How to Recognize Orchid Roots and Orchid Spikes, Part Deux: Photos!

I’m finding that my post about how to identify whether you have an orchid spike or a root is my most viewed post by far. For example, just in the past week, my spike* vs. root post has been viewed nearly 6x as many times as my second most viewed post of the week. Clearly, “is it a root or is it a spike?” is a big question for new orchid owners!

So in the interest of helping orchid growers out even more, I decided to do another post on this topic, this time with LOTS of photo examples to help better illuminate what a root looks like and what a spike looks like. If you haven’t read my original post, I recommend doing so before you dive into this one. All the below photos are of orchids in my own collection. Because you’ll see more roots growing from your orchid than spikes, let’s begin with root pics:

Two roots emerging from the base of a Phalaenopsis
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Mini Blog Break

Beautiful rebloom

If you follow my blog you may have noticed I haven’t posted in a couple weeks. I’ve been pretty busy and am doing a little traveling, so I haven’t had tons of time to post. I just got back in town yesterday (went to my 15 year—YIKES—high school reunion in St. Louis, which was a lot of fun) and am leaving again this afternoon for a trip to southern Cali (where I might visit an orchid farm or two!).

Starting next week I should be back in the blogging business, and I have plenty to write about regarding my own orchids. For now, I leave you with this crappy iPhone pic of one of my big white Phals whose side shoot just bloomed yesterday! The blooms are quite a bit smaller than the first blooms off this spike, but that’s normal. They are still very lovely, and when I return from Cali I imagine at least a couple more of those buds will have opened.  🙂

My Phal Amboinensis is Blooming!

The title of this blog post says it all. I discovered a little bloom opening this morning when I went to mist my orchids:

Tiny stripey bloom!

This is the first of my Hausermann’s purchases to spike and bloom (aside from the Phal manii which was in bloom when it arrived). Mine looks a little different from the typical Phal amboinensis, which you can see in this orchid of the week post from awhile back. The purple lip is what makes this one unique:


The bloom isn’t fully open, but I got so excited that I had to write about it. As you can see, there are two other buds developing on this spike (I wish there were more, but at least it’s blooming, period!). Once this baby opens up more, I’ll post another update!

Also: I’m planning to go to The Orchid Show at the NYBG this Friday! Woohoo!!

Orchid of the Week: Phalaenopsis White Dream

I missed posting an Orchid of the Week yesterday because my boyfriend and I made a trip to Spa Castle, a really awesome and affordable Korean Day spa in Queens. I’m posting today instead, and my visit to the spa got me thinking about how some spas use white Phalaenopsis orchids in their advertising. And in movies/on TV, a lot of spas and massage places have white orchids as part of their decor. I suppose these orchids with long sprays of giant, pure white blooms are synonymous with relaxation and pampering in the spa world. So…this week’s orchid is the Phalaenopsis White Dream, apparent spa orchid of choice:

Photo credit:
Photo credit: rangiku,
Photo credit:
Photo credit:

Amazingly, I don’t have one of these in my own collection, though they are popular and sold almost everywhere I go to buy orchids. However, my friend recently received a big white orchid (actually 2 plants potted together) at work from a vendor, and I’m going to pick it up from her office so that I can pot the plants separately and care for them at home. I will be the proud owner of these “spa orchid” beauties very soon!  🙂

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!!