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  #1  
Old 05-19-2019, 10:46 AM
Stella1979 Stella1979 is offline
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Hi everyone. Yesterday I went to Redland Orchid Fest and it was fabulous! I arrived armed with a mom's day gift card to my favorite local nursery and though I shopped other vendors as well, I purchased my very first Neo (V. falcata) from the great local place.

They are well known for their Vandas and keep all of them, (Neos included), bare root and in baskets. We are in humid and warm South Florida, yet, my own outdoor growing conditions are not as humid as the greenhouses at the nursery.

I would much prefer to have her potted and know that many grow this species in pots, and beautifully at that. I do not think the traditional Japanese style is wise given that I have a happy bare rooted plant here. However, how about potting and caring for her like my Cattleyas? They are in clay balls and bark in well-ventilated clay pots and in the hot season, get water every 24-48 hours when it doesn't rain here in SoFlo. My collection is on a covered, screened-in porch so they do not get direct rain, but they do get some spray and very high humidity on rainy days.

I do like to water

So, will the Neo be happy with similar? I have seen advice to keep her consistently moist AND to let her dry, so... I can accomplish either in a pot and tend to lean more towards letting her dry, but not for long, here on my humid porch.

I'd be grateful for any advice.
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2019, 12:01 PM
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Shoreguy Shoreguy is offline
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I have been growing neos for over 40 years with great success and have avoided the traditional sphagnum way like the plague always immediately repotting any acquired Neo so potted.

Try growing your neos in seedling bark mixed with shredded tree fern for aeration. Approx 20% tree fern. Only use coarser bark, the type used for cattleyas, at the bottom of the pot for drainage.

During the heat of growing season, don't let it dry out but don't keep it constantly wet either. In the winter and late fall let it almost dry out but not completely.

---------- Post added at 12:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:39 AM ----------

Your neos have such a jumble of roots that I would consider removing the older ones to enable you to place the plants in smaller pots as neos in my experience like to be somewhat underpotted. In a bigger pot with such a jumble I suspect rotting will occur pretty quickly. The existing root system was fine for bare root growth but not appropriate for growth confined in a pot.

Last edited by Shoreguy; 05-19-2019 at 11:55 AM..
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  #3  
Old 05-19-2019, 01:40 PM
Stella1979 Stella1979 is offline
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Wow. Thank you very much. I purchased seedling mix yesterday as well and I will do just as you've suggested after the blooms are spent. In the meantime, I will water often.
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  #4  
Old 05-19-2019, 03:49 PM
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Don't underestimate the importance of the shredded tree fern. I don't view perlite as an effective replacement.

Clay balls might be OK to use but not as a replacement for tree fern.
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2019, 04:43 PM
Stella1979 Stella1979 is offline
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Thank you. Currently viewing RePotMe's site.

Is there a specific pot type you'd recommend for outside/rain protected in South Florida? My collection is in clay so I hope that will do.
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  #6  
Old 05-19-2019, 05:11 PM
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The disadvantage of clay pots is that the roots stick to them resulting in root damage when the plant is repotted.
(I know many prefer clay and will put up with that disadvantage.) To each his own.

For that reason I only use plastic. As far as shape, I prefer pots with near vertical sides and not heavily slanted inward. The more drainage holes on the bottom the better, never just one.

Size is a big issue. Most of mine are square and 2.75” across at the top, side to side, not diagonal and 2.75” deep.
Even after trimming your older root growth, these dimensions might be too small to accommodate your roots.

If so, a larger pot would be necessary or perhaps dividing the plant. I know that many advise against singe growth divisions but if the plant is healthy with some good roots, it should do alright. Flush the roots with water slightly warmer than lukewarm for several minutes to make them more flexible to enable you to twist them around the interior of the pot.

Last edited by Shoreguy; 05-19-2019 at 05:14 PM..
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2019, 05:24 PM
Stella1979 Stella1979 is offline
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I hear you on the clay pots and will admit to being a bit neurotic about aeration in my tropical environment. I could save so much water if I switched to plastic and I think about it all the time... Then I think about mold, fungus, and rot, and I don't pull the trigger. I suppose I'll have to try it with a few someday but it will not be with my new baby I'm afraid. I appreciate your advice nonetheless.

Okay, so in looking for shredded tree fern I'm coming across coarsely shredded stuff that may be up to a couple of inches long, or tree fern fiber that looks very fine indeed and purports to hold moisture. I am definitely looking for coarsely shredded, correct? Thanks again.
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2019, 05:48 PM
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The fine shedded tree fern defeats the purpose of aeration. Do not buy it.

Buy the tree fern with longer strands as I do, and put up with the somewhat unpleasant task of breaking it up into pieces of 1/2 to 3/4” in length. The best way of doing this is taking a small amount and breaking in half and continuing the process occasionally mixing it in with what’s remaining and continuing breaking and mixing.

Last edited by Shoreguy; 05-19-2019 at 07:45 PM..
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2019, 03:16 AM
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u bada u bada is offline
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With all due respect to shoreguy and his experience, I highly highly recommend you don't touch a thing and leave the neo in the basket without media and feel free to water often in growing season and simply back off in fall/winter with water.

As per Dr Uthus from new world orchids has stated in many talks, neos do extremely well with no media hanging... although she does grow in a greenhouse, Florida I'm sure is comparable and they are more adaptable to humidity variations than other vandas, as many who grow neos indoors can agree.

You are very lucky to grow in such a great climate for orchids and neos- with their ability to handle lows and highs of temp and humidity, they do great outdoors there.

I just wouldn't compromise such a great roots system. Potted methods are really good for those of us who need help with parameters or enjoy the traditional method, but if those aren't important, vandas in general excel as they are grown in florida in a basket with little to no media.

Just give your neo a bit more shade than other vandas.
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2019, 09:20 AM
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u bada,

I agree with everything you say. I only gave the advice to Stella because she said in her initial posting that she would prefer to have the plant potted. I never thought to try to convince her otherwise.

Being distributed on the internet, perhaps some of my advise in this thread may help others not in her situation.
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