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MaxC

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Today's victims were two besseae frma. flavums, a good clone of fischeri and an awarded Jason Fischer.

Aside from a handful of my phrags eveything is on the chopping block until reaching a decent number of mature growths.

Anyone that practices cutting spikes have noticeable impact they can share?

I have heard of cutting spikes in the summer months to encourage fall and spring blooms. Can cutting spikes dramatically alter a bloom schedule or will the plants eventually go back on their schedule?
 

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MaxC

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Oh not a darn thing. Yesterday just happen to be a day that I cut multiple spikes. With my better plants, if it is less than 4+ healthy mature growths, it gets the spike cut. If it is a younger plant not on 3rd or 4th blooming, it gets spike cut. The real heartbreakers were my best besseae clones, but I should be rewarded in the coming years with large happy blooms to share.
 

eds

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I can perhaps understand this practice for sequential bloomers but for all other slippers, once the flowers have developed, what is the cost to the plant?

A single bloom paph has done all the hard work by then. Orchids don't produce much nectar so the only loss to the plant would be additional transpiration through the flower's surface, hardly a great cost if kept properly watered?

Perhaps cutting the bloom will trigger vegetative growth to start more quickly as the plant isn't holding resources back to grow seed?

But apart from that I can't see physiologically why cutting a spike would save any energy - in fact I'm sure I've read threads where people have pollinated flowers to save plants affected by rot on here.
 

MaxC

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@eds what about energy for keeping a seedpod viable or would that be a nominal amount? I could see it making sense in the case of an accidental pollination, which would pull a bunch of enegery.

Almost all of my plants are sequentially blooming phrags. Even if I am letting a plant bloom I remove the ovary just in case of unintended pollination.
 

eds

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@eds what about energy for keeping a seedpod viable or would that be a nominal amount?
I don't know for sure but I can't see what energy or minerals it would take. The ovary cells don't do too much until fertilisation.

I'm curious more than anything here as I know orchids have these complicated pollination mechanisms with imitation and pollinia as they don't even produce lots of nectar to attract pollinators so there isn't even that small cost to the plant.
 

Ray

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My thinking leans towards Ed's. If you're going to cut spikes to conserve energy, do so as soon as they emerge, so no resources will be wasted on further development.
 
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southernbelle

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Today's victims were two besseae frma. flavums, a good clone of fischeri and an awarded Jason Fischer.

Aside from a handful of my phrags eveything is on the chopping block until reaching a decent number of mature growths.

Anyone that practices cutting spikes have noticeable impact they can share?

I have heard of cutting spikes in the summer months to encourage fall and spring blooms. Can cutting spikes dramatically alter a bloom schedule or will the plants eventually go back on their schedule?
You made me so sad at first because I, so, felt your pain.... I'm glad that you only lost the flowers!! I believed you had killed the plants because I'm working on killing my second Jason Fischer (one from OL and one from Woodstream) and I have 2 besseae flavums I am praying over daily (one is a division of Bill's awarded one, and one is a small seedling from Tom) !!! I think I've figured out they did not like my grow room summer high of 84 (sometimes 86), so I've moved them up to a temperate part of the house with good light and they do seem to be happier. They would grow beautifully and robustly, then flower, then decline and rot/die. Anyway, if the new system doesn't work, I may get out of phrag culture.
 

MaxC

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You made me so sad at first because I, so, felt your pain.... I'm glad that you only lost the flowers!! I believed you had killed the plants because I'm working on killing my second Jason Fischer (one from OL and one from Woodstream) and I have 2 besseae flavums I am praying over daily (one is a division of Bill's awarded one, and one is a small seedling from Tom) !!! I think I've figured out they did not like my grow room summer high of 84 (sometimes 86), so I've moved them up to a temperate part of the house with good light and they do seem to be happier. They would grow beautifully and robustly, then flower, then decline and rot/die. Anyway, if the new system doesn't work, I may get out of phrag culture.
Only a few hiccups since I started growing phrags. Most of those have been pre-existing conditions with Ebay purchases. Thankfully ST has been an excellent resource after a near 2 decade break from orchid growing.

I meant to ask how your plants are doing with the cooler temps. Those are fantastic plants and I am hoping you can make a recovery.
 

monocotman

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I agree with Max to a certain extent. I cut off new buds as soon as I see them develop on single growth phrags. Not that I get that many.
I also cut off flowering shoots after a single flower has opened from new seedlings flowering for the first time on two or maybe three smaller growths.
If a phrag is not mature I will tend to cut the spike well before it dies, after a few flowers, just to get it growing again.
The aim is to get the plant to maturity as quickly as possible and to do that I need to restrict flowering. Only then do I let the plant flower normally,
David
 

MaxC

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I think the discussion is regarding paphs and benefits to cutting spikes for nonsequential blooming plants.

My plants are all phragmipediums and sequential bloomers, all with new growths, new roots/growing tips.

Knowing my divisions won't show full flower potential on a smaller plants, those spikes get cut as @Ray mentioned well before blooming.

The besseae flavums are relatively mature plants but were only holding single infloresences. I am looking for multiple infloresences and neither of these had previously bloomed for me so I let them bloom out a couple of times to check on relative flower quality to see if I wanted to keep the plants.

Jason Fischer was a single growth awarded division and it has two new growths. I let bloom a couple of times to measure flower size on single growth vs. multiple growth to then compare those numbers to the award measurements.

Fischeri is a good clone but not awarded and hoping to show it in a few years. Since this is my first blooming fisheri I let it bloom once to get a time from spike to 1st bloom being open. To limit energy spent I had already taken off the other buds on the spike.

The overall plan is to try to have some big healthy plants like David's MDC, well maybe not that big 🤔.
 

Linus_Cello

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Are you looking at the immature flower after you cut the spike? An argument to let the plant flower would be to determine if the plant was correctly labeled, so not “wasting” time and bench space. But can one determine if a flower is flavum, for example, at an immature flower stage? And how does one determine if a plant isn’t a hybrid from an immature flower, continuing the bessae flavum example?
 

MaxC

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Another great point! Space is definitely at a premium here.

There is a point that the buds do color up so you could potentially differentiate a flavum. But as you noted you would have to let bloom out to be sure it was the correctly labeled.
 

southernbelle

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Only a few hiccups since I started growing phrags. Most of those have been pre-existing conditions with Ebay purchases. Thankfully ST has been an excellent resource after a near 2 decade break from orchid growing.

I meant to ask how your plants are doing with the cooler temps. Those are fantastic plants and I am hoping you can make a recovery.
Thanks, Max. So far so good. Looks as if they are slowly coming alive with tiny new leaves becoming visible on all but the JF. . Not seeing new roots yet, but, believing. I’ve moved then from my bathroom (Eastern exposure shaded) to my living room (Eastern exposure with about 2 hrs morning sun) hoping to increase the day temps a bit to 75-76. Looks like I may get be saving the worst of them.
 

KateL

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Today's victims were two besseae frma. flavums, a good clone of fischeri and an awarded Jason Fischer.

Aside from a handful of my phrags eveything is on the chopping block until reaching a decent number of mature growths.

Anyone that practices cutting spikes have noticeable impact they can share?

I have heard of cutting spikes in the summer months to encourage fall and spring blooms. Can cutting spikes dramatically alter a bloom schedule or will the plants eventually go back on their schedule?
Hi Max,
I admire your discipline, but lack the fortitude. Actually what I lack is a whole lot of mature plants. Most of mine are first or second bloomers, which need to be seen to be culled. I have been told that you need to bloom a phrag at least 3 times to assess its best qualities. Not true?
 

likespaphs

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...because I'm working on killing my second Jason Fischer (one from OL and one from Woodstream) and I have 2 besseae flavums I am praying over daily (one is a division of Bill's awarded one, and one is a small seedling from Tom) !!!...
how is your water quality?
 

MaxC

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Hi Max,
I admire your discipline, but lack the fortitude. Actually what I lack is a whole lot of mature plants. Most of mine are first or second bloomers, which need to be seen to be culled. I have been told that you need to bloom a phrag at least 3 times to assess its best qualities. Not true?
The general rule is you won't get your best bloom till 3rd or 4th one. It all depends on what your short-term and long-term goals are with your collection. There's a lot of joy to be had to watching plants grow (literally). Mine is to grow out as fast as possible.
 
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