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Orchids Cultivation




How to obtain double spikes or more?


by Chiachung Chen


The Phalaenopsis pot plants is popular in flower market and double spikes is the basic requirement for this orchid. How to obtain double spikes of Phalaenopsis pot plants? Four kinds of factors determine the percentage of double spikes or more.

I. Factors affecting spiking

1.      The genetic characteristics of varieties

Some varieties are only one spike in blooming stage by their genetic characteristics. Some varieties are low-temperature varieties, that is, the adequate day and night temperatures at culture stage need to maintain lower temperature. The only method to induce spiking by cooling effect is to reduce the day temperature. Too low night temperature will damage the orchids. So only one spike could be induced.

The variety with two spikes or more spikes is called high-temperature varieties. The culture temperature of day and night required higher temperature. The typical variety is Sogo Yukidian V3. The adequate temperature at day and night is 28~33℃ and 24~26℃, respectively. If the cooling room maintains at <22℃ at day and <18℃ at night. It will be induced two or more spikes easily.

2.      Management

The basic requirement is the virus-free plants. No pest and disease was found in plants.

In the growing stage, the water and fertilization technique must be well done, the roots are grow well and no salt accumulation. The accumulation of dry materials (carbon available) in leaves and node is enough.

3.      Pre-treatment of plants before cooling.

The spiking pretreatment is performed in one month before send to cooling rooms. The pre-treatment is to increase the day temperature (higher 2~3℃ than culture stage), and light intensity (increase 10~15%) in the greenhouse. The fertilizer change form 20-20-20 (N-P-K) to 10-30-20.

4.       Cooling environment

The day and night temperature need to recluse 6℃~8℃ than that of culture stage. For example, the temperature at day and night is 28℃ and 26℃ in culture section, then the temperature at day and night is 20℃ and 18℃ in cooling section of greenhouse.

The light level could be maintain at normal condition.

a. Change the fertilizer concentration form 10-20-20 to 20-20-20


Ⅱ.Long-transportation problem

If the mature plants are send to destination by long-term sea transportation. These plant are adopted the lower temperature environment. If they are send to cooling room without recovery treatment, the cooling stress for plants is limited. The number of spikes or the spiking percentage will decrease.

In USA, many orchid companies take out plants form sea container and place these plants into cooling room directly. They want to save time and space of greenhouse for production. However, the quantity and quality of flowers is lose.