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 Post subject: Effect of light, temperature on cultivars
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:14 pm 
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Location: Floridana Beach, Florida, USA
We have all seen gorgeous photos of individual cultivars and after ordering them, they look differently when we flower them at home.

We all know that footcandles of light, daylength and temperatures adjust color.

Here, this week I happen to have a coincidental representation of these influences on color.

I am more than lazy -- I am TIRED!!!, therefore, a couple of plants that I, as an indoor grower, put outside to take to a customer of mine...months ago, which are now in flower. Unfortunately for my friend/customer, I have not been able to deliver the plants from Peter for my customer's breeding collection...therefore, these plants have been outside in Florida for November/December. November saw a LOT of nights in the upper 40-degree f. nights. Risky, but if only for a limited time even bellina-derived plants can take it.

This week, I have both the outside plants and my own "inside" flourescent light plants of the same cultivar in flower at the same time. By way of full disclosure, I am originally a Cattleya person and the only reason for mentioning this is that the photos attached may suggest that the Cattleya training in my background is perhaps exactly opposite from what I have flowered recently in Phals. In cattleyas, I grew up knowing that short days and hot afternoons with *low* light produced more purple than red flowers (thanks to Soph. coccinea influence). In the case of the attached photos, all of the "better" flowers came from cool nights, shorter days with intense, direct sunlight in daytime and a more wide distinction from afternoon high heat (nearly 90 degrees f., to a nightly low of 45 degrees f.). Sophronitis exposed to high temperatures of 90-degrees f. would not produce better, brighter color. For the Phals, all of the darker ones were grown indoors with warmer nights and days. Outside conditions were of about 11 hours of natural light, high temperature in the 90's and low temperature in the 40's. Inside plants were of about 14 hours of light, high temperature in the high 70's, low temperature in the low 70's -- not much variation. Many of our grower-fathers have said that the most important factor in temperature is the DIFFERENCE between daytime high and nighttime low; this is underscored and re-proven here, in my humble opinion. I should add that the most variation I have seen is in Ld's Bear King 'YK-7', which can be down-right yellow in cooler conditions and almost red-orange in longer-day, warmer night conditions.

The photo of two flowers of LDBK 'YK-14' are also of one plant flowered inside and one outside where the buds developed and matured in less that 50-degrees f. It is also the largest I have seen this cultivar (more time to develop = larger flower?)

Bottom line: if you see a beautiful photo, know that your flower may vary, not because of mutation, but due to culture. Not bad culture...just different culture. These things are organic, after all...

By the way...has anyone used Ld's Bear King 'YK-14' as a parent? Occasionally, it does have a little streak of color in the petals, so I have been somewhat shy to use it; however, that attached solo-photo is one of the most bright yellow diploid Phals. that I have seen. I know that this cultivar has been used as a parent; does anyone have notes on the results? The last photo here is of one stem grown inside and one grown outside (the plant on the left-hand side of the photo was grown in dangerously cold 40-ish nighttime temperatures, but is beautiful and huge).
Best regards
Walton

P.S., not to be a "pusher," but I note that Peter has a plant of LDBK 'YK-14' on his website -- despite the occasional color streak, I do highly recommend it, especially if you like the fragrance of pineapple.


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 Post subject: Re: Effect of light, temperature on cultivars
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:01 pm 
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Location: Beaumont Tx
wonderful
can you share more about the way you grow them outside in a condition which is under 50f?
I am afraid I will just kill them instead


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 Post subject: Re: Effect of light, temperature on cultivars
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:48 pm 
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Location: Floridana Beach, Florida, USA
johnny31623 wrote:
wonderful
can you share more about the way you grow them outside in a condition which is under 50f?
I am afraid I will just kill them instead


Thanks. I defininetly advise against doing what I am doing, for sure, for exactly the same reason you mention! I have been surprised at how well they have grown and have had some plants outside for years under 50 f. I think the key is to grow them "hard," and so I do allow them direct sunlight until about 10:00 a.m. At first, they will get a little sunburn, but they do adjust with the next leaf to emerge and show no sunburn from that point on. A key part is to make certain that they are not wet on cold nights. I do grow them covered to protect from direct rain and only water when they are dry -- like cattleyas -- and when I know we are not going to have rainy weather and high humidity for several days coming. I do find that anything I have a duplicate of inside *grows* better, but the best flowers are definitely from my outdoor plants, year-around. I also find that I do not have to worry about mites or even mealy bugs outside, which are a constant chore growing inside, where I have to watch for both on a daily basis. All of this outside growing started by chance, when a little boy in my neighborhood gave me a generic Phal. from the grocery store as a present and it was so big that I had to leave it outside. That was about four years ago; I was amazed that it not only grew, but prospered, and now I have about 30 plants along with that first one. I took a big step this week in putting some bellina plants outside -- ones that are not "keepers," but still to nice to give away. I will have to build some kind of contraption that will keep them on an angle to keep all water out of the crown, but based on results of a fellow local grower, I am surprised that bellina can take 50 f. for short periods of time if kept absolutely dry. Like I said, I am always nervous about these plants, but if you want to give it a try, just grow them tough and watch that watering! Best of luck!

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 Post subject: Effect of light, temperature on cultivars
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:28 am 
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Let's be sure we do not confuse facts, here.

Dr. Yin-Tung Wang, then of Texas A&M, showed that it's about 10 days to two weeks of a 10-15F reduction in the average growing temperature that led to reliable spiking in phalaenopsis hybrids. Your "outdoor plants" are experiencing that, but your "indoor plants" are not. That has nothing to do with color development.

Anthocyanins have been shown to develop better in cool, bright conditions. My personal experience has shown that to be true with paphs and phrags, and I saw that in my phals last year, where I had two "flushes" of blooms in most of my plants - mid-summer and again in the late fall, and the latter were far more deeply colored.

One more observation - and that's all it is - very generally speaking, it appears that phalaenopsis species that flower in the white / pink / purple range are more responsive to temperature for spiking than are those in the red / orange / yellow range, and if you look at their environmental origins, that would make some sense. (Of course that gets muddied a bit in hybrids, but look at the genealogy of those in this thread...). Might not some of those same-or-similar environmental cues apply to color development?

For example, Phal. bellina thrives if kept super hot (I definitely agree that they can only deal with cold if bone dry), and as better color development equals greater attraction of pollinators, one would expect that to "fit" with the typical conditions, as well. Walton's outdoor plants experience not only greater variation in temperature, but warmer (and colder) temperatures, as well.

So...maybe it's not the day/night variation at all. It might be, but I sure don't know that for sure.

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