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Good Orchid News and Bad Orchid News

This is a discussion on Good Orchid News and Bad Orchid News within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello, I have been away for 10 days. Fortunately I have a kind friend who ...

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  1. #1
    Mararda's Avatar
    Mararda is offline Senior Member
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    Kate Boyce-Miles
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    Exclamation Good Orchid News and Bad Orchid News

    Hello,

    I have been away for 10 days. Fortunately I have a kind friend who agreed to spray/water my Vandas and Angraecum while I was away. This involved moving the plants and their humidity trays into the kitchen, on the north facing windowsill above the sink. I left solution mixes and instructions. The light was satisfactory, however the temperature did get cold when I was away as there was no heating...

    The good news. My Vanda Blue Magic has kept her flower spike (I am saying 'her,' because I romantically like to think that my orchids may have characters), and the progress is looking good. Six definite flower buds are now visible. She is a healthy, happy orchid:
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    The bad news is that Vanda Exotic Purple is not so happy, and when I got back, I found that she had blasted her spike, which as such resembled a blacked cinder. My friend looked after my orchids well as all the others are thriving, so some other problem caused this. I think it was probably the shock of being in lower temperatures; it is less tolerant that my other Vandas. I have also noticed that since I purchased this plant, it has been very slowly declining; and I am getting very worried. It is systematically shredding its lower leaves, and starting to resemble a palm tree. Also, the leaves are wrinkling and splitting at the ends...This Vanda receives the exact same treatment as the others. It is potted in course bark with polystyrene for drainage, stands on a humidity tray (usually on a west facing window - that is my orchid/art room), receives atleast twice daily misting, and is fed/watered properly twice a week..Once a week when it is colder. The other Vandas are happy and healthy. This one is not. The leaf signs indicate chronic dehydration to me..It gets plenty of water, so my personal deduction is that there is a problem with the water uptake, i.e. the roots. It is finer rooted than the other Vandas, and even though the pot is transparent; it is still difficult to see what state the roots are in. My plan is to take it out its pot and have a look..This will undoubtedly cause stress to the plant though..Here are some photos:
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    I have cleaned the leaves and trimmed away dead growth. I have now isolated it from the other plants. I would love advice, as I do not want to lose this Vanda. It is very pretty when in bloom. (Purple spots on a white background).

    Please help.

  2. #2
    stateless's Avatar
    stateless is offline Senior Member
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    I'm happy to hear the Blue Magic is doing well, as for the other one could be the lower temperature.

  3. #3
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    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    Congrats on the health of the first plant. As for the second, it's definitely the root system or maybe the cold. I've no experience with problems caused by cold, but we do experience problems with fungus/bacteria infection from the roots up and usually lose the plant. That is why in our tropical climate we grow them in open baskets without any medium and let the roots hang loose to minimise rot from the bottom up. Hope your vanda recovers.

  4. #4
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    I want to know how you get your miniature Cyclamen to bloom and thrive! I see it in the background - so pretty!

    I lost my one Vanda when I tried a new potting mix that didn't let enough air through and it just died in a week, broke my heart, it was getting big and looked fantastic until I repotted it in the wrong medium. I'm no expert, but I'd pull it, check the roots for damage and maybe let it grow free for a while? I've seen so many pictures of big, fabulous Vandas with no medium at all, in baskets and on hangers with miles of air roots. I don't think that would work for me, way dry here, but I learned that my Vanda needed a lot of air on its roots. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Mararda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catttan View Post
    Congrats on the health of the first plant. As for the second, it's definitely the root system or maybe the cold. I've no experience with problems caused by cold, but we do experience problems with fungus/bacteria infection from the roots up and usually lose the plant. That is why in our tropical climate we grow them in open baskets without any medium and let the roots hang loose to minimise rot from the bottom up. Hope your vanda recovers.
    Hello,

    Thank you for the reply. I am considering taking it out of the pot, so that I can trim away the bad roots, then putting it back in the pot with alot less medium, perhaps just polystyrene chips..Do you consider that a good idea? If it will fit into a vase I may try that. I find the vase method difficult however, as the humidity is not high enough in my home..

    ---------- Post Merged at 11:51 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla View Post
    I want to know how you get your miniature Cyclamen to bloom and thrive! I see it in the background - so pretty!

    I lost my one Vanda when I tried a new potting mix that didn't let enough air through and it just died in a week, broke my heart, it was getting big and looked fantastic until I repotted it in the wrong medium. I'm no expert, but I'd pull it, check the roots for damage and maybe let it grow free for a while? I've seen so many pictures of big, fabulous Vandas with no medium at all, in baskets and on hangers with miles of air roots. I don't think that would work for me, way dry here, but I learned that my Vanda needed a lot of air on its roots. Good luck!
    Hi Carol,

    Thank you for the response. I am considering taking it out of its' pot to have a closer inspection, and not exactly looking forward to what I may find either..:/ My Mum purchased the miniature Cyclamen from a shop only a couple of days ago. I do not know much about Cyclamens, however I assume they like indirect sunlight and watering when they become a bit dry..Although please do not quote me on that!

  6. #6
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    In my experience - and under my conditions - I find that vandaceous plants do not do well in standard potting media, but require something VERY open and airy, if anything at all.

    The second plant is desiccated, likely due to root suffocation and death.

  7. #7
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    I'm with Ray on this one. I grow in a greenhouse and my vandaceous plants are planted in lava rock in wooden baskets. They have some large redwood bark mixed in, but mostly now it is lava rock.

    cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
    Mararda's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the responses. Today I decided to take Vanda Exotic Purple out of its' pot, and I was not particularly surprised by the dreadful sight that met my eyes:
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    I have trimmed away all the dead roots, which is approximately 90-95% of them, and placed the Vanda in a vase. I gave the plant a drink in the vase for 15 minutes; then poured the water out. I sprinkled a dusting of cinnamon over the roots as it is apparently good for treating fungal infections (I have used it before on one of my two Vanda Blue Magic plants - which ironically had a similar problem to this plant, but was switched - it declined in the vase, and is now faring alot better (in a pot) with good leaf and foliage growth; it has taken it over a year to recover - this is a different plant to the one that I have in spike at the moment).
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    Fingers crossed that Vanda Exotic Purple will recover from its' operation!

  9. #9
    Mararda's Avatar
    Mararda is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybark View Post
    In my experience - and under my conditions - I find that vandaceous plants do not do well in standard potting media, but require something VERY open and airy, if anything at all.

    The second plant is desiccated, likely due to root suffocation and death.
    Hi Ray.

    Please enlighten me on your growing conditions?

    I live in the UK and I do not own an orchid house, therefore it is very difficult for me to provide perfect 'conditions' for all my orchids; which I love. I do the best with what I have, which is a west facing window, humidity trays and other supplies. Three of my four Vandas are happy in their potted media (course bark with polystyrene drainage), as I have stated V. Blue Magic has an advanced flower spike, the other Blue Magic plant is of similar size and health. The third Vanda is large and has a growing keiki. I had a Blue Magic in a vase once and it declined; putting it in the pot saved its' life so to speak. I will of course be watering them less from now on, perhaps once every 10-14 days is better for an immersion watering when potted - but still spraying frequently.

    V. Exotic purple has thinner and more delicate roots - what is left of them. And yes, it has serious root rot, which deeply upsets me - I had to cut off about 95% of the roots. This plant is obviously much more sensitive and needs alot more air around its roots. I hope it recovers in the vase; as long as I can keep the humidity up for it. I hate that it has got into this state in my care, as I do not consider myself negligent.

    Regards,
    Kate.

  10. #10
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    I think you have done very well, though I can't comment on the vase system, never having tried this before. I do hope Dorsetman (Geoff) sees your post and responds as he is the expert on growing vandas in the UK.

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