Brooklyn Orchids Bloom & Spike Report

I totally missed my Orchid of the Week post last Friday, because I was hard at work on a freelance project. Whoops.

I also missed my Sunday morning orchid watering session yesterday, so I watered them this morning instead. And I discovered that a pretty bloom on one of my Phals opened up overnight!

Pink Phal in bloom
Love the white outline of this one

There are also lots of beautiful blooms on this orchid’s side shoot:

White Phal blooming
Delicate white and pink blooms

A couple weeks ago, I noticed what looked like not one, but two side shoots from this orchid’s growing spike:

Side shoots on an orchid spike
Hmm…could it be?

I thought the growths had that flattened-at-the-tip mitten shape that is characteristic of spikes, rather than the fuller shape of a bud. And I was right! Here’s what the spike and side shoots look like today—you can really see the difference between growing buds and side shoots in this pic (buds on top, shoots on bottom):

Two side shoots on a moth orchid spike
More blooms to come!!

Yet another one of my Phals is starting to grow a side shoot. It stopped blooming a month or so ago, so I cut the spike to try and force it to bloom again. Doing this really works! Here’s proof:

Side shoot on a cut orchid spike
New side shoot growth

A couple of my other Phals in spike have swelling buds, so I’m going to have lots of blooms in the near future. It’s so very exciting to see my patience paying off!!

The Terminator…Spike.

I was just doing some daily inspection of my orchids and noticed that I have what appears to be a terminal spike starting to poke out from the crown of one of my Phals. A terminal spike is one that grows from the center of the foliage of a monopodial orchid, meaning that the plant will no longer be able to grow leaves from there. Healthy Phals usually put spikes out from the base of the plant or in between older leaves. According to chit-chat on orchid forums, a terminal spike on a Phal may signify that the plant is not healthy but is trying to find a way to keep on truckin’. Sometimes Phals that do this will end up growing a basal keiki to try and replicate themselves, but other times they won’t survive.

The Phal with the growing terminal spike hasn’t been in great shape for awhile, and in fact was quite near death about a year or so ago.

Sick Phal
Unhappy Phal

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Another New Spike Looks Like…Um…

Man, I have lots of stuff going on with my orchids. I posted the other day about all kinds of new growth on my orchids. Just today I noticed that one of my Phals is putting out a spike—and it’s not the Phal that I mentioned at the end of my earlier post (I think that growth is really just a root). I had noticed this little nub coming out of the base of the plant and thought it was a root, but only a couple days later it has clearly taken on the form of a spike.

Of course I’m aware of what the burgeoning spike looks like in the below photo. Hello! I’m the one who posts things like Unfortunate Orchid Names…how could I not notice? Don’t worry, this hasn’t turned into a porn blog. 😛


You can see that this new growth is a totally different color from the plant’s roots, which are green. Some of my other orchids’ roots are green but are tipped with reddish-maroon so I didn’t really think anything of this thing when I first saw it. Until today, when I saw the mitten-like form beginning to develop. Then I remembered that the orchid’s spike that it had when I bought it was more of a brownish-red color than a green color like some Phals. See?

Brownish Phal spike

So, add another YAY to the round of YAYs for my orchids!!

Beginner Tips on How to Grow Phalaenopsis Orchids

Photo credit: melop, Flickr

So you just brought home your first orchid – or possibly even more intimidating, you were given an orchid as a gift. Now what??

Many people throw out their orchid once the blooms fall off because they think it’s dying. Not so! What you should remember is that an orchid is a plant that, if cared for properly, can bloom again and again, year after year. How do you keep your Phalaenopsis orchid (aka moth orchid) happy and healthy so that it will bloom again in the future? Here are a few key tips that will help you maintain your orchid’s health:

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