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Old 09-05-2007, 03:00 AM posted to rec.gardens.orchids
bobc[_2_] bobc[_2_] is offline
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Feb 2007
Posts: 40
Default Vandas and Spanish Moss

On May 4, 9:33 am, wrote:
On May 4, 7:05 am, gerald wrote:

I recently acquired 3 decent sized used Vandas. 2 were in the
standard slatted wooden boxes. they have air roots about a foot long.
draped with the roots is a mass of Spanish moss. is this a good Idea,
or a bad idea. the third orchid was laying on a mass of std potting
debris. I removed it, put it in a box identical to the other two, and
stuffed some sphagnum moss around the in the box part. the roots are
hanging down naked. should I get some Spanish moss for those roots?
should I get Spanish moss to put in the box around the standard roots?

Live and growing drapes of Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) get
along very well with the live and growing drapes of vandaceous orchid
roots in my greenhouse. They both like lots of moving air and
moisture. The living moss may help keep vanda roots healthy in a less
than perfect environment. It would be difficult to keep either very
happy in a low humid environment like a house.

In my greenhouse, I let the spanish moss grow with the roots of one
Asctm curvifolium basket and the plant is now massive with a huge
drape of roots and moss tangle topped by a giant plant. This plant
looks far happier then the baskets without moss growing among the
roots. (I do believe Spanish moss is a weed and it is possible for it
to begin actually competing with the plants. I don't know if it would
be wise to pack it into the basket as a 'potting media'. Use it
drapped from the basket to help hold humidity around hanging roots but
be prepared to rip most of it out if/when it starts to compete with
the vandas.

I think using sphagnum as a potting media in a vanda basket would
cause problems for me the way I grow them. They do not respond well
to being planted. I have seen indoor growers be successful with
vandas planted "on" clay pots filled with very large chunks of
charcole or course gravel or even large bits of broken clay pottery
are the "potting media"

In my opinion it is going to be a struggle if you want to grow a vanda
in an open basket in a house. On the other hand, in a greenhouse, you
don't need any potting media at all; you could hang them on hooks...
you just need to douse the roots and spainish moss with water/
fertilizer every day and provide lots of light and warmth.

Hello the Group! I hope y'all are doing well (and here's a hug if
you're not).
I have one Christieara (thanks to Kenni and her recomendation) which
while not technically a Vanda, has a bit of it in it's background.
Every year it sends up three infloresences (one at a time) with about
16 flowers each. It is in a basket with some chunks of bark. There
are several roots and they have branched (in fact there is new root
activity now along with the start of the final spike. I soak it in a
bucket of water, for about 15 minutes almost every day, all year
long. Next to it I have a small clump of Spanish moss I got when the
plant care company they use at work changed the moss. I just happened
to be there the day it was changed and the new moss was very fresh, so
I took some home. I was delighted to see it was alive and it began to
grow. I have it draped around a division of Den biggibum, mounted on
a piece of tree bark. Sharing the bark are two other small
Tillandsia. This is also watered almost every day, with a pump
sprayer. The spanish moss is over a year old.
The point - yes, there is a point g - while it would be much
easier in a greenhouse, it is possible to grow certain orchids in a
home, that wouldn't seem at first thought to be good choices.
Just my two cents. I would never have brought that Christieara
without a little push from Kenni at JB Orchids, thinking it would
never survive, let alone flower, in my windowsill. Without a
humidifier or fan.
Thanks for letting me share!
Bob Campoli - Philadelphia, Pa