Staking flowers: please advise

Discussion in 'Paphiopedilum' started by BrucherT, May 30, 2019.

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  1. May 30, 2019 #1

    BrucherT

    BrucherT

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    Most of you expert growers seem to stake up your Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium spikes. I never have and don’t know how. My spikes tend to bend toward my grow windows and I just...let them. Yours look so stately but...I’m afraid of breaking the spike and/or puncturing roots with the stake. How do you do this? Do you wait until the spike is fully open? Or do you train it gradually? Thanks.
     
  2. May 30, 2019 #2

    Ray

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    Train it as it grows. They can only bend "so far", so trying to straighten them after the fact is asking for trouble.
     
  3. May 30, 2019 #3

    musa

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    If you straighten up the spike after the flowers have emerged on a horizontally bent spike they will look upwards in an unnatural looking angle.
    I never stake up the spikes, I prefer to have them growing like in nature. Unfortunately transport is nearly impossible.
     
  4. May 31, 2019 #4

    CarlG

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    If your buds are not facing the way you like (say two buds, lined up single file) you can *gently* twist the buds in the direction you want them to grow. What you do is hold the bud, and twist it a little bit - not enough to break them off, obviously - and hold for about 30 seconds. Do it several times a day, and repeat until they are pointing where you want them to. Sounds peculiar, but it works...
     
  5. May 31, 2019 #5

    Ozpaph

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    that's interesting, CarlG.
     
  6. Jun 1, 2019 #6

    abax

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    I stake 'em gently as the spike emerges and seems
    to be growing in a direction I don't like. I've
    never had any root problems as I place the stake
    up against the side of the pot. There are stakes
    available that clip over the side of the pot rather
    than into the potting medium.
     
  7. Jun 1, 2019 #7

    emydura

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    I think for most of the Paphs, staking is pretty critical for the flowers to present at their best. For multiflorals, I tend to stake as the spike grows. For the rest, I just let the spike grow naturally until the bud is half open. Then I stake it. If you stake too early the flower will eventually hang down, too late and the flower will unnaturally face up as Michael said.
     
  8. Jun 1, 2019 #8

    orchid527

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    For multiflorals, when the spike begins to emerge, I never change the plants orientation towards the light. After the first flower opens, it should be facing straight up and down, but as the new buds begin to weigh the spike down, the first flower will begin to pitch forward. This is when I add a wire support to the spike. I place the wire support on the far side of the fan and it curves slightly to catch the spike just above the first flower. I adjust the wire so that the first flower is straight up and down again. I also make sure the buds are alternating properly and might gently move them to make it so. This seems to work Ok for 3-5 flowers, but I suspect you would need additional support for more flowers. For other paphs, I just let things happen naturally, but if the weight of the flower bends the spike, I will add support to return it to its natural presentation. For plants like delenatii, where you can have two flowers that are opening in quick succession, I use very thin wire supports to keeps the buds apart as much as possible. I let the first flower open, then I turn the plant so the unopened bud is facing the light. After both flowers are open I remove the wire supports. I do even more manipulation of phalaenopsis spikes to get the presentation that I want. Most of the great looking flower spikes in orchid shows have received a little help. Mike
     
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  9. Jun 2, 2019 #9

    BrucherT

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    Wow Mike thank you.
     
  10. Jun 5, 2019 #10

    NYEric

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    "Stakes? We don' need no stinkin' stakes!" - (Treasure of Sierra Madre for those of you too young...)
    I stake so the weight of the bloom doesn't require the inflorescence to support it. That way all the plants energy can go into the bloom.
     

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