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Old 09-20-2014, 12:56 PM
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umm....help lol

Hello all, I am new here. I tried looking up any posts about potting orchids you received bare root but I couldn't find one or missed it. I oredered a cattleya pot. Cheryl Winkelman that is being shipped bare root from Hausermanns last night and ive been researching how to correctly do this. I also ordered some worm tea last night so i think what i will do is as follows: inspect roots and remove and damaged or rotten ones, soak in mix of worm tea for 1 or 2 hours depending? Put cinnamon on cuts and mist with physan mix. Put in a bag with a little damp moss and keep out of bright light until i notice new growth/roots developing then pot as normal or put water in a container and set plant in there (no part touching the water) for humidity and keep shaded etc. Will this be enough? Any tips would be greatly appreciated and thank you! Kacy
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:59 PM
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Omg i need to change my pic....i will crop it, sorry
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:14 PM
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Hi for all bare rooted plants I recieve in the post, unless the roots are badly dehydrated I just pot them up in my favorite mix, either 1/2 treated pine bark or as I am now useing with great success 12 to 18 CoCo nuggets, place it in its normal growing area after watering it in with a good reliable brand of Seaweed extract at recomended streanght, if it is the start of the growing season it should take off faiirly quickly, especiall if in a warm area
Good luck
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:24 PM
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If it comes from Hausermann's, it should be in pretty good condition. I would immediately soak the roots in your worm tea for about a half hour or until the roots turn green, cut off any roots that do not turn plump and green, and then pot the orchid in something well-draining (I prefer something that doesn't decay like red lava rock or LECA (expanded clay pellets)). I usually stake the orchids to keep them from moving about in the pot until they establish new roots. I keep the medium dry for a few days to allow the roots to heal (they were soaked already so they are fine). Putting cinnamon on the roots kills them...I learned that from doing it many years ago.
When potting an orchid, I set the orchid in the empty pot with the stakes I plan to use and then begin to gently put the medium around the orchid's roots. With Cattleyas, it is best to keep the pseudobulbs slightly above the medium to prevent rot and just have the roots going down into the medium. I always add eggshell to provide a slow-release form of Calcium (if your orchid is putting out new pseudobulbs, you will have to see that it gets another source of calcium as well). Calcium is very important to cell development in plants and many Cattleyas seem to need extra.
I hope this helps. Feel free to ask questions. And, welcome to the forum! We are very glad to have you join us!
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:47 PM
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This is my first bare root experience. I had ordered a phal from Hausermanns that had the moss packed so tightly it was like a rock and i could tell it had been that way for some time. All the roots were rotten except for a few that were trying to escape. I put cinnamon on that one after i cut all the decay off...uh oh. But she is doing much better. New roots and i think i have a spike! So im glad i gave Hausermanns another try. Maybe it was a one time thing. Thank you everyone. Everyone is so nice!
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:03 PM
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I think I only ever bought one phal from them as I usually bought fragrant orchids which included many seedling Cattleyas. Now that I have so little room and buy mostly the small or miniature orchids, I have not been buying from them lately. I was always very lucky to get very healthy orchids from them, though. Maybe they have been having problems with the people they hire or something. I worked in a greenhouse business one summer and I remember that another worker was fired for not doing the job right.
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:25 PM
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Hi MissKacy

With growing most orchids, the best thing to do is to keep it simple. I find that the less tweaking, spraying, and supplementing you do with an orchid, especially when you are re-potting it, the better it will grow and the fewer problems it will have.

For potting medium, the options Ron and Leafmite gave you are good. Use something that drains very well. Cattleyas must be able to dry out completely in between watering. You should avoid any medium that has small pieces in it (they will hold too much water, leading to root rot). Orchid bark (fir bark packaged for orchids) is a good option, you can find it in the garden section of any big-box hardware store. Coco nuggets may be a bit harder to find (depending on the source, they may need much soaking, rinsing and pressing to remove salt). The big-box stores will also have lava rock (it comes in fairly large bags; usually red or black, I find that either is OK for orchids). LECA is short for light expanded clay aggregate, also a good choice, you may need to buy from a hydroponics store or mail order it. I have used other materials to grow Cattleyas as well (wine corks, coarse charcoal, styrofoam packing peanuts).

For simplicity, the orchid bark will be easiest to find and use. If you can, mix in some material that does not break down (such as styrofoam packing peanuts), especially in the bottom part of the pot. I recommend a terracotta clay pot because they drain better than plastic.

As Ron suggested, just go ahead and pot it right away, as you plant to grow it, normal watering (meaning only water it when it is dry).

Some things you have suggested, I would avoid. I will explain why.

Prolonged soaking in worm tea or anything else (prolonged soaking in anything should not be needed unless the plant is extremely dehydrated. I don't use worm tea, but most brands indicate that they have active bacteria in them; if you try worm tea, I would maybe do so after the plant is settled in for a few weeks first to avoid risk of bacterial infections/root rot. Normally, when I pot up a Cattleya, I pot it up with dry medium and don't water for a day or two to let any wounds to roots heal)

Cinnamon on cuts (as Leafmite says, this will kill roots, instead, if there are cuts on the roots, or anywhere else, just let them air dry and withhold water for a day or two)

Misting with Physan (not needed; I have been growing orchids for more than 30 years, I have never purchased Physan)

Placing in a plastic bag with damp moss, or put in a container with water (this will keep the plant too damp and will promote rot; if you like, keep the plant on a pebble tray, or group with leafy plants, to increase humidity)

Keeping plant out of bright light (This may be fine initially, for a few days, but you should begin adjusting the plant gradually to moderately bright light, still not direct sun)

Keep your treatment of this plant very simple, and I am sure it will will do well.
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:54 PM
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I did not know that about worm tea. I confess that I have never used it and just soak my orchid roots in distilled or rain water. Everyone does rave about it, though. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:48 PM
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Catt mandu, wow thank you. Im still fairly new to all this so thanks for the pointers. Hey thats why I asked Lol. I am excited to try the worm tea but I will wait unless the plant is severly dehydrated maybe ill soak in weak solution. I cant wait for my plants to arrive. I wish they could tmrw, its my birthday!
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:52 PM
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:11 AM
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Well then, happy birthday!
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:17 AM
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I agree with Catt and Ron. If you are getting your plants from a reputable grower, and the plant looks healthy and undamaged, then go ahead and get it potted. Do your due diligence in what mediumwould work best for you in your growing conditions, (light, temp, humidity, etc..).
Understand too, that orchids are a lot tougher than you think, and they have a "will to survive", despite our constant attention. I would pot it up, give it a god soak and then leave it alone- til the next watering time. Follow Catt's suggestions and you'll be fine.

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Old 09-24-2014, 05:55 PM
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I am within an easy driving distance from Hausermanns and get there often if for nothing else just to walk around. They know what they are doing and are beyond reputable. And even though I know this, I always repot any new orchid I get, whether it's in sphag or bark and no matter if it looks fresh. But that's just me. My orchid society has their holiday party there every year and everyone gets a free orchid as a gift. Sometimes they are potted, sometimes bare root. I've never had any issue with the couple bars root plants I've gotten from them. Don't hesitate to call them if you have questions or concerns. They are friendly
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