrounding my greenhouse. In short, this gave me a significant increase in daylight, and when the sun does come out, possibly around 4-5 hrs extra direct sunlight per day. As everything else, including culture has remained the same for quite a few months, I can only narrow this down to be one of the main reasons for a good number of my plants spiking. I'm also trying a feeding programme similar to the k-lite being experimented by some growers on this forum which I also feel is contributing.


Gary
UK

I've read that increasing the light can get Phals to bloom and this might be one of the reasons why they do so in our homes in Sweden; during fall/winter they experience a temperature drop and during spring an increase in light levels. Hopefully this will work for my Paphs too and hopefully the temperature drop will be enough of a cue to those that want it colder since I can't lower the temperatures too much being a windowsill grower an all (my cats would NOT appreciate 15*C indoors).

I've also joined the "K-Lite crew" (ordered from Ray) and is eagerly anticipating any kind of reaction from my plants. :D
 

Rick

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Since I grow in a greenhouse I end up with both an annual temperature and day length cycle that seems to have things blooming on a pretty regular schedule.

Attempts to "force" blooming "out of season" haven't generally gone well for me, and many plants that have bloomed outside of the usual blooming time for me have died, or been set back for a few years. So I pretty much gave up on trying to push stuff to bloom.

Instead I increased the size of my collection and picked up different species that bloom at different times of the year. Not only does it keep me in flowers to look at, but gives me a kind of calendar of things to look forward too.

The magic number for me was about 100 adult plants. And if you get some of the cochlopetalums then you could be assured of having at least a few things blooming year round.

Having this forum also helps since we have some Southern Hemisphere growers that have opposite seasons of some of my favorites.
 

Tom499

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The magic number for me was about 100 adult plants. And if you get some of the cochlopetalums then you could be assured of having at least a few things blooming year round.

Sounds like I need to double my collection size. :eek:
 

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