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Old 03-30-2014, 06:56 PM
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Sick Catt! Is there any hope? :'(

Hello!
I am a newbie in orchid care topics and I need help... in December I got two orchids as gifts: a catt from my mom and a phal from my sister. My phal seemed very young and was blossoming and my catt seemed old and its flower was beginning to die. I read basic info about how to take care of them, and at the beginning everything seemed pretty OK with the phal, but the catt had strong wrinkles in its bulbs and its outside roots seemed dry so I decided to water it twice a week. New leaves started to grow so I recovered my hope, but old bulbs continued decaying and leaves started to show some black spots. Nowadays my phal is doing very good, its flowers lasted almost 4 months and now it has many strong green roots and beautiful healthy leaves, but I started suspecting that my catt is indeed very sick, new growth stopped and young leaves started showing dark spots as well. I read you guys and realized that maybe I needed to repot it seriously, though I was scared because I had never done it before.

I repotted my catt today and found several sad surprises. Indeed, some parts of the root system were quite dry, and some other were so rotten they smelled bad. I even found a dead beetle between the roots! I adapted a clear plastic pot with many holes although I think it is very wide (though no other found on the market and I preferred to intervene ASAP) and used brand new media. I cut all the dead roots with sterilized scissors, but left the ones that looked kind of "alive" (a bit darker than a healthy one but still thick and hydrated) which were not many, but at least gave me some hope. I started also using a fungicide now on it to stop fungus from spreading if that's the case. So after sharing you my first repotting experience, I still have some questions left:

1. Are old bulbs dead and do I have to cut them? They are not mushy at all but those dark spots freak me out. I attach some pics to see if anyone can help...
2. Is there a fungal disease and is it severe? Should I keep using the fungicide on it?
3. When should I water it again after repotting? I think some roots I left were in danger of rotting, so I'm afraid of watering too soon...
4. And, in general, is there any hope for my poor catt? I really hope so, I don't want it to die :'(

Thank you very much for all your help! BTW, I live in a tropical city so we have temperatures between 15C and 27C the entire year. I keep them in my balcony during the day and inside the house during the night. I avoid to put them to direct sunlight though, and my phal shows that they are OK with it... That is all for now!!!
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:36 PM
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Okay, if there is anything black, that will need to be removed. The only exceptions are the papery parts that can be peeled away. When black gets into the leaves and into the pseudobulbs, it can spread. The new growth looks good and your cattleya should recover. Here is a good site to help you:

http://www.houstonorchidsociety.org/...ySueBottom.pdf
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:38 PM
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I hope the link will help you.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:09 AM
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I think there is hope for your catt. You have a new growth which means you will get new roots,too. The old roots sound healthy enough to support the plant w/what it needs. Older pbulbs will wrinkle like that as the plant and new growths have been using it a food source.

15C and 27C the entire year. 59 F and 80 F Those are excellent temps for your catts being outside. I use clay pots for my catts as they like to dry out between watering. Please keep us updated on your catts recovery.

Cattleya Culture Sheet
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:23 AM
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Thank you very much! Its roots look better today as far as I can see from the pot. I will keep an eye on the dark pseudobulbs as I might have to cut them (though I will get sharper scissors first) and consider watering it tomorrow for the first time in its new pot. I will keep you updated, I feel encouraged thanks to you to keep on taking care of orchids... if I succeed, I will definitely get more
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:52 PM
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Most fungi invade the leaf surface by releasing enzymes, which dissolve the middle lamella (the "glue" that bonds adjacent cells). The activity of these enzymes is strongly inhibited by Calcium.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1181

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Old 04-05-2014, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexogen View Post
Most fungi invade the leaf surface by releasing enzymes, which dissolve the middle lamella (the "glue" that bonds adjacent cells). The activity of these enzymes is strongly inhibited by Calcium.

HS1181/HS1181: Mineral Nutrition Contributes to Plant Disease and Pest Resistance
So are you suggesting a calcium supplement be added to watering in the case of black spots caused by rot? If so, what's the best way to supply the calcium?
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:33 AM
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Possible sunburns, pH of the water or black rot.
The best way to supply the Calcium is Botanicare Cal-Mag Plus, General Hydroponics Calimagic, etc. Plant supplement designed to correct the inherent problem of calcium, magnesium and iron mineral deficiencies.
For Black Rot Black Rot
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:25 AM
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Thank you all!
After a week the plant survives, but the smallest of new growths couldn't make it. I have used fungicide and cinnamon; black spots are not spreading but neither they disappear. First week's goal was to get the roots adapt to the new environment and so far they look good. I am watching the black pb but I still haven't cut it because I'm afraid that given so many new growths and few roots the plant won't be able to get what it needs. So far the black spot from the dark pb hasn't spread either. My concern now is to get some space for the new growths that are coming. So far there are 4 old pb, 3 "teenagers" -small pb, small leave-, 3 "kids" -no pb developed yet- and 1 "baby" (I don't know what else to call them :P). The old and "teens" are growing towards every direction possible and I feel that the "kids" do not have enough space to grow. One of them is really lacerated and is growing horizontally. I haven't got sticks to get older pbs straight, but yesterday I tied some of them to the pot's edges at least to keep the "kids" safe while they develop their pb and I can do something to correct their growth without harming them. I'm sad that one "baby" coudn't make it, but hopeful that the remaining survive, or at least most of them.

*About minerals: I have the same question than kine: are calcium supplements effective against fungus, specifically in the case of orchids? If so, how often do we have to add them?
*And how can I test whether there is a problem with the water?

Thank you again!!! I will keep you updated...
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:49 PM
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I was taught when growing other plants that calcium does help prevent fungus problems. It is an important nutrient, too, in all plant growth. How often you add the calcuim depends on what you are using. I do it the old-fashioned way by adding eggshells to the pots and powdered milk to my watering can. The oyster shell just goes through my medium and I haven't invested in anything else as what I am doing seems to work well. However, you might want to take the advice of others.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:20 PM
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I may feed them in the following days, so I'll try adding some egg shells to the fertilizer. Thank you!
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:59 PM
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Egg shells are a slow release deal. They take a while to start breaking down and providing calcium, I have found. If your orchids need an immediate source, try adding a little powdered milk to your water (a teaspoon or so is usually enough).
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:04 PM
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Pseudomonas and...?

Hello again!
Just wanted to post a short update a month after the intervention to my catt. New growths are doing fine and many new roots started to grow since last week . However, I have to make choices now about what to do with the old pb and leaves. Several days ago four black spots started appearing on the under side of the oldest leaf. They looked sunken and slowly enlarged and seemed to coalesce, so after a few days of observation and comparing the spots to the pdf guide (pseudomonas = match), I decided to cut the leaf today. There are two leaves that are worrying me now. They have some light green and shiny areas on the surface, which makes the leaf bent easily, and show wrinkles on the under side. I discarded a virus because according to the guide they appear in the entire plant, but I still do not know whether they are harmful and could eventually kill it. I would be glad if someone could help me and thank you for all your info so far!
(btw all leaves in the pictures look shiny because I had just sprayed pesticide on them, but normally lighter spots look shiny and the rest of the leaf looks opaque).
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Last edited by Antonia; 05-07-2014 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:11 PM
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I am not sure about the black on the leaves but I do think removing the leaf was a good idea. If the roots on the old pseudobulbs weren't healthy, the leaves might wrinkle as they lend their stores of energy to the new growth. Once the new growth is established, your orchid should be on the way to recovery. I am hoping someone else also has an opinion on this as well. Good luck!
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:07 PM
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Thank you!

I want to share the photo of my orchid, after a few years of recovery:

June 2016 - first blooms:



Yesterday (03.01.2017) second blooms:



Thank you all! It's been an amazing journey!!
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:20 PM
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Wow! It's beautiful! I'd say you have mastered the art of catt growing. What a change. Congratulations!
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Old 01-05-2017, 08:02 AM
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Congrats and well done This cattleya was well worth the effort and the wait. Does this have a name or is it a NOID
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:48 PM
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Well done! Looks beautiful.
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