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Vanda Trevor Rathbone trouble

This is a discussion on Vanda Trevor Rathbone trouble within the General Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Hi all! I haven't posted in ages and have been agonizing over this evil vanda ...

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  1. #1
    Becky15349's Avatar
    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    Question Vanda Trevor Rathbone trouble

    Hi all! I haven't posted in ages and have been agonizing over this evil vanda I have and trying to figure out why it won't do anything. I've had it about a year and got it from a vendor in south florida. Here is how i am currently growing it:

    1. Exposure: South window, 23rd floor, great light!
    2. Water 1x a week, fertilize roughly every other watering (not as much in the winter)
    3. Good air movement w/ 6" desk fans
    4. Humidity is stable around 50-70%
    5. Media is a mixture of wine corks and coarse fir bark with some sphagnum on top to hold in moisture

    This vanda is a Trevor Rathbone. In the year I've had it, it put out 3 leaves reaaaaaaaaly slowly and nothing else. It is currently putting out its 3rd new leaf since I've had it. I attached a picture to this posting to give you an idea of how large it is - its in an 6" pot.

    Can any vanda growers out there give me any advice? Anything I should change about my growing? I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks! ~Becky
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  2. #2
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    Dorsetman is online now Senior Member
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    Rebecca, your Vanda looks good to me . Perfect foliage, and it seems that your newest leaves are longer than any before, which is a sign that you are doing a lot right.
    But I'm surprised when you say that you have a south-facing window - and on the 23rd floor there cannot be much outside casting any shade (?) .How is it that your plant is not showing signs of sunburn ? Do you have some kind of fancy glass , blocking infra-red or ultra violet ? Or do you keep blinds drawn or is your vanda way from the window ?
    If not , maybe the answer is temperature. Vandas spike after a temperature drop. I don't know how you will manage that ,but I will tell you what my plants get - and you can check out my recent postings of Vanda Robert Delight, Vanda Pat Delight and a couple of others in the past couple of weeks.I have to grow in a greenhouse, which is set to 17 degrees C as a winter night minimum. On cold nights ( minus 5 is forecast for tonight) it will go down to 15, hopefully no lower. A drop below that , say to 10 would certainly start off a fresh crop of spikes ( I have a lot coming up now from the first cold night of the late summer, when the temperature went down to about 10 - lower than I would want to aim for - due to a heating problem that one night). Its not essential to go that low, and I have not done any proper experiments, but I think the main thing is a drop of say 5 degrees below the normal temperature which the plant has got used to.
    Try it for a few nights, then look for a spike within say 10-12 weeks.

  3. #3
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    Hi Becky, good to hear from you here again! Just looking at your vanda, it appears healthy. A couple of observations: 1. I agree with Geoff about a temperature change. 2. Perhaps you could try changing its potting situation. Sometimes, if the growing setup is perfect, the orchid will just continue to grow and not bloom. It often takes a bit of stress to induce a spike. Also, this one appears to be potted a bit deep, but that is really up to you. I grow all of my vandas in lava rock in open baskets, so I am more accustomed to seeing much more of their roots. Finally, 3. I would try to increase the light this vanda is getting. The color looks so even on the leaves and looking at my own vandas, the upper leaves here appear much more light green than the lower leaves. Vandas can take high light. Obviously, I grow in a green house, but my vandas hang in the top of the house nearest the roof and get the most light of any of my orchids. We do have shade cloth of 50% during the summer months, so no direct sun light or they will burn, but they do take high light.

    Good luck getting this vanda orchid to bloom. It really looks healthy, so I am guessing you are just keeping him too happy. Give him more light and a temp change and consider re-potting him to disturb his root system a bit. That should nudge him into showing off what he can do.

    Cheers,
    BD

  4. #4
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    Hi Becky, I agree with Geoff and Bruce,by right your Vanda is due for flowering somehow something is not right there which prevent him from blooming, Here in Malaysia I never used any media just hanging with plastic pot to encourage formation of aerial roots and further growing of course looking for bloom too.Anyway good luck may your Vanda soon will promise something to you.

  5. #5
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    Hey all - thanks for the great feedback! I didn't know that vanda's spike after a temp drop! It has been about maybe 6-8 weeks of cold here, so maybe that isn't long enough to cause it to bloom. I actually have this one potted in media (very coarse) because I can't water it everyday, so it has to retain some moisture or else it would dry out much too quickly. I do have pure south windows with absolutely no obstruction, so I can't increase the light...It really is very strong light, so I don't think light is the issue there, this little guy might just be too happy! I might unpot it later just to ruffle its feathers a bit

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