Very limited anecdotal evidence, but...

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Ray

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The technical director at Kelpak in South Africa told me he was experimenting with spraying flower buds to see if it made any difference. With my very limited collection of plants these days, I don't have a lot of "Guinea pigs", but a Phrag. Lucky Girl "volunteered". I've had the plant a couple of years now, after receiving it as a gift from another grower. Like some phrags, it has a penchant for dropping one blossom shortly after a new one opens. With one blossom fully opened, and a bud close to opening, I sprayed the top 6" of the spike with a 1:250 solution, hoping to see if the next blossom looked any different.

The answer appears to be "no", but I'm now twenty days into the first blossom, and it is still hanging in there.

I know that this might be pure coincidence, but I'm throwing this out there in case anyone wishes to experiment.
Lucky Girl.jpg
 

Ray

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Terry, I was aiming for the bud, but my sprayer was too broad, and I decided to spray the blossom, bud and vegetative part of the spike. The bud in the photo had not emerged at that point.
 
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Abscission of flowers is under genetic/chemical control and with some quick reading I saw that some auxin fluxes were involved. It would be easy to imagine that Kelpmax could alter the signaling and delay the abscission of some flowers. Since it looks like abscission takes place at the junction of the inflorescence with the stem maybe getting it into the base of the inflorescence is the important place. May not need to get into the bud/flower. Spraying the stem inflorescence before flower opening might buy some extra time. How about an extra week or two that Cattleya dowiana could be open! I think I will do some fiddling with it.
 
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Abscission of flowers is under genetic/chemical control and with some quick reading I saw that some auxin fluxes were involved. It would be easy to imagine that Kelpmax could alter the signaling and delay the abscission of some flowers. Since it looks like abscission takes place at the junction of the inflorescence with the stem maybe getting it into the base of the inflorescence is the important place. May not need to get into the bud/flower. Spraying the stem inflorescence before flower opening might buy some extra time. How about an extra week or two that Cattleya dowiana could be open! I think I will do some fiddling with it.
Please report back, Terry.
 
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The technical director at Kelpak in South Africa told me he was experimenting with spraying flower buds to see if it made any difference. With my very limited collection of plants these days, I don't have a lot of "Guinea pigs", but a Phrag. Lucky Girl "volunteered". I've had the plant a couple of years now, after receiving it as a gift from another grower. Like some phrags, it has a penchant for dropping one blossom shortly after a new one opens. With one blossom fully opened, and a bud close to opening, I sprayed the top 6" of the spike with a 1:250 solution, hoping to see if the next blossom looked any different.

The answer appears to be "no", but I'm now twenty days into the first blossom, and it is still hanging in there.

I know that this might be pure coincidence, but I'm throwing this out there in case anyone wishes to experiment.
View attachment 32738
Wow. I want to follow this experiment!
 
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The technical director at Kelpak in South Africa told me he was experimenting with spraying flower buds to see if it made any difference. With my very limited collection of plants these days, I don't have a lot of "Guinea pigs", but a Phrag. Lucky Girl "volunteered". I've had the plant a couple of years now, after receiving it as a gift from another grower. Like some phrags, it has a penchant for dropping one blossom shortly after a new one opens. With one blossom fully opened, and a bud close to opening, I sprayed the top 6" of the spike with a 1:250 solution, hoping to see if the next blossom looked any different.

The answer appears to be "no", but I'm now twenty days into the first blossom, and it is still hanging in there.

I know that this might be pure coincidence, but I'm throwing this out there in case anyone wishes to experiment.
View attachment 32738
When you do this, how would you characterize the spraying? Light mist? Or drenching ‘til it drips? Thank you.
 

Ray

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When you do this, how would you characterize the spraying? Light mist? Or drenching ‘til it drips? Thank you.
(Of course) Somewhere in-between, with two sprayings, so-far. A third bud is just opening, and the other two are still hanging in, so they may get another dose this afternooon.
 
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Ray, help me be arbitrary, but standardized for my trials. You think spray the end of a stem/inflorescence with buds before they open? Spray maybe weekly as the inflorescence elongates and new buds appear?
 

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It’s all uncharted waters in my book, Terry, and your guess is as good as mine. Your guesstimated regimen sounds pretty solid, although my spraying has been about every 3-4 days. I have two more phrags spiking, Sorcerer’s Apprentice (from Hadley) that may be a decent candidate for further experimentation, and a single-growth QF Haila, but I want to see where that goes au naturel at first.

In my current situation, one flower had been fully open for more than a week when I sprayed it, and fully grown bud whose pedicel had not full extended. Looking again, it was more like 9” of the inflorescence that was covered, as well.

I did notice that the pedicel elongation and bud opening appeared to have accelerated after spraying, but again, that’s just a gut feel, not something I was looking for.

More speculation: it seems to me that the sooner the spike is sprayed, the more likely that it will have some effect, although what that effect is may vary.
 
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Don’t you think that hormonal/chemical manipulation of a growing inflorescence is likely to affect more than one process? If our main desire is to delay the process of flower abscission, but not mess up the flowering itself, we may have to be careful about where and when to apply. We certainly don’t want deformed flowers (what you were looking for). I am thinking about frequent Q-tip application of solution to the spike area just below a bud as it is opening and the beginning part of the flower stem.
 

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it will help if your plant is able to quickly turn it in to sugars for the flower(s)
 

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it will help if your plant is able to quickly turn it in to sugars for the flower(s)
i see kelpak is marketed by BesGrow, so you could ask Xavier Garreau de Loubresse as he is associated with BesGrow
 

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Abscission of flowers is under genetic/chemical control and with some quick reading I saw that some auxin fluxes were involved. It would be easy to imagine that Kelpmax could alter the signaling and delay the abscission of some flowers. Since it looks like abscission takes place at the junction of the inflorescence with the stem maybe getting it into the base of the inflorescence is the important place. May not need to get into the bud/flower. Spraying the stem inflorescence before flower opening might buy some extra time. How about an extra week or two that Cattleya dowiana could be open! I think I will do some fiddling with it.
any commercial ethylene blocker will do that, although the effect will be days not weeks
 
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I have never seen how a hobby grower with a moderate sized collection could get a reasonable amount of commercial ethylene blocker to easily and safelyapply? Since I already have KelpMax from Ray, I am hoping there is magic in there to help with flowering and how long the flowers last. Of course it won’t live up to my dreams but fun to try.
 

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I have never seen how a hobby grower with a moderate sized collection could get a reasonable amount of commercial ethylene blocker to easily and safelyapply? Since I already have KelpMax from Ray, I am hoping there is magic in there to help with flowering and how long the flowers last. Of course it won’t live up to my dreams but fun to try.
colloidal sliver can do this
kelp will give you aminoacids the advantage being the plant it self can save energy producing them

the effects i have seen so far have always been very limited and not very clear
but that should not keep you from trying!
 
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