Orchids forum→Overwhelmed newbie needs help please

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Bhawkins
May 31, 2020 10:25 AM CST
I received this mini orchid as a gift at work — my first ever, although we have lots of other plants and cacti. The office was kept very cold and all the blooms dropped off so I moved it home and it started reblooming. Now it has no blooms but has grown a new small arm and small leaves (which I learned are a keiki). It's in its original 2.5-inch pot on my kitchen island where it's not in a window. I'm unsure about a few things and I'm confused by all the reading I've done and the orchid buzzwords. For instance, "cut the terminal spike!" I have no clue what that is, ha.
Below are some questions about my plant, for anyone willing to help me. What would help me so much is referencing the photos I've included so I know what is what! Thanks in advance.
1. Do I need to give it more light by moving it closer to a window? It's on my kitchen island with a cactus, so no direct sun.
2. Do I need to cut off some of the spiky arms that had past blooms that dropped off, and how far down do I cut? I read that some people let them grow and they're fine.
3. Does it look like it needs to be repotted?
Thank you! 🙂
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Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
May 31, 2020 1:21 PM CST
Hi bhawkins,
Welcome to our orchid group.
There are some really great Phalaenopsis growers here, and I'm sure they will chime in.
In the meantime consider these options of what I would do.

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#1 I would cut that top part of the spike off just above where your little keiki is.
#2 I would cut that tiny new spike off your keiki so that it can concentrate on growing some roots.
#3 I would cut the entire other spike off so all available energy is either going back to the original plant or the keiki.
Please wait to hear a few other opinions before you act! I've been wrong before Rolling on the floor laughing Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing
lindsey
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
May 31, 2020 5:59 PM CST
Great job Lindsey!!
I would cut any spike back as far as I can, except the one with the keikie on it. Lindsey is so right with getting energy to flow back into the mother plant.
You orchid is a Phalaenopsis. We have numerous threads here in the Orchid Forums all dealing with questions about Phalaenopsis culture. Read through them slowly, read and reread. There is no rush.

It likes a temperature of 65-80 degrees. Water every three or four days
There is a great sticky there about supermarket orchids-Phalaenopsis.

Your plant appreciates a bright light location without direct sun. On a table back from a window is not enough. These orchids should be repotted every two years, one if it is in sphagnum moss.
Yours is in sphagnum which is difficult for a newbie to handle. It easily leads to watering problems.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Southwest U.S. (Zone 7a)
MsDoe
Jun 1, 2020 12:11 PM CST
Phals are great fun! You're smart to learn all you can because they grow quite differently from other plants, so need different care.
1. The Phal and the cactus will not do well with the same lighting conditions, I'd suggest separating them. Cactus need a lot of very bright light. Phals need moderate light with no direct sun. I also have both, but not together.
2. The old flower spikes can be cut off or not, as you prefer. Sometimes they rebloom, sometimes they turn brown and dry up. The plant will let you know. I used to cut them off, now I leave them, I'm not sure it really makes much difference. I like the keiki, I'd keep it and see what happens.
3. The roots actually look pretty good to me, but can be difficult to manage in moss. Some growers prefer moss, but I found it problematic. My plants are doing well in orchid bark, and it's almost impossible to overwater. I think I'd re-pot in bark, in a slightly larger (4"?) clear plastic orchid pot with slots and lots of drainage. I put a few rocks in the bottom to keep it from getting too top-heavy.
Disclaimer: all of the above is just my opinion, of course!
Welcome to an addictive hobby!!
Name: Tara
NE. FL. (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jun 1, 2020 8:17 PM CST
I really like MsDoes response...spot on...
But I would also add that a lot depends on where you are... climate wise. I'm in NEFL. I grow Phals, both inside, in a/c, but also outside, on a covered deck, northeast side of the house, in hot, humid conditions....
So much of your choice in potting medium, and watering depends on the 'climate' they're in.
For example, mine out on the deck, are in a strictly bark medium. High humidity. Those in my house, with a/c, are potted in a 60/40 mix. Bark/ sphagnum. Seems to work for me...
Where you are, your growing climate makes a big difference.
Trial and error....

Bhawkins
Jun 13, 2020 10:20 AM CST
Thank you to everyone! 🤩 This is very helpful.

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