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Thread: Vanda - jumbo blue (ascocenda)

  1. #1
    NECPS President Dave S.'s Avatar
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    I just received a Vanda as a gift and I have been doing some research to keep it alive. I have it in a slatted-plastic basket and it is growing bare root right now. I mist the roots everyday in the morning and I have read that they can get root rot very easily. It gets bright light, (not direct sun) in the morning and early afternoon. Should I add lava rock to the basket to boost the humidity? It is bascially growing on a windowsill right now. Does anyone have any growing tips that they would like to share?

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    Hi Dave,
    We grow quite a few Vandas and Ascocendas, and find them to be extremely rewarding. No other group of orchids has such a broad color range. We are located in south Florida, where Vandas are happy in our humid, warm climate.
    I don't know where you are located, but maintaining high humidity is vital to Vandas. We find its better is wet down the ground under the hanging baskets on dry days, rather than misting the roots. The roots should be watered heavily-turn the hose on them and flush the basket and trailing roots until they turn green. Some of the newer roots may remain whitish,but get the roots soaked. Then let them dry back to the white color. If humidity is correct, this should take over an hour. On hot dry days, we may water three times as described above in one day. They should be dry by nightfall. Do not mist the roots, it will promote fungal attack. Strap leaf Vandas and Ascos like bright filtered light. They could take a little early morning direct sun, but not past 9 AM in the summer. Another misconception is the need for continuous heat. Day temps. in the 80s F, is best, but they tolerate chills down into the fifties. In fact, it often gooses them into flowering. Vandas with V. coerulea in their background definitely like the cooler nights. V. coerulea actually suffers a bit through Florida summers. Don't forget air movement. Proper air movement keeps them strong, and helps reduce the risk of fungal attack.
    Didn't mean to get so long winded, but want you to have success with your Ascocenda!

    Trent

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    NECPS President Dave S.'s Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. I am growing it inside a warm, dry house in New England and the humidity that it is getting right now seems to be the biggest issue. I have the light and temps and air circulation covered, but I certainly need to raise the humidity. I might put a table top fountain underneath it, with a pump on a timer or build a lowland growth chamber for it. I appreciate the information in your post.

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