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Lazy Vandas!

This is a discussion on Lazy Vandas! within the **NOT IN BLOOM** All Genera forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Hey there! Hoping someone can give me tips on how to get my lazy vandas ...

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  1. #1
    OrchidAddict's Avatar
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    Question Lazy Vandas!

    Hey there! Hoping someone can give me tips on how to get my lazy vandas to do something!

    I have four vandaceous types...two seedlings and two mid-sized. The little ones are in clay pots with LECA pellets, and they seem to be growing nicely. However, the two larger ones are just sitting there not doing much at all.

    They used to be potted in LECA pellets as well, but because they needed much larger pots to accommodate the roots, I found the LECAs weren't drying out completely in between waterings. So, a couple of weeks ago, I re-potted both of the larger ones into pseudo-baskets that I made out of metal mesh mounted inside pots with holes in them to allow air to flow up from the bottom of the plant as well as all around it. I have some LECAs and coarse bark in the baskets to anchor the plants, and to give them a little more moisture and protect the roots from the hot sun.

    I water them once every morning, and they are dry by nightfall or earlier. They get several hours of direct sun every morning in an Eastern window, and then several hours of direct afternoon sun in a Western window. I'm sure they're getting enough light, as my dendrobiums got sunburn when grown in the same conditions (no sunburn on the vandas).

    But the biggest issue seems to be that they just aren't growing. I give them SuperThrive every so often and also some weak fertilizer ("weakly weekly") on the same schedule as my other orchids.

    I got a dendrobium in the same order as these vandas, and it has grown an entirely new cane since it arrived...I'm expecting it to spike soon...while the vandas have barely popped out a couple of centimeters of new leaf. What's the deal?

    Could it be that they just didn't have the right conditions before with the LECA pellets? And now that they do, when can I expect them to actually do something? Or are vandaceous orchids just really slow growers?

    These are fairly high-maintenance plants...it would be nice if they'd at least grow a leaf or something.

    Thoughts? Is there anything I can do "wake up" the plants and get them growing? I'll take any suggestions you've got...anyone know any voodoo chants?

    Thanks!

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    What are the names of the Vandas that are sulking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gage View Post
    What are the names of the Vandas that are sulking?
    One's a Mokara Red x Mokara Chin On, and the other is an Aranda Noorah Alsagoff "Blue." I know they're technically not Vandas, but I think they're considered "vandaceous," and, from what I understand, the culture is the same, right? Thanks, Gage!

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    Yes, culture is basically the same, but these may require a bit more light. I don't have any Mokara or Aranda, but I know that they both have Arachnis in them which require more light than Vanda to bloom. The light you describe sounds bright enough to at least grow. Are your windows tinted at all?

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    Hey, anything vandaceous should just be shipped to either Cathy or Connie, it seems. I know they'll love it there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gage View Post
    Yes, culture is basically the same, but these may require a bit more light. I don't have any Mokara or Aranda, but I know that they both have Arachnis in them which require more light than Vanda to bloom. The light you describe sounds bright enough to at least grow. Are your windows tinted at all?
    Hmm...interesting. Nope...no tint on the windows...and I'm putting them on the windowsill where they are getting blasted with the full sun instead of behind the shades where my lower-light plants reside. One of them has some crinkling of the leaves...not sure if that's worth mentioning...someone advised me to mist it to reduce the crinkles, but misting didn't seem to help at all...they actually started looking more crinkly after I misted, so I stopped.

    There is another window I could shuttle them to during the day if another 2 hours of full sun would be beneficial...it's more work for me, though, and I'm already moving them back and forth so they can catch as much light as possible. I wonder if putting them outside in the summer sun would wake them up. It gets pretty darn sunny on my deck, and there are places where they could happily bake all day long in the sun if they wanted to.

    I'm just a tad worried I might end up traumatizing them...since they just got repotted a couple of weeks ago. And the crinkles on the one plant worry me a bit...I'm not sure about giving a crinkly plant moreheat. But on the other hand, it is much more humid outside than it is in the house. I dunno...what do you think? Should I move them outside?

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    I wonder if they are getting too hot, and with less humidity that could really dry them out too much. As you know, crinkly leaves = not enough moisture, for one reason or another. If you have a drape or blinds holding in the heat, that may be too much. Does that sound like what could be happening?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gage View Post
    I wonder if they are getting too hot, and with less humidity that could really dry them out too much. As you know, crinkly leaves = not enough moisture, for one reason or another. If you have a drape or blinds holding in the heat, that may be too much. Does that sound like what could be happening?
    Hmmm...that's a good point. I didn't really think about the heat aspect of it...I figured, if they like full sun, give them full sun! But that giant window might be too much without the ability to disperse the heat. The window takes up practically the whole wall of the room (it's actually several windows in a cluster), and the sun beats through them so powerfully that we have to leave it shaded all the time (even in the winter) or the house would heat up so fast our air conditioning wouldn't be able to keep up. So I know the sun is powerful there, and with those long drapes...that's a lot of heat for a small space like that.

    I think you probably nailed the problem there, Gage. Thanks!!!

    That would certainly explain the crinkles, too. I was stumped on that one...I know crinkled leaves = not enough moisture, but I couldn't figure out why it was happening. Okay. So then the question becomes...what do I do with them now? I can't leave the shades open or we'll bake, but I'm not sure they'll get enough sun without that afternoon dose.

    And putting them on the other side of the curtain won't work, because that curtain does its job so well that I have several phals just on the other side of it, and they are quite happy. That wouldn't be enough light for these guys.

    Do you think putting them on a humidity tray would help the issue? I've heard mixed reviews about the effectiveness of humidity trays, but I'm willing to give it a try if it means my plants would feel better. I just don't know if that would provide enough humidity to counteract the heat factor.

    What are your thoughts on the humidity tray?

    By the way, I REALLY appreciate your help on this one. I feel sort of silly that I missed something so obvious! You are awesome!

    Okay...so, do you think a humidity tray will do the trick, or will that not be enough?


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    i dont think they are getting enough moisture and also the humidity.....how is the air circulation? i see Arandas in full sun and water twice daily and the lawn around the coconut stumps they are mounted on is soaked to raise the humidity

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    Great! I'm glad we may have gotten to the bottom of it! You can probably solve this easily by adding a small fan at one end of the window sill to keep the air moving. I'm not sure about the humidity, but I'm thinking the heat is probably the bigger issue here. What is the relative humidity of the room generally?

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