Monday, January 9, 2012

How often should I water my angraecum leonis?

     As I described in this earlier post, I've been growing my angraecum leonis in a vase, with its roots exposed to the air.  Angraecums are members of the vandaceous family of orchids, and like vandas, they can grow very well in baskets, mounts, other exposed-root conditions.

     Although I love how mounted orchids look, they require near daily watering and consistently high humidity to thrive, which I may not always be able to provide.  While NYC is incredibly humid during the summer (80-90% humidity for the majority of last summer), in the winter humidity drops to the 50-60% range.  Meanwhile indoor heating dries the air out in my apartment even further.  Although I do have a supersonic humidifier near my orchids, I don't always remember to keep it filled and running. As a compromise, I've been growing my angraecum leonis in a vase, which still leaves the roots exposed to the air, but also retains a higher local humidity around the roots.

     I am not sure what the optimal watering frequency for my angcm leonis should be.  Unlike my potted orchids, I can't really water it too frequently.  Up until now I have been watering every 2-3 days, and the plant has fared well and grown a multitude of new root tips since summer.  However, the old leaves on the orchid have wrinkled dramatically.  This wrinkling has particularly worsened after my winter holiday trip when the orchid had only one watering over a 15 day period.  

     Since coming back from the holidays I've started watering my angcm leonis daily, in the hopes of reducing some of the wrinkling on the leaves.  In part, I don't find the wrinkled leaves to be aesthetically pleasing, but another motivation for the increased watering is that I want the plant to have greater reserves to draw upon next time I go away on a multi-week trip.  

     Will increased watering undo the wrinkling on these leaves?  Even if the old leaves are irreversibly wrinkled, I hope to prevent it in the newest leaf that is growing now. 


1 comment:

  1. I have Angraecum sesquipedale and it grows happy in the shallow clay pot with large bark pieces. I usually water every 3-4 days now with heating.
    Every 2-3 days in a vase might not be enough. I have most of my vandas in vases and I soak them every day for 15 minutes.
    Good luck with your angraecum.