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Is my Aranda in spike?

This is a discussion on Is my Aranda in spike? within the **NOT IN BLOOM** All Genera forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Hi all! I have several vandaceous orchids, and my Aranda is doing something new...it has ...

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  1. #1
    OrchidAddict's Avatar
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    Post Is my Aranda in spike?

    Hi all! I have several vandaceous orchids, and my Aranda is doing something new...it has a purple growth coming out of the side! I am wondering if this could be a spike! I would have just assumed it was a root, except that all of my other vandaceous orchids produce roots that are green initially. This growth is coming out purple.

    I'm including pics below...a closeup of the growth, and also an overall picture so you can see how large the plant is. It's currently in a 6" clay pot with LECA pellets. Oh, and the name of this orchid is Noorah Alsagoff "Blue." I'm not sure how old it is; I got it as a freebie with an online order.

    Obviously, the fail-safe way of finding out if it's a spike or not would be to wait and see...but why do that when we can all have fun guessing? LOL

    Okay...what do you all think? Is this a spike or just an oddly-colored root?
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  2. #2
    Magnus A's Avatar
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    It looks like a root, purple rot tips are common.
    /M

  3. #3
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    Agree with Magnus that is a root!

  4. #4
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    Yup, I am positive it is a root. I think it is too small to produce a spike. But the plant looks healthy, could do with a bit more moisture. In a year or so it should be ready to flower.

  5. #5
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    Thanks everybody! Ah, well...a root it is, then. Halloamey, thanks for pointing out that the plant looks a tad dry. I've been playing around with how often to water it; I'm somewhat paranoid about killing my Vandaceous types from overwatering, but the leaves do look a tad crinkly. I will water a bit more frequently and see how it does.

    I appreciate all of your input! Of course, I wish it would have been a spike, but I can be patient. After all, the wait will just make it that much sweeter when the plant finally does bloom!

    Happy orchid growing!
    Smiles, Jenn

  6. #6
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    Thats the spirit! Instead of watering more frequently I would suugest you mist it daily once in the morning until the foliage gets wet. That will work fine. Happy growing.
    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    Thanks everybody! Ah, well...a root it is, then. Halloamey, thanks for pointing out that the plant looks a tad dry. I've been playing around with how often to water it; I'm somewhat paranoid about killing my Vandaceous types from overwatering, but the leaves do look a tad crinkly. I will water a bit more frequently and see how it does.

    I appreciate all of your input! Of course, I wish it would have been a spike, but I can be patient. After all, the wait will just make it that much sweeter when the plant finally does bloom!

    Happy orchid growing!
    Smiles, Jenn

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    Thats the spirit! Instead of watering more frequently I would suugest you mist it daily once in the morning until the foliage gets wet. That will work fine. Happy growing.
    Really? I can just mist it and that will make that much of a difference? Well okay, then...I'll give it a try! I've never been a "mister...." I have two paphs, five dendrobiums, and I won't even go into how many phals I have...I'd have to actually count them to know...but none of them have ever needed misting; they've all been perfectly happy with regular watering. It's only the vandaceous ones that have been getting crinkled, and I wasn't sure why (I have four vandaceous types, and all are a tad crinkly). I'll start misting them tomorrow morning!

    Thanks for the great advice! -Jenn

  8. #8
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    i think with vanda types, the spikes usually start deeper in the fold of the leaf, where it is attached to the stem, almost hidden at first and come out more upright, following the pocket made by the leaf and stem. when something comes out of the side, or near the edge of the leaf, it is a root. i'm not sure if light, or temperature, or both play a factor in the color of root tips, but i am guessing those with reddish and orange flowers are more likely to have purple root tips in bright light. i have a red phal that has purple root tips when the roots are out of the medium and exposed to the air. also, are you actually doing semi-hydro? or just using the pellets, but not keeping the bottom submerged in water? those pellets dry out really fast without the base being in water. and vanda types don't do well in semi-hydro, the roots need to dry out frequently to avoid rot. nearly lost a couple ascos to root rot in semi-hydro. for my vandas i have made a custom mix of the pellets, large bark, treefern fiber, pearlite, and sphagnum moss, that seems to do the trick better than any of those by themselves. i only have to water twice a week, but i do mist on warmer days also. the medium holds a little moisture but still does not stay 'wet' all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coeruleo View Post
    i think with vanda types, the spikes usually start deeper in the fold of the leaf, where it is attached to the stem, almost hidden at first and come out more upright, following the pocket made by the leaf and stem. when something comes out of the side, or near the edge of the leaf, it is a root. i'm not sure if light, or temperature, or both play a factor in the color of root tips, but i am guessing those with reddish and orange flowers are more likely to have purple root tips in bright light. i have a red phal that has purple root tips when the roots are out of the medium and exposed to the air. also, are you actually doing semi-hydro? or just using the pellets, but not keeping the bottom submerged in water? those pellets dry out really fast without the base being in water. and vanda types don't do well in semi-hydro, the roots need to dry out frequently to avoid rot. nearly lost a couple ascos to root rot in semi-hydro. for my vandas i have made a custom mix of the pellets, large bark, treefern fiber, pearlite, and sphagnum moss, that seems to do the trick better than any of those by themselves. i only have to water twice a week, but i do mist on warmer days also. the medium holds a little moisture but still does not stay 'wet' all the time.
    Ahhh...thanks, Coeruleo! Great info! Now I know what to look for! As for your question...I'm actually just doing the pellets. I have other orchids that are in mixtures of pellets and bark, and some in bark only, but those are orchids that can tolerate being in a "damper" environment. Perhaps it's our climate here in Pennsylvania, but growing media here seems to stay wet a LONG time. It's usually not a problem when we have sunny days, but if we get a week of rain, I'll actually end up with mold growing on my bark because it just doesn't dry out. I have to really keep an eye on everything to make sure my plants are okay when it's wet here.

    I actually got the pellet idea from another member in this forum, who has been successfully growing vandas on a windowsill in a New York apartment using only LECA pellets. Since the climate is pretty much the same here as it is in New York, I thought I'd give it a try. For the most part, the vanda types seem very happy, with new growth on all of them. Two are really tiny seedlings, and they have been thriving well. All were free gifts with internet orders, so I'm grateful they've been getting along well in the first place! I never would have bought a vanda myself, because I didn't think I could grow one in PA. But they're all very happy, except for the crinkles.

    Perhaps there is something else I could be doing to help them, so I'll tell you a bit of how I care for them.

    Generally, I water them every other day. If it's been a really damp week I'll go another day or two before watering. I can usually tell if they need water by pushing some pellets aside and looking down to see if the roots are still greenish. From time to time I will pull my vandaceous orchids completely out of their pellets and inspect the roots, because I like to get a good idea of how wet the roots are staying on the bottom; what I'm finding is that when I pull them out, the pellets at the top of the pot will be dry but the roots and pellets at the bottom are quite damp. I just repotted the orchid in question, actually (it was getting too big for its 4" pot), and when I pulled it out I found damp roots at the bottom with some fuzzy stuff growing on them. Some of the pellets were actually stuck to the roots by the fuzzy mold. I think I got it out just in time, before my roots started taking damage.

    Anyway, that's basically why I'm nervous about putting the vandas in anything other than straight pellets. The leaves have actually only started looking a bit "crinkly" since the weather has gotten really warm. I am really giving them lots of sun; in the morning they get a few hours of direct light in an Eastern window, and then in the afternoon I move them to a Western windowsill, where they get several hours of direct afternoon sun. Perhaps I am actually giving them TOO MUCH sun? I wasn't sure I could grow them in PA because of the light requirements, but they seem quite happy. The only problem with the current system is the crinkly leaves. I'm going to try the misting technique suggested before. Perhaps that will perk things up a bit.

    What do you think about the sun situation? Could I be baking my orchids by accident?

    Thanks for all your help!

    Smiles, Jenn

  10. #10
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    If they are in much sun, which I suspect because the color of the new root, they need to be watered at least daily. As Amey suggested keeping the humidity up by misting is high priority. I know I mention it often about the investment in a cool mist humidifier is a low cost way to bump up humidity and watch your orchids take off in leaps and bounds. They will show their appreciation with good root growth and spikes.

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