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Phrag. besseae f. flavum ‘Broadwaters’ AM/AOS

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southernbelle

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A single growth division from Woodstream last year has a spike!! Yay!! As soon as it blooms and I get a photo, I’ll cut it, but exciting to see. At one point, I was afraid I would lose this. It and all my besseae do not like the summer temps (high 84) in my grow room. Moved them up to a very bright window in my living room and they are much happier, coming back strong. Yay!!8692E4C5-FA1A-417D-B70A-57BB32C8B228.jpeg
 

Ray

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As soon as it blooms and I get a photo, I’ll cut it...
Why?

It seems to me that if your goal is to have the plant conserve energy, the thing to do is cut it now. Not that I would do so, but this is another area of common practice I wonder about.

I suspect that growing the spike and blossom consumes a great deal more energy than carrying it. Besides, if you let it bloom, when the flower drops, the green stalk will continue photosynthesizing and adding to the plant’s resources, or if it fails, the stored resources will be resorbed by the plant. Removing the green stalk prevents either of those from happening, and actually wastes the plant’s resources.
 

tomkalina

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Personally, I'd let it bloom. The mature growth looks strong enough to withstand the stress. If you do let it bloom, please post a photo of the flower.
 

BrucherT

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A single growth division from Woodstream last year has a spike!! Yay!! As soon as it blooms and I get a photo, I’ll cut it, but exciting to see. At one point, I was afraid I would lose this. It and all my besseae do not like the summer temps (high 84) in my grow room. Moved them up to a very bright window in my living room and they are much happier, coming back strong. Yay!!View attachment 22412
Relieved to see this recovery. After two horrifying spiralings-down of my beautiful besseae flavum, which I think would have bloomed this year had it not been for me not knowing how hard it takes heat, I finally got the message. Am looking for an electric wine bucket to set the pot in next summer. It’s coming back now, new leaf amidst the brown growth, three new basal fans. But damn I sure had a bad time with it and it’s great to see yours bouncing back so luxuriously.
 

southernbelle

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Why?

It seems to me that if your goal is to have the plant conserve energy, the thing to do is cut it now. Not that I would do so, but this is another area of common practice I wonder about.

I suspect that growing the spike and blossom consumes a great deal more energy than carrying it. Besides, if you let it bloom, when the flower drops, the green stalk will continue photosynthesizing and adding to the plant’s resources, or if it fails, the stored resources will be resorbed by the plant. Removing the green stalk prevents either of those from happening, and actually wastes the plant’s resources.
Ray, interesting .. I usually let plants bloom, but most don’t bloom on a single growth, so I would be trying to help it. It’s only in a 3” pot, but it does have a 13” leaf span and roots I can see, so maybe I will enjoy the flower, yay!! I’ve never left the stalk after the flower falls, though, on anything but phals in the early days. I would have thought that would slow the plant from going to the next stage, growing. Is this common practice for all types of orchids?
 

southernbelle

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Personally, I'd let it bloom. The mature growth looks strong enough to withstand the stress. If you do let it bloom, please post a photo of the flower.
Will do, Tom. Thanks. By the way the besseae flavum seedling I got from your last offer is holding its own in a 2” pot. Tiny thing, but so far so good and I think I’m beginning to see a new leaf barely showing its head. Yay!
 

Ray

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Why would that slow it down? I would think just the opposite:

Plants react to resource availability - water, sugars, & nutrients. In a young plant, it dedicates a lot of resources to growth and a small amount to maintenance of existing mass. As the plant gets bigger, the maintenance part grows proportionately, but the larger plant can generate and store even more of those resources, so can grow faster and can "spend" some of it on reproduction. The bigger the plant, the faster it can grow and the more resources it can dedicate to reproduction, so why remove anything that is contributing?
 

southernbelle

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Why would that slow it down? I would think just the opposite:

Plants react to resource availability - water, sugars, & nutrients. In a young plant, it dedicates a lot of resources to growth and a small amount to maintenance of existing mass. As the plant gets bigger, the maintenance part grows proportionately, but the larger plant can generate and store even more of those resources, so can grow faster and can "spend" some of it on reproduction. The bigger the plant, the faster it can grow and the more resources it can dedicate to reproduction, so why remove anything that is contributing?
I remember a discussion with a grower years ago about cutting a stalk back to a bud eye on phals for branching and rebloom. I thought the better thing for the plant was to cut it off so a new growth cycle would be where the energy goes, rather than another (not so nice) bloom. I never thought about plants that are not going to rebloom from the same stalk. See how much I learn on this forum!! I love it.
 

Ray

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I think that cutting the phal spike simulates breakage, so the plant commits even more resources to branch and rebloom in order to carry on its genetics. That will get you more blossoms, but they will be smaller and smaller, and a plant can be killed that way, because you literally burn up the reserves and wear it out.
 

southernbelle

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I think that cutting the phal spike simulates breakage, so the plant commits even more resources to branch and rebloom in order to carry on its genetics. That will get you more blossoms, but they will be smaller and smaller, and a plant can be killed that way, because you literally burn up the reserves and wear it out.
So with a Phal, as well, you would let the spike die before cutting? I never let them branch and rebloom, but I do cut them off once flowers are gone.
 

Ray

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So with a Phal, as well, you would let the spike die before cutting? I never let them branch and rebloom, but I do cut them off once flowers are gone.
I leave them alone until they start yellowing. Interestingly enough, I find them reblooming on those old spikes AND growing new ones.
 

southernbelle

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I leave them alone until they start yellowing. Interestingly enough, I find them reblooming on those old spikes AND growing new ones.
Interesting, because my friend experiences that too, just because she didn’t remember to cut them. But what about the plant burning itself out if it hasn’t had a grow cycle between bloom cycles.
 
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southernbelle

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that plant looks lovely.... awesome culture!
Rich, The lower leaves have some tip issues that are not visible in the photo (from previous stress), but overall the plant (with new leaves) is healthy. It seems to like it’s place now. Big East window with some morning sun, 65 low 78 high, 50-60% humidity. I have a small fan that is directed at the phrags 24/7. We shall see long term, but way better results than the grow room. They thrived in the winter down there, but as soon as the temps rose above 80, they went into suspended animation and stopped everything and the roots rotted. I lost TWO Jason Fischers, one from Orchids, Ltd. and one from Woodstream before I figured out the problem. If I’d lost the besseae flavum, I might have quit... but I doubt it. I Tend to figure it out and keep on keeping on. You learn more from your failures than from your successes. That’s the story of growing outside garden plants and in, in my life. Failures, even big ones don’t define me, successes do.
 

Ray

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Interesting, because my friend experiences that too, just because she didn’t remember to cut them. But what about the plant burning itself out if it hasn’t had a grow cycle between bloom cycles.
Going back to my comments about resource acquisition, storage and use, I think that a plant, left unto itself, will do what it can for survival of its genes, but there is a continuum in its actions.

>> At one end is the case where it has plenty of reserves and the growing conditions are favorable to acquiring them, so it will likely bloom to its maximum, genetically programmed extent, without a serious depletion of those reserves. Large, “specimen” plants can often stay blooming for months and months, if not years, because they’re acquisition and storage capabilities are relatively immense.

>> Below that is a plant in less-than-ideal conditions, so the acquisition of resources is reduced, so while the plant may bloom, it would likely be at less than its potential, and it will have a longer “growth” period (recovery) until it blooms again, so it can sock aware more nutrition and fuel.

>> At the far other end is a plant with depleted reserves and poor cultural conditions. If it blooms at all, it is taking a huge risk that it’ll not recover, so blooming is a “last ditch” attempt at genetic survival.

Take a look at this THIS ARTICLE, recently published in the AOS Orchids magazine.
 
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