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.