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  #1  
Old 11-21-2022, 06:24 PM
Simone S Simone S is offline
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Dracula velutina spike and care questions Female
Default Dracula velutina spike and care questions

I'm excited to have new growth and what must be a spike on a Dracula velutina var xanthina! I've only had the plant for about 3ish months, so I can't claim to know what I'm doing with it in any real way, but I do think it is happy in my care so far.

Other than avoiding any major changes in culture, is there anything I can do to hurry the spike along or at least not delay it? Am I in for months of waiting or weeks (obviously I am hoping for the latter )?

I have it in a cold death window where many tropicals have gone to flounder during our Minnesota winters. 60-70 degrees maximum now and will get colder as winter progresses, in the low to mid 50s won't be out of the question.

55-65% RH is fairly common for this room. Should I be working on increasing the humidity for long term happiness?

I keep it moist but not swampy. I've read that these can take fairly low temps as long as they are kept moist. Or is it that they can take higher than ideal temps if kept dry? Would love to have someone confirm/share wisdom.

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2022, 09:59 PM
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The Dracula growers will be along shortly. Don't let it dry out.
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2022, 09:22 PM
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Bump. Hey Dracula growers!
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Old 11-22-2022, 09:56 PM
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Bump noted!

Don't let it dry out, ever. While the wisdom frequently shared here- "dry orchids can tolerate cold much better than damp or wet ones" is spot on for *most* outdoor plants and 95% of other circumstances, it's not the case for Draculas. Keep it evenly moist- it's better to be wetter than drier for these guys. They simply don't have the reserves to withstand any periods without irrigation- the leaves will drop very quickly and the plant will die. That temp range is just fine- we grow all of ours outside, and they see nights in the 40s all throughout the winter and do just fine.

As for the spike, Draculas can be extremely variable, not just depending on the species, but the plant itself. I've had ones go from pushing out a spike to being in bloom 30 days later to others that will "stall" and just sit there, with a happy and green spike and then get going again- maybe 90 days total. As with many things Orchid.... patience.

Enjoy your Drac!


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  #5  
Old 11-22-2022, 10:24 PM
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Excellent news! I was hoping I finally found the right plant for that special death window. It gets great light so it seems a shame to waste it.

I will follow all the good advice to keep it moist. I have a few Dracula astuta and a Masdevallia Pinot Noir in the same conditions as well.

I thank you for relaying your experience with spike development! Patience it is!

I thought I had learned patience from waiting for tomatoes to ripen but I am often wrong when it comes to self assessment and tomatoes are a lot quicker than orchids

---------- Post added at 08:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:23 PM ----------

Appreciate the bump!
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Old 11-23-2022, 01:15 AM
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Most Dracs love cool and damp. So don't worry about cold. Problem will come next summer, they tend to hate heat, though I have found Dracs to be more forgiving of summer warmth than Masdevallias.

One suggestion... I don't know about the habit of this one, many Dracs bloom from the side and bottom, so a net pot likely will be better. I use sphagnum and keep them sopping wet. Mine live outside getting winter night temps into the 30''s F.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:31 AM
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I'm working on a game plan for summer. They might have to go into the basement where it is cooler. Our summers here are as hot as our winters are cold. Quite rare that I can easily make a plant happier in winter :0

I was wondering about the pot! They came to me with mealybugs, which I've been treating with alcohol and soap and haven't seen in a while, but I was planning to repot just to be safe. Net pots and sphag might be in order. I was also considering tree fern, which stays wetter than bark for me and I feel more confident growing in it than sphag.

Suggestions on the best time to repot?
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Old 11-23-2022, 12:19 PM
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General principal of repotting with new growth still holds, but Dracs seem to be growing most of the time, so I don't think that you need to wait.
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