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Old 10-15-2013, 08:43 AM
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Should I Save this !*@#?!!!! Thing

I have a Rlc. Samantha Duncan "Red Hot" in two pieces. It has been repotted about twice since getting it in ? 2011 or 2012. I can't remember if it fell in two pieces like my Tolumnia which fell apart into 5 pieces, when I repotted.

This one as you can see has that big black round spot, the leaf did not open till I forced it then the tip of the leaf got funky.

Last night I unpotted this section from the moss/ superthrive really disgusted with the thing and dumped it in the trash can here in the office.

This morning I picked it out of the trash and wondered if I should give it another try.

The roots on my catts as you can see get black, dry up then rot. Over and over again with these Catts. Am I not supposed to have Catts and their alliances?

Can this be saved? What is that big black circle on the leaf? I can't find that in the AOS pest and disease section. I have this another Catt Deanna Sanders Memorial. It would be healthy, then a new growth reaches an inch tall, maybe more, had been healthy then it turns black like in a few days or less. In the past I was advised and did cut that pbulb out. But still the same happens again. Is the whole plant infected. The old growth are fine. just the new pbulbs. I give up
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:59 AM
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Your larger leaf is dying back because the plant doesn't have sufficient roots to "feed" itself so in order to try and survive it is "eating" it's older leaf. All plants store nutrients in their leaves...your plant is eating the older leaf to get the energy it needs to try and grow roots.

Would I try to save this plant? Probably not. But that's just me and where I am in my hobby however, when I first started collecting orchids I might have tried to save it....maybe. It's pretty far gone though so I likely would've just chucked that one. Should you save it? If you have the patience...but it sounds like it's frustrating you too much so maybe it would better for you to just pitch it.

BTW - I don't see a "black circle". ???????????????

BTW #2 - if your roots are drying up then they aren't getting enough moisture. If they are drying up...then they aren't rotting...they are simply dying back. Lack of moisture will cause this die back. Is it possible that you are not watering your plants enough? W/those new lights thing WILL dry much faster.

EDit -- OK...I see the black circle. Given the state of the plant, I would just chalk that up to the plant eating itself. Regardless, that leaf will be sacrificed in an effort to grow roots.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:21 AM
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Hi Vivienne

IMO, I think that the plant is having difficulty making roots due to some environmental issue. What is your water quality like? Are you using well water, city tap water, rain water, RO water or something else? It sounds like you are having problems with other Catts, not just this one, which is why I am thinking maybe it is a water issue. Try using collected rain water, snow melt, RO, etc. Also, I think added Ca and Mg are very important in maintaining good health in Catts. My experience has been, with every Catt I have had, that a very open, coarse medium is best.

I think that the plant is quite salvageable. I see 4 roots that are capable of feeding the plant, and a new healthy shoot. If I were trying to save it, I would probably try something that is similar to a modified vase culture until it is on its feet again. Get a container (jar, water glass, etc.) in which the roots will fit. Tie the plant to some sort of stake (bamboo skewer, etc), you want fix it so that the roots are just below the lip of the jar. Once a day, fill the jar with high quality water (rain/snow melt or RO) to just cover the roots. Leave it with the roots standing in water for 10-15 minutes, drain. Leave it standing in that empty jar until the next day, when it should be dry again; repeat. The short-duration soak allows the plant to draw in water, the period in-between allows the roots to dry thoroughly, but not dehydrate. I am actually getting ready to do this with a Catt alliance seedling that has been a reluctant grower (Blc. Memoria Cecil Barrier 'Black Luster' AM/AOS); others acquired at the same time are growing like crazy but this one is sulking.

When I have used this method, I sometimes add a pinch (literally a pinch between the fingers per gallon) of balanced water soluble fertilizer, and a very low dose of Ca Mg and S (dissolved gypsum and Epsom salts, 1 tsp/gal each; add an ounce or 2 of this to the water you use to water/soak roots with).

Good luck with it!
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:44 AM
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Thank you Katrina, I am pretty much there as far as chucking it again and any other Catt that gives me endless problems. Overwatering is usually my downfall except, with the sick, seedlings, then the medium gets too dry.

Thank you Dennis also, Your efforts are brave and above and beyond. If it was one of my Dens, Oncs Brassias, then definitely I would try to save it. But Catts? I am thinking that they are beyond my control.

I have well water, it works wonders on other orchids and my houseplants and it tastes good. Being a water drinker I like the water.

I am afraid that Ole Samantha is going to There are another 59 orchids in front of her.
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:41 PM
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Well water should not be a problem for your catts. Especially if you are not having trouble w/your other orchids and/or other houseplants.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:18 PM
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Drummond Island well water could be really good and low in total dissolved solids (TDS), or could be quite hard/potentially high TDS. I suspect that wells that go into the "Puddingstone" will have low TDS. If your well is in the dolomite (quarries, west side of the island) it could be hard water, maybe with high TDS. Wells in your area could also be in glacial till, sand and gravel (also potentially hard and mineral-laden).

I suggest checking with the local cooperative extension office for Chippewa County, see if they offer water testing: Chippewa County | MSU Extension
If they test water, send them a sample of your well water. Your health department may also test water. You should get at least total dissolved solids or electrical conductivity run; see what they offer for a cost that seems reasonable to you. Your water can taste good and be healthy for you, but possibly not so good for your plants.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:54 PM
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Not discounting your knowledge Catt...I know water testing is your thing so no disrespect intended...but, I'm still not sold on it being a water quality issue because the Oncids are doing fine. Those babies tend to show salt issues in their leaf tips long before a catt shows anything. At least that's what I've always seen.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:24 PM
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Catt Mandu I read your post and then looked outside to see if you were driving down the road somewhere Nope, he isn't here. Then I decided you must be a water engineer, or something like that, have a friend who works for Mich. It made me laugh to hear you talk of "Puddingstones" as they are the one coveted object on the island. And yes our well is under sand, gravel rock
and the well drillers usually stop at the first bed of Dolomite. The water is very hard. Nope I sure am not going to collect rainwater. It's well water, live or die.

Yes Katrina, when something goes awry my first thought is me.

Anyway I did chuck the little plant. Now on to the other catts..........
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:47 PM
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Occupational hazard . . . I'm a geologist, focusing on environment and water resources.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt Mandu View Post
Occupational hazard . . . I'm a geologist, focusing on environment and water resources.
Ooooohhh, geology, I like that "stuff" One of the reasons I love the Grand Canyon so much and never get enough of it. My father was pretty much a self taught geologist and I have a very close friend who is very passionate about geology. When we go on our nature hikes here on D.I. we are always finding, talking about rocks. I only have a 12th grade education, with some college art, but so many of my friends are well educated. They tolerate me
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