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  #11  
Old 09-23-2021, 05:55 PM
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Is it getting any magnesium?
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2021, 06:57 AM
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mop, there are different consensuses on how much to feed.

I feed my Vanda's weaker than you are at the moment.

Others might be feeding more. Don't just change your techniques overnight based on a theory.

Ok lets put it like this, ask who here thinks you need to feed more than the 1 tablespoon per gallon you are currently feeding. Once you have 3 opinions then make up your mind.

Burning roots is a real issue with Vanda's and once a root is damaged the damage is irreversible and will stay with the plant for the next 5 years. So it's easy to make a mistake and regret it. If you feed too little it might develop a little bit of a deficiency which can easily be fixed.
If you feed too much it cannot be fixed. It might be able to handle more, just be careful and only do it if you have confirmation from other Vanda growers that you definetely need more.

The roots are good but also not very plentiful. If you were to weigh the leaf mass on top and way the root mass below I woud estimate currently it is 3 to 1 weight wise.

I would estimate the root mass should be at least 2/3 of the weight of the leaves above.

So once the Vase is filled with some more roots.

This will take a year. But it does look in good shape. It might even be able to flower this year but if I had to guess I'd say it would be ready by next year.

I'd use that time to monitor if it needs more fertilizer or not. Based on the good root growth I'd say this one is doing great.

Feed it more and you might cause browning.

As long as the leaves are showing no deficiency (I cannot detect any) then fertilizing more will not promote flowering in any way. The act of flowering will be initiated from other triggers and the fertilizer might play a role in how many flowers will be produced which will give you a refernce point to judge with.

If you just go full strenth fertilzer now you will not be able to monitor any results, unless it happens to be the perfect conditions it needs...

I would have said it can actually handle more light... That is something I would be trying in your shoes right now. Leaves will always redden a bit after moving and adjusting to a new light but that reddenning has already faded imo. Reddening is a good thing to have on the leaves to get it to flower. Initially leaves can turn red from stress too, I've even had some develop red leaves from thrip damage (stress response). I think this one can get more light. If the leaves turn too red you can always back it off again. There is no harm finding the right light level based on the reddening of the leaves. MAke sure it wasn't just stress cauing them to turn red but definetely the upper limiit of light that it can handle.

Last edited by Shadeflower; 09-24-2021 at 07:05 AM..
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2021, 09:47 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I do know that the roots are not nearly as big as I've seen on some plants, but it's just what I got from Motes - figuring it was enough to support blooming since it was sold as "blooming size", but that may not be a fair assumption. Regarding the reddening, I'm sure it's in response to light - where two leaves would overlap, the one on the bottom had a "tan line" basically, where there was no red.

As far as the Calcium and Magnesium, this vanda is on k-lite - like all of my orchids at this point. I had started out with Max-Sea balanced fertilizer and liked it well enough, but at higher dosages (like I'd do for vandas and catasetums) that was a recipe for slimy green algae all over everything it touched, plants grew fine, but they grow the same on k-lite without nearly as much algae and salt build-up... Anectodal evidence IMO to support that plants don't use all of those higher P and K values, but algae does and what it doesn't use just sits in the pot unused, but that's a whole other topic.

Regarding the not blooming, based on what I'm reading here and an honest look back at the plant, I do agree it probably just needs more time to develop a more full root system. Luckily, it looks like it's working hard on that as we speak and it's pushing a new monster root, almost the thickness of my pinky, straight from the main stem.
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2021, 10:33 AM
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I'd be very happy if I had bought that one.
Blooming size rarely means it will bloom straight away. It's certainly a decent sized healthy vanda.

I see your theory on removing K and I will counter it by saying maybe the algae is not growing because all plants need K to grow. Algae needs K, potatoes need K, orchids need K. Leave out the K and no more algae grows... Right?...
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2021, 11:35 AM
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Vanda root diameter is related to ambient humidity. Larger with good humidity. Plants with Neo/Vanda falcata ancestry have smaller roots.

Root growth is fast in good conditions.

Leaves should grow fast enough there is a 1cm zone of pale green new growth at the base of newest leaves. This means 3-5 new leaves per year. If temperatures are proper (high enough) leaf growth is directly proportional to fertilizer dose.

Get Mote's book.
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2021, 12:40 PM
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You gettin' commission off Motes' book ES?
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  #17  
Old 09-24-2021, 01:40 PM
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WW, your comment made me finally check out what Motes goes on about.

Note: he starts talking in spanish within the first 5 minutes. No clue what he says but would convert me instantly if I was a spanish speaker.

Interestingly I have disagreed with lots ES has mentioned motes suggests - I have never actually read his book!

But today I had enough and I wanted to check it out so I put myself through watching one of his 35 minute care videos. He has several..

Ok so it starts off talking about the universal motes watering methid,
cohesiveness of water, how to be a zen grower, the penetration power of water.

It all made me yawn a bit but then it actually starts to get interesting at about the 15 minute mark!

Ok that is if you can listen to him talking over what sounds like a jet engine taking off in the background.

What he says about fertilizing is either the opposite of what his book mentions or he has since changed his methods.

What he says about fertilizing I completely agree with in his video.

So what is going on?

He says never to use more than half strength MSU formula.

He explains how his imported Vanda's from Thailand all suffer from a Magnesium deficiency throughout the first year he grows them on and it takes a year for the deficient symptoms to disappear.

This I found very good info, so although he was fertilizing them correctly the plants would show reddening leaves for an entire year because they had been grown deficiently in Thailand all along and the deficiency never showed because in Thailand it never got cold enough.

Anyway a very good video and I will no longer question Motes again since he recommends everything I recommend...

It just seems over the years what he really says got lost in translation or his book is outdated.

He does say in this video he used to do things differently.

It's worth going with his latest beliefs, not what he was doing when he first started growing.


Last edited by Shadeflower; 09-24-2021 at 01:42 PM..
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  #18  
Old 09-24-2021, 02:53 PM
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I enjoyed reading Shadeflower's counter theory about potassium and algae. Excessive and/or missing nutrients can surely create funky results, especially with algae growth. Heck ~ put a clear glass (filled with distilled H2O without any additional nutrients added at all) near a window. Give it light and see what happens over the course of time... greenish?

I hesitate mentioning anything about fertilizers, because I know it will open-up a can of worms real quick. I think most orchid growers know that it's all about finding that balanced *sweet spot* (what works best for their plants).

Personally, in regards to fertilizer, I'm from the 'K-heavy' school. Excess K may very well *not* be necessary, or needed, for orchids. I do use a higher percentage of the macro-nutrient "K" in my fertilizer. I've also used 'K-lite'. No scientific data from my end ~ just personal observation and a lot of time. Have not noticed much of a difference from using either one, light or heavy (heavy: meaning a minimum of 20% in my formulation). But, I do know my "heavier potassium % ratio formula" has produced better plants that seem to be more resilient and robust for me [putting an emphasis on "me", and just my opinion for what it's worth].

I figure that an excess of that macro-nutrient (K) has helped, and has not been harmful. I know potassium can add with the benefit of increasing photosynthesis capacity, and can help aid with the absorption of nitrates, along with other positives. It all boils down to finding 'the balance' that works for you and your orchids.
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  #19  
Old 09-24-2021, 03:44 PM
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Two more thoughts on this subject...
  • You've got way more patience than I do to sit through that much video, Shadeflower. Wouldn't matter what the content is... if someone could tell me how to be a sure-fire millionaire in ten minutes, I might make an exception. The zen of water? Alrighty then.
  • I'm with wisdomseeker on the thoughts of usually keeping my mouth shut on both fertilizer and artificial lighting. Most of those conversations, unless simple and direct, make me feel like I've fallen down the rabbit hole.
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  #20  
Old 09-24-2021, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterWitchin View Post
You gettin' commission off Motes' book ES?
No. I do my best to read, and learn from, writings by people with much more knowledge and experience than I have. Motes does not mention how he mixes fertilizer in that video. Following his fertilizer recommendation of 1 Tablespoon/15 ml per gallon / 3.8 liters of water at every 5th watering leads to Vandas growing quite rapidly.
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Last edited by estación seca; 09-24-2021 at 04:29 PM..
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