Friday, May 3, 2013

Vanda Manuvadee 'Blue'

After a long time (we got this way back in Feb 2011), our Vanda Manuvadee 'Blue' decided to flower (it aborted a spike the previous year). This plant gets a disproportionate amount of love (in terms of the amount of time spent watering all those massive roots) compared to the other OOAB denizens. I guess it finally paid off!

Vanda Manuvadee 'Blue'
21 Dec 2012
Vanda Manuvadee 'Blue'
26 Dec 2012
Vanda Manuvadee 'Blue'
Vanda Manuvadee 'Blue'
Vanda Manuvadee 'Blue'
Note the masses of roots!
Pictures from my phone, so apologies if they're not quite up to spec :)

Vanda Manuvadee has a strong "dose" of Vanda coerulea in its ancestry, so it should be pretty cold tolerant (handy during OOAB winters). The hybrid Manuvadee was first registered in 1985, and is a cross of V. Pompinol with V. coerulea.

It doesn't have any medium in the tiny basket it is in, so its roots get a pretty thorough daily soaking (via pressure sprayer); twice daily in summer. "Pretty thorough" means the roots get sprayed once, the water is allowed to soak in while I do the potted plants than need it, and then thoroughly sprayed again. Like most vandaceous orchids (which include Phalaenopsis) the roots take a little while to have water soak into them - when the root covering layer (velamen) is dry and whitish in colour, it takes a little while to hydrate. So, to really water such roots effectively, you need to soak them so the entire root is green and glistening wet. Places where these orchids naturally grow get a lot of water on a regular basis, but then dries out before the next drenching, so these plants appreciate replicating this. At least, that is the case where the leaves are strap shaped. Round/cylindrical leaves (terete) generally come from drier climates. Vandas also seem to appreciate being fed; mine is probably under-fed as I tend to fertilise based on the requirements of the more sensitive species in the collection.

I suspect it would do better with a daily soak for 10-20 minutes in a large bucket/tub, but OOAB's floorspace has nowhere large enough to accommodate such an object. Beside the floorspace issue, given my trepidation about transferring "nasties" between plants, I am loathe to install a communal "dunk bucket" into which plants are plunged. It would be a lot easier, but the risk is too great. Before I learned about the risks of transferring plant pathogens (particularly fungi, viruses and bacteria) in this manner, I used to give plants a soak in communal baths (either the kitchen sink or a large cooler box) every so often. No more!

Having seen some of the absolute monster Vandas other EPOS members bring in to plant tables, this still has a lot of growing to do!