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How to Care for Encyclia Tampensis

This is a discussion on How to Care for Encyclia Tampensis within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I have some questions about this tank setup. I can get it pretty humid in ...

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  1. #21
    mmosley is offline Junior Member
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    I have some questions about this tank setup. I can get it pretty humid in there with a tray of hot water and a towel partially covering the top of the aquarium. How do I promote circulation in this tank? I've read that a lot of orchidariums are set up with a small computer fan, but I figure only partially covering the tank with a towel should be adequate to allow for proper ventilation while retaining some humidity.

  2. #22
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    My tank has no cover. The two light ballasts I have on top are long enough and wide enough to cover most of the top. They provide ambient heat and enough cover allowing a couple of inches of space for the appropriate air to circculate in and out of the tank. I do use a computer fan that is connected to an ajustable ac adapter so I can change the speed. This is where you have to supplement the use of the fan. If you read up on humidity you can find that as temp decreases humidity increases and the opposite with temp increased, humidity would decrease. The fan tends to lower the temps of the tank, so there would be less evaporation during the "sun" hours of the day with a fan on. I use the fan at a higher speed just to dry off the plants faster at night if i was water happy that day...haha,.. or to dry off the sitting water on leaves during the day after I water. I have lost tons of spikes and sheaths do to sitting water and it wont happen again under my watch again..lol, Otherwise I leave the fan almost barely on to keep relative humidity at a good percentage. Sometimes my ambient heat is enough that i dont even need the fan because the plants dry off in time for the lights to be shut off. I do also put water on the bottom of my tank every 5 days or so. Just enough, maybe a half inch(remember plants are lifted off the ground as to not let stand in water), but after 5 days i make sure everything is dry cause you can start mold growth on the pots. If you wait longer there is also no problem. I find dry conditions for orchids to be more beneficial then wet conditions . and then to sum it all up. I use the fan mostly for emergencies where my medium needs to dry off quicker(tho light/heat works better then wind sometimes) or if i just want to create a nice little breeze to deter mold and such. You could ultimately get misters also but i like to personally do it so i can fine tune the water for what my orchids(pets) deserve...:P hope my rant helps...i think im confused now...lol :P

  3. #23
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    Pindar is offline Senior Member
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    Andrew- don't call it a rant! That was very clear and informative, and generous. I am bound to agree with you regarding water/humidity... I find that as a rule of thumb it is very true that most orchids will get by on too little, but will suffer gravely from too much. I attribute all my early success to the fact that initially my conservatory was always too dry (since I learned how to regulate it better, everything is much less hit-and-miss.)

  4. #24
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    I have a number of Encyclias. Allow me me share one of my observations related to these orchids. I usually obtain relatively young plants. For a period of time they do not appear to thrive. The early growth is very slow, almost stunted. This slow growth can last a year or more through several growth cycles. I have learned that as soon as I see a significant increase in the size of the roots being produced, the plant will begin to grow aggressively into a healthy mature plant. I see this growth pattern to be almost universal in my Encyclias and to be uncommon in other Cattleya Alliance orchids. I have also observed that until the increase in root size occurs these orchids require more frequent watering than most Cattleya Alliance plants. I am certainly not an expert and would appreciate knowing if others observe this type growth.

  5. #25
    mmosley is offline Junior Member
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    Very informative, guys!

    I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all this info, though; it's a lot to take in.

    I don't have any covering over my tank anymore. It's wide open. I just make sure to check the velamen daily to be sure it goes green when i water it early in the morning and goes back to white by nighttime. I mist it to give it some humidity. I also put a little water at the bottom of my tank that is already covered with a 1/2 inch layer of pebbles. Under the tank, I have a heating pad tuned on high that causes the water to evaporate easily. Without any covering, it may not be a humid as it would like, but it's better there than just out in the open, sitting on the windowsill, or trapped in a humid, stale vat.
    The way I see it is, you can fix dehydration and lack of humidity, but not overhydration.
    He's still alive and quite well (:

  6. #26
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    Hmm. Hi Dean. Maybe it's an environment thing... I don't know:the mini catts I have took their time getting into gear, that's for sure; similarly, Enc cordigera and Enc pterocarpa var ionoglossa are still marking time. All my other Encs took of like a shot and never looked back. Part of the reason why I got into them was precisely because they do SO well and give no problems. Except the two I mentioned: there has been no growth in the 9 months since I got them.

    This as not any help, but that is my experience. If it helps, my other Encs are: cochleata, pygmaea, vitellina, (vitellina x michuacana) x vitellina, (vitellina x michuacana) x Laelia harpophylla, aspera, alata, radiata, ensifolia, pterocarpa.
    Quote Originally Posted by sammywolffox View Post
    I have a number of Encyclias. Allow me me share one of my observations related to these orchids. I usually obtain relatively young plants. For a period of time they do not appear to thrive. The early growth is very slow, almost stunted. This slow growth can last a year or more through several growth cycles. I have learned that as soon as I see a significant increase in the size of the roots being produced, the plant will begin to grow aggressively into a healthy mature plant. I see this growth pattern to be almost universal in my Encyclias and to be uncommon in other Cattleya Alliance orchids. I have also observed that until the increase in root size occurs these orchids require more frequent watering than most Cattleya Alliance plants. I am certainly not an expert and would appreciate knowing if others observe this type growth.

  7. #27
    mmosley is offline Junior Member
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    Here's my little pride and joy (:

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    It still looks pretty healthy!
    When I watered it this morning, the velamen did turn a light green color, and now, it's solid white and feels dry.
    I guess I'm doing something right (:

    But ever since it's arrived, it's had this one leaf with some yellow discoloration:

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    Is it ok, or should I be concerned?

  8. #28
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    hmmm that leaf just seems to be dieing off and that is a normal part of the plants process. If a new healthy leaf starts to die off then you know there is a problem. You say this is a Encyclia tampensis right? Maybe its just my eyes but the leaf width and pseudobulb shape kind of looks like a Encyclia cordigera, or maybe even a Enc. tampensis hybrid....lol...or maybe im just trying to confuse you more..lol hahaha....either way it seems like your on your way to making this guy happy

  9. #29
    mmosley is offline Junior Member
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    Ok, good (:

    Well, I did order a regular Encyclia tampensis orchid online from a guy who had excellent ratings. But maybe it's possible he accidentally sent me another variety.

    I guess when it flowers, it'll reveal its true identity (:

    Or maybe this E. tampensis wants to be different from the rest!

    ---------- Post added at 02:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:36 PM ----------

    Ok, good (:

    Well, I did order a regular Encyclia tampensis orchid online from a guy who had excellent ratings. But maybe it's possible he accidentally sent me another variety.

    I guess when it flowers, it'll reveal its true identity (:

    Or maybe this E. tampensis wants to be different from the rest!

  10. #30
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    either or its a nice plump and healthy looking plant. Characteristics of a flower and of a plant can help ID it. Its can also show how it was grown and what environment it was in before. Just curious. Bet you cant wait to get your first spikes...hehe :P

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