View Single Post
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 08-06-2018, 04:15 AM
rosebudforglory rosebudforglory is offline
Join Date: May 2018
Location: VA
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
rosebudforglory is on a distinguished road
Long but I hope it helps

Sabina88 - The plant itself, while small looks healthy. Yes, the roots appear dry and as someone else said - donít cut roots off unless you are sure they are dead and leave the aerials alone. The bulbs seem plump. The nice thing with orchids with bulbs over say phals - is they have that storage reserve. In the summer heat, orchids kept outside in appropriate bark size and pot size, may need watering every couple of days - it is different for everyone and every plant and itís particular situation. If you water based on roots on top of the pot - you will end up killing them especially catts. If the aerial roots on top are getting desiccated but the bark part way down is wet - 2 situations come to mind..the pot is too big, or you donít have enough humidity. In your case, 2 days - my bet is the high heat, maybe shipping stress, repotting, and too much pot/bark. As someone else mentioned, many barks wonít accept water and those you want to soak prior to potting and let them drain well. It is the same with Leca beads and lava rock - best to soak 24 hours before use. I recommend using a solution like Kelpmax and Inocucor's Garden Solution with the media and the plants. I use Besgrow Orchiata which is treated to accept water right away and they donít recommend soaking and to use straight from the bag. In fact, if you soak you will soak the dolomite limestone off used to buffer the ph. It is the only bark I now use - they have a number of sizes though I find the Power, Power Plus and Super (big and kinda like rocks) the only ones I use.

I see a couple of issues which others have mentioned. Iím assuming these pics are after being repotted though the middle photo seems different. One, there is a clip/tie of some sort around the new growth - you might want to remove as it will restrict the growth of the bulb. Each new growth is what produces flower(s) for the current year on catts. The more growths - the more flowers. Cattleyas require lots of air - and they want to be throughly watered and then allowed to dry to silver/white but not to tan desiccation. Healthy roots should be white/silver when dry and when exposed to water turn immediately green. Tan roots that donít green are on their way to dead. However, sometimes they can look very dry but the root will reestablish the velum, branch and grow new tips. What you see on the outside is just the protective covering which transports water to the ďstringĒ inside which is actually the root. The tips mentioned are what we all live for and is the sign of a healthy system. Tips can be green, or red tinged. All of this is the same whether growing catts, phals, vandas, etc.

Also as mentioned, that pot is really too big and too deep for that little plant. You select your new pot based first on the size of the root system, then the plant and you never want to allow more space than what is needed for 1-2 new growths - the puesdo-bulbs. Thus you only need a pot maybe an 1-2Ē wider and no more than one size up, i.e., move from 3Ē to a 4Ē unless the plant has made excellent root expansion. And the height of the pot should also be no more than an extra inch or two - just enough to allow room for root expansion. Orchids, like violets, like to be snug in their pots. There are many people who pot way too large and many are on the internet showing us how to repot. With bark and moss - you just canít do well with too large a pot. I believe it is better to go smaller than larger unless the root system is very large. There are times that you plant may decline, you lose root mass than prior - in those cases - go with a smaller pot that matches the roots not the plant size. If it is too top-heavy and falling over, sit inside a larger clay pot. I love net pots for everything and I can sit them inside a larger plastic pot in the winter to raise humidity (phals especially or seedlings) and in the summer, they sit inside clay pots so the wind wonít topple during storms. The clay hold moisture and as it evaporates, it will cool the roots plus raise humidity too. I end up with lots of roots coming out of the net sides and I can just mist the outside of the net pot without soaking the interior bark in between weekly heavy watering. I find I donít need to repot except 3 times - when it is declining and you donít know why; when it is busting out of itís pot i.e. growths over pot rim and lots of root growth in the pot; and when you buy a new plant. I like to repot new ones to make sure the roots are healthy, no hidden critters, and I put back in fresh media (same type) in the same pot (unless it is busting out, or sick and the pot is too big). There are times you may need to use a pot that is either a little deeper or little wider due to root mass. And by mass I mean a large big group of roots not just a couple longer ones. Some folks cut their roots to fit their pot but I try to find a pot that will allow all the healthy roots to fit without cutting or smushing and use non-degrading packing peanuts to fill out and use a higher bark size to ensure no issues. I work hard for those tips and hate to lose them.

In your case as someone mentioned, you didnít advise your environment. You mentioned you just got it 2 days ago but didnít say if local or if it was shipped from say across the country etc. it really makes no difference in summer heat - they will be stressed after even 2-3 days stuffed in a box, in a van, maybe exposed to direct sun on the box - you just never know and many times the roots will be so dry. Also, you didnít mention if you bought it into an air conditioned house or is it outside. Air conditioning draws as much moisture out of the air as possible thus causing quick desiccation unless misted, or put under a large plastic bag, or a humidifier in the 50-75%+ range is used. If the temps are cool i.e. 72-75 plus the low humidity - that makes it even worse. And where you live (if outside) can play a big part and desiccate very quickly especially when first repotting - say July/August in Phoenix Arizona with daytime temps at 85-105F and up to 120F with 5-20% humidity versus Virginia at 80-100F and up to 105F and humidity in the 70-90% range without rain.

I donít know how new you are but I would like to suggest a couple of websites and a youtube channel to help you with catts and orchids in general. Rick L youtube does a great job on feeding protocol, using ph and TDS meters, mixing nutrients via ppm, the importance of calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc and even making several types of pot clips. Here is his latest but he has many. There are many out there but I believe he does the best job in explaining and showing you - OrchidGeeks site wouldnít let me post the link but you will find him. Then there are 3 websites - The American Orchid Society (many good articles, culture sheets, etc. and even more available if you join in terms of asking questions of experts). Also St. Augustine Orchid Society, and First Rays, both full of great information. Between these sites, you will get a good cross section of information, ideas, and different methods. For example, Rick grows everything in river and lava rocks and recommends feeding at every watering (rain water only) - for him that can be 1-3+ times a week and he feeds each time 15-20 ppm epson salts, 30-40 ppm chelated GH CalciMagic, and 100 ppm Better Grow Orchid Plus 20-14-13. He adds potassium as necessary for high heat summer support. His growth and plants are terrific. You will note he uses large pots but he is getting lots of big growths and is in rock and he has a grow room inside and a sunroom so he can cater to their winter needs. I donít believe I could do rocks in my cooler, drier winter home - 69-70F/20% humidity - we just tough it out til spring though the phals bloom like crazy due to the cool.

I know this is long but I hope it helps.
Reply With Quote