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A New and Unruly Angraecum Sesquipedale

This is a discussion on A New and Unruly Angraecum Sesquipedale within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; On today's nursery visit, I was accompanied by my husband, Phillip (otherwise known to be ...

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  1. #1
    mauraec's Avatar
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    Default A New and Unruly Angraecum Sesquipedale

    On today's nursery visit, I was accompanied by my husband, Phillip (otherwise known to be a bonsai enthusiast), who became obsessed with acquiring a Darwin's Orchid (photo below).

    The particular specimen he ended up choosing is almost too healthy and exuberant - it's got new growth roots at least 9-12" long (terrestrial) springing from the center column, and new aerial roots well over a foot as well, the entire plant stands about 18" tall, about the same in width, and is potted in a 4" - yes, 4 inch- square plastic pot. From the photo, it looks like it's in a bigger pot, but it's actually just perched on the edge of it so that no further accidental breakage occurs.

    From what little I have learned about repotting, this should have been repotted weeks ago, after it finished blooming, and before the new growth extended beyond a couple of inches - oh, well....

    The question is: What to do now? We could really use some guidance on how to repot - what to cut or not cut, how big a pot, what medium to use, etc. I've done a little research, but I have my own repotting issues with a couple overgrown Beallaras right now, so any guidance would be EXTREMELY appreciated.

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    Thanks -

    Maura

  2. #2
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    Actually, Phillip has joined orchidtalk just now and anyone with input on this matter is invited to post it on his "Introduce Yourself" thread. His username is Phillip C.

    Thanks, y'all,

    Maura

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    COngrats on buying this beautiful and healthy blooming sized Angraecum sesquipedale. I would recommend repotting it in bigger pot with plenty of drainage holes on the bottom and also on the sides, or you could grow it in a basket, if you can manage watering it every other day in winters and everyday in summers. I grow mine hanging in a basket using a medium that is 1:1 hard wood charcoal (1 -2 inch pieces) and coconut husk chips of roughly the same size. I give it Vanda light (bright indirect 50% shade) lots warmth and water not allowing it to dry completely. It is also fertilized with my Vandas every week now, (earlier when I was in India it was 3 times a week). It is growing rapidly, here is a link to a similar topic where you can find pictures of my plant at the end.
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...quipedale.html
    Since these photographs from October, it has put up 3 new sets of leaves (6 new leaves!!) I love these fast growing beauties.

  4. #4
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    i think it would do really well in a wooden basket with some bark in it, but you might have to water everyday. Your plant looks so healthy.

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    paphioboy is offline Senior Member
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    Very nice... I'd love to have a sesquipedale too...

  6. #6
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    I knew I could count on y'all for help with this. I have about a hundred questions, but since this is Phillip's (my husband) first orchid - he chose it, named it Charlie, and then joined us here at orchidtalk himself, I'm restraining myself and going to let him ask the questions. By the way, he has his first thread in the Introduce Yourself Forum, so anyone who is inclined can write to him about this there. In the meantime, I'll pass along all the great input you've already given. Thanks especially, Amey, for the thorough rundown. (Where are you now that you're not in India right now?)

    Maura

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    I would put that in a nice wooden basket with large chunks of coconut husk and redwood bark and some crushed lava rock. Potted tightly, but in a very free draining mix. Those roots will go crazy in a basket and wrap all around and through it. Good for you too. An exceptional looking orchid.

    cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
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    A beautiful plant and congratulations. I agree with the comments above. The one thing I would add is "DO NOT DISTURB THE ROOTS". It will sulk the growth for a long time.

    I would pull the plant out of the current pot, shake it bit to get rid of those old mixes and put it back with fresh medium.
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  9. #9
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    Default Some (many) questions about my new monster sesquipedale

    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    COngrats on buying this beautiful and healthy blooming sized Angraecum sesquipedale. I would recommend repotting it in bigger pot with plenty of drainage holes on the bottom and also on the sides, or you could grow it in a basket, if you can manage watering it every other day in winters and everyday in summers. I grow mine hanging in a basket using a medium that is 1:1 hard wood charcoal (1 -2 inch pieces) and coconut husk chips of roughly the same size. I give it Vanda light (bright indirect 50% shade) lots warmth and water not allowing it to dry completely. It is also fertilized with my Vandas every week now, (earlier when I was in India it was 3 times a week). It is growing rapidly, here is a link to a similar topic where you can find pictures of my plant at the end.
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...quipedale.html
    Since these photographs from October, it has put up 3 new sets of leaves (6 new leaves!!) I love these fast growing beauties.

    Thanks, Amey, for the valuable input, especially in the link you provided; you have answered quite a few of the questions I had regarding this beast. Now that I have learned some of the basics, I have some specific questions I think you and the other experienced growers might be able to help me with. In the first picture below you can see that it's a pretty big plant in a small pot. It looks like to me that there is no question that it needs to be repotted. From what I have read it probably should have been repotted after it bloomed but that obviously didn't happen and I am left with no choice but to repot it now. I read that it needs a very course medium with excellent drainage. I have helped Maura repot numerous orchids and even repotted some of my own Bonsai, I believe that I can mix the right medium for it. It has been a challenge to find a reasonably sized pot that will hold those big terrestrial roots that measure 12.5 inches wide and are about 8 inches deep (see pictures below) when measured from the top of the current medium. I have decided on an 8 inch diameter pot that is 8.5 inches deep. Having read here that root disturbance should be kept to a minimum do you think this much bending and moving is disturbing the roots too much? Should I just put it in a basket which would have to go on the floor as I have no place to hang a basket from the ceiling? If it is indeed too much disturbance would that kill the plant or cause it to skip blooming this winter? I have to do something and with the prohibition against too much root disturbance, I am not quite sure what to do. Would you clean the old medium from between the roots while clipping out obviously dead roots? Would you wash the roots and treat them with fungicide or not? Once it is repotted where should it go given that Maura and I don't have a green house, merely a patio and a South facing sliding glass door? I realize that I have asked a lot of questions for one post, but I'd be grateful for any advice on any part of this dilemma from any of you experienced growers. Thanks so much. Phillip

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  10. #10
    Halloamey's Avatar
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    Welcome to OT Philip, I think you and Maura are our very first enthusiastic orchid couple I will try and answer your questions one by one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip C View Post
    From what I have read it probably should have been repotted after it bloomed but that obviously didn't happen.
    True, it should have been repotted then, but now would also be a good time to repot it, since it is summer and the plant is in active growth, it will heal quickly and grow out its new roots in the new medium.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip C View Post
    It has been a challenge to find a reasonably sized pot that will hold those big terrestrial roots. I have decided on an 8 inch diameter pot that is 8.5 inches deep.
    I wouldn’t recommend a pot, a basket on the other hand would be a good option, so that you do not disturb the aerial roots much and the medium remains airy. Below is a picture of a plastic basket which you could find very easily and very cheap. The roots can be gently woven through the holes. A 8 inch plastic basket would be a good option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip C View Post
    Would you clean the old medium from between the roots while clipping out obviously dead roots? I read that it needs a very course medium with excellent drainage.
    Yes I would recommend getting the old medium out. First make sure that the roots are not sticking and holding on to the old pot, if they are just gently cut the pot with sharp scissors, leave the pot pieces attached to the roots, they won’t harm the plant. Then soak the root ball in water, shaking gently to remove any media, you could also use a pair of tweezers and gently work your way in and remove any moss and old media. Don’t try to remove the media sticking to the roots. As for the new media, I already suggested it in the earlier post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip C View Post
    Having read here that root disturbance should be kept to a minimum do you think this much bending and moving is disturbing the roots too much? Would you wash the roots and treat them with fungicide or not? If it is indeed too much disturbance would that kill the plant or cause it to skip blooming this winter?
    Make sure that the roots are misted and thoroughly wet, that way they are more pliable. And in case it snaps a bit or develops a few cracks don’t worry too much, give a rubbing of a fungicide and its good. The plant won’t die, but it is very possible it will skip blooming this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip C View Post
    Once it is repotted where should it go given that Maura and I don't have a green house, merely a patio and a South facing sliding glass door. Should I just put it in a basket which would have to go on the floor as I have no place to hang a basket from the ceiling?
    A south facing window sounds good, plenty of diffused sunlight and warmth and humidity is all good. Instead of placing the basket on the ground I would rather place it on a stool or an upturned pot, so that air can freely move all around the pot.

    I hope that has answered many of your questions and that I have been of some help.

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