Q. How do I care for the orchid Asocenda, Vanda hybrid?
Thank you for your question abut the orchid ascocenda, an intergeneric cross between a vanda and an ascocentrum orchid. Ascocenda likes humidity, and very bright indirect light from a southern exposure. Whenever you have humid and warm conditions, good air circulation is helpful too, in the form of small fan in the room (not directed at the orchid). If the temperature is cool, you can forgo the fan.
Ascocenda does not require soil nor potting medium to grow. You can grow one directly inside a special hanging cedar basket made for this purpose, available online and in garden supply centers. Then, by adopting just a few cultural habits, your orchid will put forth a beautiful display of blossoms periodically throughout the year.
1. Hang your orchid in front of an airy, sunny, south facing window. If the window has a sheer curtain, the ascocenda also tolerates filtered sunlight. You can also hang your orchid outdoors in a partially sunny to sunny area during the summer. However, you should slowly acclimate it to the outdoor environment. Do this by taking your ascocenda outside for three or four hours the first day, then extending the time by three or four hours each day for several days. This protects it.
2. Maintain a relative humidity level of 60 percent or higher. In addition, ascocenda grows best when daytime temperatures are between 70 and 85 degree Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures above 60 degrees. Do not allow temperatures to dip below 55 degrees.
3. Water in by thoroughly misting the roots. During hot weather, you may need to water the roots two or three times a day, especially if the plant is growing outdoors. During the late fall and winter, water once every two days. Other times of the year, watering it once a day is usually sufficient, early in the day, not at night.
4. Fertilize two to three times a month with a liquid orchid fertilizer. You can also use a fertilizer labeled 20-20-20. Mist the roots with water first, then mist them with the fertilizer. This helps to prevent fertilizer burn over time.
5. Carefully lift and remove an ascocenda plant from its basket and set it into a larger basket when it outgrows its container. You can also pull off any offshoots that develop in the spring to keep your ascocenda contained in the same basket for years.
Hope this is helpful.
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