Pinching bloom spike

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In Remembrance 2023
Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2011
Reaction score
Kentucky zone 6B
Phrag. Beaumont 'Bayswater' is in spike and the spike has "pinched"
in the middle of the spike. This happen to anyone? The plant hasn't
been hit by watering wand or anything else. The plant is large and
very healthy. Watered and fertilized (K-Lite) every fourth or fifth day
with very dilute fertilizer. I'm flummoxed and heartbroken.
A spontaneous pinch or crimp in the spike? No, I have never seen that. Have you given the developing spike a stake? I have been getting into the habit of staking my developing bloom spikes very early in their development. I find that to be a good idea. I want to support that spike, which is often so tender at that point. The thinner besseae type spikes are just so darn bendable early on. The thicker caudatum type spikes are staked early as well. It is just a habit for me. Why take a chance? I am under lights from October through April and you would think that things might be safe from crimping but in orchid growing, there is no such thing as a sure thing. I assume the worse and try to protect against the worse.
I use straight wire stakes, barbeque or shish ka bob skewers, plant stakes, etc. There are a whole variety of things to use.
When I put me plants out in early May, I have too many squirrels and chipmunks in and around my orchids. There is just no easy way to keep them out of my plants. Oh, I did not even mention mice! Staking is essential out doors here in SW Michigan.
The spike was/is staked. I have a very large wolf spider in my
gh and I wonder if perhaps the spider was climbing the
the spike and caused it to pinch. I really think that sounds
ridiculous, but I can't think of anything else. I never take
my orchids outside...far too many critters, especially
deer and raccoons.

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