Mounted Gastro

cnslr81June 26, 2010

I've had this mounted gastro for a couple years now. While living in PA, I kept it near a partly sunny window and misted it just about everyday. Since moving to NY (Syracuse area) last October, the gastro has not bloomed, which is rare. In PA, the gastro bloomed every couple months. I've also noticed that over the past few months the leaves seemed wrinkled. At first, I thought not enough water but now I'm wondering if it is the light. In the winter, I installed T8 bulbs in my small indoor greenhouse. The gastro has been kept there, and I'm wondering if it is just too bright. Today, I moved the gastro to my office desk, near a partly sunny window. Also, should it be remounted? How will I know?

Any ideas or suggestions? Unfortuantely, I discovered there are few orchid resources in the Syracuse area and being a full-time doc students doesn't allow me much time to join an orchid society.


The location of the gastro seen below is not where it is/was kept. The window was used just for light in the photo.

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Had your humidity changed? My first thought was that there was drop in humidity...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 2:51PM
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No, the humidity has been about the same.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 2:55PM
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philohela(z8 Las Vegas)

Things that may affect blooming:

Light (I have my Gastrochilus japonicus in a north window, which is always bright, but no direct sun; I live in the desert with no cloudy days. T8s may be too much for this species.)

Water quality (I use RO with weak fertilizer most waterings.)

Temperature (Not sure of this one, it's 81 degrees F here this afternoon, goes a few degrees cooler at night, cooler in the winter.)

Roots - how are yours? Can't tell from the photo.

My plant is just starting its annual spiking this month. I get blooms just once a year, and they last about a month. What species do you have?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Philohela--The gastro is a japonicus. The temps are probably about the same, a bit cooler. Usually, the temp is 70-75 in the house during the day and a bit cooler at night. The lighting that it is now, since I moved it yesterday, is about what it had in PA when it was growing well and blooming. I don't use RO water, but I do filter the water and give diluted fertilizer every other watering or so. The roots appear to be okay. I'm thinking it was the T8s.

Here are a few more photos:

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 8:09PM
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jamcm(Ottawa Area, Canada)

I don't know that it was necessarily the T8s. I also grow a number of Gastrochilus and other mini Vandaceous (e.g. Sedirea, Ascocentrum, Neofinetia, Tuberolabium, Aerangis, Angraecum, etc.) and they are all under T8s or T5s, which are even brighter. They're all happy as clams.

It looks to me as if your plant was not watered, or somehow was not able to take in water, for a few weeks at least. That sphag looks quite old to me (new sphag is a light beigey-golden colour, while old is dark brown) and might be retaining too much water. If you're still misting every day, that might have rotted the roots in the sphag ball. Or your plant somehow got very, very dry, very, very fast - for example, much higher lighting (like an inch from 4+ T8s) coupled with one of the heat waves we've had this spring. The plant is however recovering very well - the new leaf at the top, the keiki and the new roots all look gorgeous, so something you've been doing in the last couple of months has made it very happy. I would be tempted to try and gently tug away some of that sphag to see what the older roots look like. You could easily leave it on the same mount and just replace the old sphag with some new. I tend to "remount" plants with sphag as often as I repot, every couple of years to so.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:48AM
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philohela(z8 Las Vegas)

I have always thought about mounting my plant, as the bloom spikes always have a tendency to grow down, and I have to guide them over the edges of the pot. Your new growth does look good, so perhaps it just needed an adjustment period. I know I do when I move (for example, from New Jersey to Nevada!).

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:31PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm still thinking it was a combo of the T8s (just based on how the gastro grew before having T8s) and not enough water at times.

Julie, I may replace some of the sphag later in the week, however the isn't that bad. It look dark in the photos, because they were taken not longer after a watering.

Philohela, I can only imagine the change from NJ to Nevada! Wow...what a weather change!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:31AM
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I am happy to say that after remounting the gastro with fresh sphag and placing it in an area with much less direct light, the plant is showing improvements and even has a flower!

The photos were taking with my phone, so they are a bit blurry.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 11:02AM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)

Sarah, I'm glad your little one seems to be recovering.

Lovely mount, by the way. Is the mount usually horizontal? If so, that would be a nice compromise between a vertical mount and a pot which, yes, does make it hard to see the flowers.

It also makes sense that some of your plants would miss a blooming cycle because of the move.

Bit of a tangent - Julie, if you're reading this - your comment about "remounting" mounties is the first time I remember hearing about this. People have said they leave their mounties undisturbed for years and remount only when the plant has run out of room - even with circling it back on the mount - and has new growths with no place to go but the air. :)

On the other hand, we repot everything in pots, so the absence of the pot is the variable... That's stunningly obvious, I know - just thinking out loud here.

I'll start a new thread.

Sarah, if your Gastro starts blooming every 2 months again, please post your conditions. That sounds fantastic.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 4:23PM
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WC--I would think the horizontal mounting is sort of uncommon. It has been mounted horizontally since I purchased it. I guess I could hang it and make it be vertical, but I prefer it this way. Plus, I never really had a place to hang it.

I will definitely post more photos as it blooms more. In the past, it would produce about 4-5 flowers at a time, so I have my fingers crossed for next time.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 1:00AM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)

Sarah -

Yep - virtually all the mounties I see are designed to be hung. Horizontals can take up loads of room, but they remind me of bonsai. Jason Fischer @ Orchids Ltd. mounts some of the Neos horizontally, and they seem to love it.

BTW, dunno if you saw it, but in the recent thread about the top 5 orchids you want, you'd mentioned you wanted a black orchid. Later, I posted a picture of Fred Clarke's black Catasetae and gave contact info. If you go to his site for Sunset Valley, you'll see the flower, plus prices.

If an orchid is a bit pricey for my budget (and these are), I ask the grower if they have any plants that are smaller - and less expensive - than the ones listed. Almost always, they do or will divide a plant.

Anyway, if you decide to get one, let us know!! WC

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 12:19PM
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WC--I've seen Sunset Valley's site before. Great orchids, but I can't afford to spend $100 on one. It's added to my wish list (maybe someone else will buy it for me! Ha!).

I wish I could recall what vendor I purchased the gastro from...maybe Oak Hill. I bought the orchid at Parkside Orchid's orchidfest a couple years ago, but it was from an out of state vendor.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 8:21PM
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