Dracula lotax not doing anything. How can I adjust care?
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  #1  
Old 06-04-2015, 06:04 PM
astrid astrid is offline
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Dracula lotax not doing anything. How can I adjust care? Female
Default Dracula lotax not doing anything. How can I adjust care?

Hello!

I bought a small dracula lotax in February. It had about 5 leaves then, but it has dropped two in that time and otherwise stayed almost exactly the same as when I purchased it. I repotted it as it was in green algae-ful moss and it needed it.

I keep it in a two-layer pot setup, and it sits in a smaller pot in the middle. The outer pot is just a plastic container. The inner pot is a clay pot. I have sphagnum moss that is constantly wet packed between the walls of the two pots to create a cooler temperature and more humid environment. Then the actual dracula lotax pot sits inside the clay pot which is not wet but just a bit damp at all times.

I avoid fertilizing because I believe people say these are sensitive plants to salt buildups. I mist the plant a few times a day when I remember, and wet the moss when it is approaching dryness. It stays evenly moist (but not soggy) for almost two weeks at a time.

The plant is sitting in a corner behind my other orchids that is getting shade most of the time, though it does get a little bit of indirect light.

It was originally in a mixture of packing peanuts and sphagnum moss, so I simply re-created that setup when I repotted it.

I am not using any special water on the plant, just regular tap water. My city generally has low salt concentration in our water supply - enough that other local growers use it on their native cypripediums without any issues.

As for temps, it simply lives indoors with me, and I try to leave the window open at night. We have 55-60°F at night lately and 70-80°F in the daytime, though it is cooler in my room.

Do you guys have advice?
The plant just sits around doing absolutely nothing while many of my other plants are in vigorous active growth.

I was thinking of putting the plant inside a glass vessel I have that is about 12 inches tall and 7 inches in diameter, but it seemed to get too warm in there even though humidity was good.

I will happily take any advice!
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2015, 07:10 PM
801229001 801229001 is offline
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Dracula lotax not doing anything. How can I adjust care? Male
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draculas are not that picky about cool temperatures! how hot does it get in the vase?
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2015, 09:04 PM
wintergirl wintergirl is offline
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I noticed that packing peanuts can get hot in the media in a sunny location in clear plastic pots. I stopped using them because of that.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:17 PM
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AnonYMouse AnonYMouse is offline
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Change the plastic pot to a unglazed clay pot. The point of the pot-in-pot system is evaporative cooling. If the condensate isn't making it to the exterior of the plastic pot, it isn't evaporating fast enough to cool the arrangement.

That isn't advice about the Drac. but about the set up. I have no clue what gets them or other Pleurothallids to grow. I don't have a good record with them.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:26 AM
astrid astrid is offline
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Dracula lotax not doing anything. How can I adjust care? Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonYMouse View Post
Change the plastic pot to a unglazed clay pot. The point of the pot-in-pot system is evaporative cooling. If the condensate isn't making it to the exterior of the plastic pot, it isn't evaporating fast enough to cool the arrangement.

That isn't advice about the Drac. but about the set up. I have no clue what gets them or other Pleurothallids to grow. I don't have a good record with them.
I can tell you the inner clay pot is definitely cool to the touch at all times. I don't have another that would be a "perfect fit" so I am making do at the moment.

I heard someone once put their dracula near a drafty basement window that even was mildewy and suddenly the damn thing took off and bloomed and everything!!
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2015, 01:36 AM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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Dracula lotax not doing anything. How can I adjust care? Female
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The key for growing these is humidity, temperature and shaded environments. Dappled light works great for my Dracula lotax. It throws out test spikes. If humidity or light or anything is off, it aborts them. Mine did nothing in similar conditions to yours for almost two years, then I mounted it and shoved it in my terrarium to live or die. It gets misted daily with tap water. Dappled light from other plants shading it and very consistent temps and humidity above 76% at all times. The darned thing is spiking now and I think it's actually going to flower this time.
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Old 06-05-2015, 04:41 PM
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Dracula lotax not doing anything. How can I adjust care?
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I thought this was interesting:
Dracula lotax: A Case Study in Blooming A Difficult Orchid

Some of our OS members are into these so I could probably ask if you don't get some good replies. They are really neat orchids. I have almost gotten one on occasion but have always removed it from the cart at the last minute. Maybe someday. Good luck with it!

---------- Post added at 04:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:39 PM ----------

Oh, I just noticed you did get a good one. RandomGemini seems to have them figured out. I hope to see the pictures of the blooms...they are so neat!
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:06 AM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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I don't know if I have them figured out Leafmite! That remains to be seen. If it blooms, I will be thrilled! We'll see. I do know humidity is a huge deal to them though. Mine has done so much better in my terrarium.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:06 AM
Brooke Brooke is offline
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"The plant is sitting in a corner behind my other orchids that is getting shade most of the time, though it does get a little bit of indirect light. "

I grow mine on a tree fern mount, watered morning and late afternoon. Giving it more light should help the plant grow and bloom. Your temps are cooler than mine so heat shouldn't be the issue. During the winter my heater blows directly on the mount and the lowest temp is 60 degrees.

I would also recommend changing the plastic pot to another clay pot which should also help with the evaporation in the plant pot.

Brooke
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