- Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:05 pm
Yes that is a new plantlet, properly known and spelled as keiki (Hawaiian for baby). Pronounced “Kay-key”. Vandas grow with leaves off to each side of a single stem so any new offshoots will be a keiki. The keiki grows vegetatively first, then will put roots out - just be patient. My suggestion is to not remove the keiki but leave it and any future ones to grow into a specimen plant with many more blooms than possible on a single stem. See below the info on AOS where you search “keiki” and you will get videos and articles etc on growing, potting, removing, etc.
I’d like to suggest that if you want to grow nice big healthy vanda plants (or other orchids) - order or put your name on waitlist for Dr Motes books — Florida Orchid Growing ($24.95), and Florida Vanda Growing by Month ($30). These can be gotten from Motes or Redland Press or the American Orchid Society with a discount as a member. They seem to come and go in and out of stock. Don’t let the “Florida” put you off..much of the information is applicable to growing orchids anywhere. Just remember when any of the experts talk about heavy feeders, or mention high ppms of NPK, or feeding at each watering- 1) they are assuming your plants are in optimal grow conditions humidity, temp, light, pH (water, media), and air wise. Plants not in strong active growth in optimal conditions won’t be able to use the nutrients you give them, and certainly nothing like what they would if in those conditions. Instead they will become weak and limp and will likely suffer damage. 2) They are assuming you know feeding at every watering whether that’s every couple of days, weekly etc....that you know to break down your solution of a monthly dose to a weekly or daily dose - the old feed weakly weekly. In the summer with optimal conditions, they will use every bit you throw at them and they almost can’t get enough calcium and magnesium but there is a caveat..you have to know what is in your water to start with nutrient wise, what the pH is and how high the dissolved solids are. If over 50 ppm- it’s best to use rainwater, RO or distilled. Rain is free. You can, for $40, send a sample of your water off to the JR Peters Laboratory and they will give you analysis and make a suggestion on the fertilizer to use for your type of water whether tap or well. It will most likely be the best $40 you spend - just like native soil samples are to your garden’s success - so is water testing for anything grown in containers or hydroponically, etc. Rainwater is easy to collect using a tilt type patio umbrella into 5 gallon buckets and then poured through an old sheet into a large never used trash can like a Rubbermaid Brute kept fully shaded and the lid on all day and keeping a 1/4-1/2 mosquito dunk in the tank all the time - replacing once a month. Mine is as clear as my tap water; in super hot (100F+) weather, the water may begin to get a little algae on the sides or the tree frogs get in and I get a funky reptile smell. I have only had this once - our heat index was 107-112F—everything was funky. You can leave it - but I scoop them out and use 1/2 Tsp Physan 20 to 30 gallons water and that takes care of the problem without increasing the TDS too much. But you will need to account for the change and as it dissipates over time. Note it may go cloudy for an hour or so then back to clear. I also run a large aquarium air bubbler in it to provide more oxygen and to keep the cool bottom water mixed with the warmer top level. If no pump - just use a medium saucepan, mix up the water top-bottom and then dip the water out and let it fall back into the container from a foot or two above the can 10-12 times before using. This will incorporate some air into the water as it breaks the surface. Do not use water above 75 degrees for watering or feeding.
I hope this helps with your new Vanda and any other new Vanda folks or orchids in general.
While you are waiting for these books to come in - I highly suggest you watch Dr Motes videos on the Motes Youtube Channel. Look for his “Florida Orchid Growing” 5 part series. They run from a little over 30 minutes to over an hour. There is also a short 5 minute one on miniature Vandas. The 5 part series covers all the basic topics on growing orchids - mostly outside - well because that is where they do best and of course this applies to growing in greenhouses. I have to say, I have rarely seen a Vanda achieving it’s full potential grown in a window sill or under grow lights. A greenhouse - yes. On the outskirts of a very sunny porch - yes. And of course out in the garden hanging from a palm where they get very bright sun from sunup to sundown except the middle of the day 11 am -2 or 3pm. They require copious amounts of water and he explains the best way to water them; and they need lots of air movement. It is a given they need feeding as appropriate for the time of the year and their growth or blooming stage. The roots prefer to hang down and please don’t cut them off. If you don’t have room to grow them without cutting the roots or strangling them in some jumbled up mess - it might be best to choose something else. Almost everyone who really grows Vandas well - does them wired in baskets with no bark or if you need a little extra moisture - tuck in some large bark pieces in the basket. If you look at Motes benches - many/most, if not hanging, are in individual Vanda baskets or lying on the benches in big 1020 trays — no media whatsoever. I think if you need a bit of moisture - you can hang Spanish moss (like you see hanging from trees in Florida) close to the plants, or drape over the roots. But it is best to have them hanging up in lots of fresh, balmy, air.
These videos are a great series by “The Expert”. A very important point he makes on Vandas are they need lots of bright sunshine (except the middle of the day when like in nature they would be shaded by tree tops); lots of water in the pH range of 5.5-6.5 and preferably right at 6.0 to allow the take up of all nutrients; to fully dry (bone dry) before their next watering; and lots of air movement. You want to see the leaves just moving a bit. You don’t want them whipping around but there should be a bit of noticeable movement throughout the day 24/7. Make sure they are secure to their basket and the plant stem is firmly attached to its hanger. Whether you are growing miniatures, more compact types or the regular size Vandas - they all have the same requirements. And like all orchids...they want to be fed consistently including secondary and trace minerals.
The next step in your agenda for learning how to grow orchids the “Motes way” is to check the Motes website for the “Articles” tab. Once they come up, click on the picture to open the individual articles. After the various articles, look for the “This Month in Your Orchid Collection” Tab and read the current and prior month’s notes.
Two other great resources are 1) the American Orchid Society - membership gets you 90 years of back issues of the monthly magazine to read, 18 months of issues to download, a monthly digital and/or printed copy mailed to you plus annual supplements, 2x a month webinars (free and members only) on orchids that you can participate in or watch on demand later, along with tons of articles, culture sheets, and a glossary which teaches you how to pronounce some of those long names, an orchid resource directory, and many other benefits. If money is tight - do the digital only or do both and when you are done with the printed issues - donate them to libraries, doctor’s offices, schools, local orchid clubs, etc. Even if you can’t join at this time, there is plenty of free information on the website along with free public Greenhouse Chat webinars. Don’t forget to search “keiki”
The other fantastic website is St Augustine Orchid Society. This is a great place to see pictures of orchid diseases, pests, etc and how to treat and with what. It is the most up to date source of information I have found and they have members who are top orchid growers. I wish I lived there and could go to hear and see all their speakers — fantastic. Sue Bottom (and Terry) who mange the website also write for AOS, as do a number of their members.
OMG - I almost forgot FirstRays - a great source of orchid info, semi Hydroponics, various fertilizer calculators, all kinds of good info.
If you read all of the above sources — you will be firmly on your way to growing beautiful plants.