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  #1  
Old 10-11-2020, 10:42 PM
guccisimo85 guccisimo85 is offline
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Potting vandas - dried roots &amp; basket size
Wink Topping vandas & potting into baskets

I have 16 vandas (yes, my favourite orchid) that I am want to transition from bareroot into baskets with cork. I used to soak them every two days, but then switched to misting daily with overnight soaks 2x per week. At some point the roots became very brittle and dry despite humidity levels up around 80% ...There are now a bunch of new green roots growing up quite high on the plants ... at the level of in between the leaves (see pictures). Iím not sure how normal this is .. but I do use a lot of MSU and kelp on them and perhaps the soaking has stimulated this.

Potting vandas - dried roots &amp; basket size-7d99fbdd-624c-4966-b86c-1a2728c2a271-jpg

Potting vandas - dried roots &amp; basket size-804c9a76-0ab7-49a5-a721-bc66b50e8064-jpg

Potting vandas - dried roots &amp; basket size-3f9528ef-c486-4c68-848c-8a8826252810-jpg

Potting vandas - dried roots &amp; basket size-67f95eea-e61e-4f12-bea0-3797778ac2ea-jpg

I want to move them into teak baskets with wine corks and a plastic liner in the bottom to retain just a bit of moisture. I just canít give them enough moisture without soaking daily and I donít have the time to do that anymore. I saw Miss Orchid Girl move hers into baskets on her channel.

I am wondering if I should go ahead and remove the lower parts of the plants with the dry roots (like in the link below) so that I can position the new growth into the basket?

Re-Basketing a Vanda

I would also appreciate input on basket sizes.

I was thinking 8Ē square or octagonal. Does that sound about right? Iím thinking of these teak or mahogany ones from Green Orchid Barn.

Orchid Vanda Baskets | Green Barn Orchid Supplies

Thanks everyone!! All suggestions are welcome and appreciated!!
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Potting vandas - dried roots &amp; basket size-adce16df-e7df-4fa4-a795-a299f746d53b-jpg  

Last edited by guccisimo85; 10-11-2020 at 11:28 PM..
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Old 10-11-2020, 11:34 PM
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Potting vandas - dried roots &amp; basket size Female
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Suggestion... clip one or two of the suspected dead roots... if they're truly dead you can remove them. But some of those older roots may still be alive. If so, the plants can utilize them (even if they are not growing much) while those beautiful new ones get bigger. (They are very normal) But the new roots aren't really quite long enough to support the plants by themselves just yet, I don't think. So you can certainly work toward cutting the bottom portion with dead-ish roots, but my suggestion would be to proceed cautiously. You can always cut later, but you can't put it back once you have done the deed and found out that it wasn't the right thing to do.

Another thought... for those plants producing new roots up the stem, consider mounting - those new roots will tend to grab on. With the high humidity of your grow tent, they should be very happy to continue as aerial roots - just water well with a pump sprayer, don't worry about soaking... after all, in nature they get their water from getting rained upon.
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:19 AM
guccisimo85 guccisimo85 is offline
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Potting vandas - dried roots &amp; basket size
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Thanks so much! I will look into mounting options. Have long realistically do I need to be spraying them for daily?

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Suggestion... clip one or two of the suspected dead roots... if they're truly dead you can remove them. But some of those older roots may still be alive. If so, the plants can utilize them (even if they are not growing much) while those beautiful new ones get bigger. (They are very normal) But the new roots aren't really quite long enough to support the plants by themselves just yet, I don't think. So you can certainly work toward cutting the bottom portion with dead-ish roots, but my suggestion would be to proceed cautiously. You can always cut later, but you can't put it back once you have done the deed and found out that it wasn't the right thing to do.

Another thought... for those plants producing new roots up the stem, consider mounting - those new roots will tend to grab on. With the high humidity of your grow tent, they should be very happy to continue as aerial roots - just water well with a pump sprayer, don't worry about soaking... after all, in nature they get their water from getting rained upon.
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:30 AM
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Thanks so much! I will look into mounting options. Have long realistically do I need to be spraying them for daily?
I grow V. coerulea and V. roeblingiana, both mounted (on substantial branches... big plants) outside, with daytime humidity that is much lower than the environment where you have yours. They get a bath from overhead sprinklers (on a timer) daily in warm weather, for about 2 minutes. (They are typical lawn sprinklers, that hit a wide area) A lot less water than they'd get with a direct spray. They thrive, with some roots climbing all over the mounts and others just hanging out. I have some other Vandaceous genera growing the same way. Night humidity usually in the 70-80% range, but daytime humidity gets down to 40-50% typically, occasionally MUCH lower, and there seems to be no problem. So, Just a good bath to get the roots green, doesn't need to be for an extended time.

A note when you mount... if you want to put a bit of sphagnum over the top of roots that's OK, but don't put anything between the root and the mount - you want those roots to get cozy with the mount.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:19 PM
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All suggestions are welcome and appreciated!!
Do you know how high your nutrient concentration is by any chance? Do you soak them overnight in unfertilized water or do they sit in fertilized water?
The reason I am asking is because the color of your roots reminds me of my Vanda roots when I first started. I was feeding them too often at too high doses and the roots turned brown, eventually they turned black. They never died off and I don't know if they were still functioning after that - they never grew again though and had to produce a whole new roots system higher up the stem.
Yours look like they might have undergone the same fate mine did.
I wrongly assumed at the time that if I was feeding too much I would see damage in the leaves but the leaves were unaffected. Whether it was salt buildup on the roots or I just was feeding too much, I'm not sure but lowering my fertilizing stopped any further roots turning brown.

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Old 10-12-2020, 08:22 PM
guccisimo85 guccisimo85 is offline
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I think you are onto something here ... I have been following Motes fertilizer recommendation, so they soak overnight at 250ppm. I use the same concentration when I spray them. I add kelp or superthrive too about once per week. I have broken a couple small pieces off and there does appear to be ďgreenĒ inside. What did you end up doing with the black roots? Did they just gradually fall off?

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Do you know how high your nutrient concentration is by any chance? Do you soak them overnight in unfertilized water or do they sit in fertilized water?
The reason I am asking is because the color of your roots reminds me of my Vanda roots when I first started. I was feeding them too often at too high doses and the roots turned brown, eventually they turned black. They never died off and I don't know if they were still functioning after that - they never grew again though and had to produce a whole new roots system higher up the stem.
Yours look like they might have undergone the same fate mine did.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:40 PM
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Wow, that sounds like 'way too much fertilizer. It may work for Motes - he has a nursery in Florida (warm and wet, plenty of sun all year, lots of fresh air) and I am sure that he also either waters a lot or the plants get rained on. Growing in a confined area in a house in the relatively far North, that warm/wet/breezy outdoor or slightly sheltered structure is missing from the formula. I am able to grow (some) Vandas outdoors so they get the breeze, but the volume of water and the humidity is much lower... and Vandas get fertilized like everything else, lightly (and thriive and bloom). So be careful how you apply south Florida parameters to Canada or northern Europe...Fertilizer needs to be proportional to growth rate... and I strongly suspect that these grow a lot faster in Florida than at northern latitudes, even with ideal indoor conditions.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:40 PM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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Hi, yes that is what I was feeding too, I can say it was too much long term for mine.

I would suggest you reduce the strength of your soaking water by half for soaking and use plain water in the spray bottle to rinse off salt residue.

This is what I did.

Like said the black roots never died. I think if I were to cut into one it would still be alive on the inside so it depends - hope for the best that yours might regrow a root tip. It can happen. I think I just did too much damage with mine initially
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:15 PM
guccisimo85 guccisimo85 is offline
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Thank-you so much. At least I know Iím not the only one with this issue.

I went and trimmed off a bunch of the black brittle roots .. which we in fact very much dead

Iím thinking one key to this is that Motes sprays his with fertilizer around 1200p every 5th watering. So while the mix would be very concentrated, it wouldnít be such chronic exposure and there would be lots of time to rinse the salt away in between.

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Hi, yes that is what I was feeding too, I can say it was too much long term for mine.

I would suggest you reduce the strength of your soaking water by half for soaking and use plain water in the spray bottle to rinse off salt residue.

This is what I did.

Like said the black roots never died. I think if I were to cut into one it would still be alive on the inside so it depends - hope for the best that yours might regrow a root tip. It can happen. I think I just did too much damage with mine initially
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:34 PM
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Just to keep in mind... fertilizer facilitates growth when the rest of the conditions are conducive to it... the plant wants to grow (build new tissue) and the fertilizer gives it the means to do so. But you can't force growth, you can only facilitate it. If you are growing tomatoes, you need lots of fertilizer because the plants can easily grow 1/3 to 1/2 meter a day. Orchids grow much more slowly, and so need less fertilizer (think of it as vitamins, not food... plants make the carbs to support life through photosynthesis. Fertilizer provides minerals for new tissue) Among orchids, Catasetinae want fairly heavy fertilization in the spring because they're growing more like tomatoes than orchids. With less-than-ideal fertilizer you'll still get growth, just less. With too much you can kill the plant. It is highly unlikely that either of you can provide the conditions for the sort of growth that Vandas may have in the tropics... they'll grow, thrive, and bloom with less, but you won't grow 2-meter monsters with 3-meter roots. (I'm not sure you really want to...) So I think you want to ease off considerably, to balance the nutrition with the grown rate that is reasonable under your conditions.

The other analogy that comes to mind is growing geese. Give them much more food than they want or can utilize, and you end up with fois gras ...not a much bigger goose.(Their lives are short and unpleasant) For long-term thriving of an orchid, don't torture it!
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