December 2023 Orchid Spikes

So Many Winter Spikes!

There wasn’t much to report about my orchids for awhile, but now that we’re heading into winter, I have a whole bunch of spikes on my Phalaenopsis orchids! My two Tolumnias have spikes as well. I spent some time photographing the spikes the other day so that I could share pics here.

Before we dive in to my spike extravaganza, I want to remind readers that my 2024 calendar is available in my Zazzle shop. As of this posting, you can get 15% off using the code ZHOLIDAY2023 at checkout.

Okay! The first spike I’ll share is the Phalaenopsis that’s farthest along in the blooming process, with several buds already developing:

Phalaenopsis orchid buds

I’m cheating a little bit, because the above orchid is a rescue that one of my neighbors handed over to me to care for after it finished blooming for her. These buds are on a side shoot, not a brand new spike…but I’ll take any blooms I can get!

Tolumnia Spikes

My Tolumnias always surprise me when they decide to spike. It seems like their spikes appear out of nowhere! This is the Tolumnia Golden Sunset ‘Red’:

Tolumnia spike

Here’s the smaller NOID Tolumnia spike, which is a little harder to see because it’s pretty short as of now:

NOID Tolumnia spike

18 More Phal Spikes

In addition to the Phal in bud above, I have 18 Phals with spikes! So I should have a lovely blooming season ahead (fingers crossed). The spikes vary in length, and a few are so new that you can barely see them poking out from the base of the plant…like so:

This spike is curving on its own:

This Phal’s spike is looking sturdy without being staked thus far:

A wee little spike is peeking out here:

I have pretty good spike development on this Phal:

And on this one:

This spike seems quite happy as well:

I’m thrilled to see yet another spike on this NOID peloric Phal, which is the orchid that I’ve had in my collection for the longest:

There are two curving spikes on this NOID Phal!

This Phal is a great example of the visual difference between spikes and roots. You can see two new roots poking out from the base of the plant. The way you know they’re roots is that they don’t have that flattened mitten shape at the tip that’s characteristic of spikes.

This orchid also has two spikes, but it was hard to get a photo fully showing both of them due to their current length and the way they’re oriented.

Several of my orchids have this white situation going on at the base, and I don’t know what the issue is (I haven’t bothered to research it yet). Despite the white stuff, the orchids are still spiking, so I’m hoping that whatever the problem is isn’t fatal.

You can see the white stuff on this Phal as well, and its leaves look pretty terrible. Regardless, there’s a spike…

Similar situation on this mini Trader Joe’s Phal, but there are two spikes!

This is one of the orchids that I rescued from a nearby alley. A neighbor who knows that I grow orchids spotted a bunch of Phals dumped behind a local florist, so I went to grab them. Only four looked good enough to take; two didn’t make it so I have two remaining. Both are currently spiking!

This is the other remaining alley Phal!

Yet another orchid with that base issue and not-great leaves, though it’s spiking too:

This orchid was a birthday gift many years ago:

Of course, I will update here once I start to see some blooms. This is such an exciting time of year for us orchid growers!

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