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Orchids/Phalaenopsis type with center flower spike



I have a large orchid that had one center spike when I purchased it and white Phalaenopsis type flowers. The spike did not come from the side above a leaf but right out of the center.

The plant was not in good shape, in fact it had been kept too wet and was in the process of dying. I took it out of the pot, cut off the dead roots and repotted it into new clean bark. It survived and is now a very healthy looking plant. When I repotted it I noticed what I thought were 4 root beginnings below the lowest leaf. They were immediately next to one another and a reddish brown color. Now some 3 years later they are still there and have not grown, nor has it produced another flower spike or leaf. It has made lots of new roots.

My questions are 2. What might those 4 nubs be and is this ever likely to spike again? As the spike came from the center I don't see how it could produce another. Oh, one more question, what kind of orchid might this be?

Thank you,

Linda,  The  "nubs" on this phalaenopsis look like aborted roots. It is not uncommon for root tips to stop growing and for the plant to cover the growing tip with protective tissue to prevent damage and water loss.

Flower spikes on these may originate from the center of the plant or from a side at the bottom.  It depends upon the location of the meristemmatic tissue. If the meristemmatic tissue has been damaged or destroyed, it is unlikely to get further flowering. However, flowering is dependent upon sufficient light.  It may be that the meristemmatic tissue is OK and you may be growing it in insufficient light for flowering.


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Wayne King


Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.


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