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Old 05-12-2013, 02:55 PM
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Cattelaya in trouble?

Back in December I had purchased, and shipped, a Cattelaya orchid from Kauai, HI. It arrived to my home in Kansas in beautiful condition. It had an active spike with several buds, two ready to open. Within a week the buds had become sickly looking, like they were rotting. I removed the spike as I was advised by several folks to do. Over time all the stems and leaves have done the same thing. The roots have also become sick looking, not green anymore. I have it hanging in bright indirect light, it's in a pot with good medium, and is watered once a week in the shower and misted every other day in between. Any advice? I don't want to lose this beauty!!
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:32 PM
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:20 PM
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Is this your first cattleya? If so, I will venture a few senarios of what may have happened. 1) Too much moisture. Your temps might be a little cool and the air still. By misting, you may have encouraged fungus or bacterial growth which may have led to these problems. Also, if you water on a schedule instead of when the medium is completely dry, even in the middle, rot can develop. I grow my cattleyas dryer in winter and have them in baskets and red lava rock to prevent rot.
2) Shock that lowers immunity: Plant had perfect conditions in Hawaii, and couldn't adjust to the new environment. Stress made it vulnerable.
3) Maybe the package sat out somewhere in the cold.
4) Dry or cold draft?
5) Old medium under the top layer or in the middle that never dried out?
6) Not enough light?
Good luck! Pictures will indeed help! In the meantime, here are some good websites to browse:

Orchid Pests, Orchid Diseases
http://www.houstonorchidsociety.org/...ySueBottom.pdf
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DML1983 View Post
Back in December I had purchased, and shipped, a Cattelaya orchid from Kauai, HI. It arrived to my home in Kansas in beautiful condition. It had an active spike with several buds, two ready to open. Within a week the buds had become sickly looking, like they were rotting. I removed the spike as I was advised by several folks to do. Over time all the stems and leaves have done the same thing. The roots have also become sick looking, not green anymore. I have it hanging in bright indirect light, it's in a pot with good medium, and is watered once a week in the shower and misted every other day in between. Any advice? I don't want to lose this beauty!!
I am a little confused. It arrived in good condition but a week later everything started looking sickly. I too, wonder if it got left out in the cold or if it was when you started watering it once a week, then misting in between and sitting in bright indirect light.

Catts need very bright, direct light to bloom and thrive. Catts like to dry out between watering. They do not like wet, soggy feet. So with all this water in the plant and not letting the crowns dry out you probably got some type of crown rot/fungus. This is also why it is important to have good air movement and the right light.

One more thing. Be careful when having plants shipped b/c of weather. I live in the Northeast and will not have plants shipped from Thanksgiving until April/May.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:50 PM
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Photo

This was taken when it first showed symptoms. I haven't been home in daylight to get good full light pictures of its current condition. image.jpg
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:53 PM
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It is possible that it sat in the cold somewhere, it was shipped UPS directly to my office then taken directly home... But I have no idea where it sat or for what duration in between. It was sent out on a Monday and arrived on Thursday.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:27 PM
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It's not unusual for cattleya buds to drop off after shipping, its happened to some of mine after a plane trip, and they can take a while to adjust and get growing again, i dont like the sound if roots are dying though. This time of year you should be getting some fresh green roots growing, even if its only a few small ones. Dont be tempted to water too often if the plant is basically dormant.

When plants are shipped air freight there no gaurantee the cargo hold will be kept warm, or even above freezing, some older planes had what was euphemistically called the puppy snuffer switch... Although i think its less common these days to let the hold get that cold.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:58 PM
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I agree with what sunshine says, good advice. For mine that is about once a week in a clay pot, give or take. I also mist roots that are OUTSIDE the pot growing in the air making sure to not spray the bulbs everyday. The plant leaves don't look bad. Hopefully you will start getting some new roots growing if they are dried out. Maybe humidity is too low if the roots dry out that quickly. I like a thermostat that tells me relative humidity to help determine what is wrong.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:09 PM
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Photo today

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Old 05-15-2013, 06:49 AM
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Ewwwwwwwwww that does not look good. Catts are pretty tough. How are the roots ? Firm or soft, squishy and hollow feeling ? The pbubs. Firm and hard or soft and mushy feeling? I have never seen a catt potted like this.


If the roots and pbulbs are still firm you might stand a chance. I would repot in a nice chunky bark mix, trim away all dead roots etc. I would use a clay pot and donot over pot. Then give it good catt culture. This an excellent learning experience. If the plant is a gonner by another and start over. Don't feel like a failure as I have killed more than one orchid

Should decide to try and save this orchid it maybe a couple years before you see a bloom.

http://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=195
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:45 AM
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What is a good Catt culture?
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:49 AM
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I will be going to town on Saturday, a greenhouse there has nice orchid mix medium. Orchid Alley Kauai is where I got this one, he pots many orchids hanging like this. Beautiful when they are happily healthy. My other orchid from them is still doing well, it was also stressed but is still healthy. I have two others as well. I certainly will get another Catt if need be, they're so beautiful.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:50 AM
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Most roots are firm, the bulbs are under medium but I will know on Saturday when I repot.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:35 AM
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DML1983, it is sort of hard to tell with all of the light coming from behind the plant in yesterday's picture, but it looks like everything is brown. If that is the case, the plant probably was a goner weeks ago(?)

If you were planning to un-pot anyway this weekend, for re-potting, that is worth doing anyway. After you do so, take the plant outside to photograph in good light (whole plant, roots, and anything that appears to be green and living, as well as things that might indicate disease).

For good orchid culture information, go to Orchids, The American Orchid Society and follow the links under "All about orchids" in the menu at the top, especially look at the AOS Culture Sheets. Also, use the search function within the AOS site to look for information on "Cattleya".

Read materials from the AOS site, learn a bit, then try again. You have received some good advice above, especially from Sunshine. She is right, we have all killed plants - don't feel bad. Focus on learning good culture, and you will get there.

Many greenhouses/nurseries, as well as big-box home improvement stores and grocery stores, now sell orchids. The big-box stores like Lowes and Home Depot frequently carry Cattleyas this time of year. For a better learning experience, start with some of the less expensive plants offered there; buy the healthiest-looking plant(s) offered. While first learning, avoid the sickly discounted plants - nursing the sick ones back to health is also a good learning experience, but maybe best for later on. Plants that are full-grown will be closer to blooming, if not already "in spike" (with buds formed). I always re-pot any orchid I get as soon as I can after purchasing (you might wait for a Cattleya that is blooming to finish first).

A note on water and humidity for potted orchids. In the home, water the bark, not the leaves. In the past, I have also watered in the shower, watering just the medium in the pot is better. Humidity can be provided with a humidity tray (1/2 to 1 inch of pebbles in tray, 1/8 to 1/4 inch of of water under the pebbles) or by grouping orchids with other plants (all of which transpire water through their leaves). I have not found misting to be all that helpful, but if done, "mist" should not result in dripping leaves (just a mist that will evaporate in a few minutes). If you have an area of bright indirect or filtered light outside (not direct sun), outside culture in the summer can be beneficial.

Welcome, & good luck!
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:33 PM
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Just a note about the pot, i think yours (although its hard to tell) is potted on a chunk of coir (coconut husk). This is typical of the way cattleyas are grown in asia and other places and in itself isnt a problem, many of mine are grown exactly that way. It does lend itself to growing in a humid environment (80-90% in my case) and mine are sprayed with water every evening, before i go to bed, but only when i see the roots are actively growing. They are dry again by morning.

Heres one i got which took allmost a year to get over being shipped, you can see dead old roots and the nice new ones which are finally coming through, a lot of roots die over winter whatever you do but the new ones normally just take over,

Heres another with a good crop of this years roots, all last years are dead...


But to echo what others allready said, for the leaves to dissapear so quickly implies something was seriously wrong.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:46 AM
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DML can you take a better picture?

Silver did you ever wonder why your Catt roots only live one year? Catt roots should live for years.

Brooke
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:46 PM
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DML can you take a better picture?

Silver did you ever wonder why your Catt roots only live one year? Catt roots should live for years.

Brooke
Good question, just assumed it was the six months of winter dormancy they have to put up with here, although that said, most of the plants i've seen either here or in asia and even brazil have only had viable green roots on the new growths. Next time i'm in brazil i'll have a look at the plants there to compare.

Its never really been an issue as the roots grow like crazy once they get going in spring.

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Old 05-16-2013, 04:18 PM
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I have quite a few Catts and even if the roots don't have active growth tips the roots don't die each year. I have some that actively grow in the winter. Some of them have to be repotted in the middle of winter because that is when the new growth appears.

Come over here and you can go through the g/h because I have tons of Catts I've imported from Brazil. I didn't know there were any Catt species in Asia?

Brooke
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:48 PM
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Brooke, how could i refuse a tour of your greenhouse, if im ever at 38 degrees north maybe ill pop in, lol.

Some of mine flower in the winter but not noticed much root growth, they would be getting 10-12C night and maybe a few degrees higher daytime. I noticed some of the older roots are alive on some of mine and do grow new shoots out of the old roots occasionally, but others just seem to die off. Maybe ill water even less next winter and see what happens.

There are of course no native cattleyas in asia but they are commercially grown there, in fact its much cheaper to buy a hybrid cattleya in thailand than it is in Brazil. Different subject but my eyes nearly popped out when i saw how much they were trying to sell some fairly common dendrobium species in Brazil, (several hundred dollars) Supply and demand i guess...
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