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Repotting a large dendrobium

This is a discussion on Repotting a large dendrobium within the Dendrobium Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; This new dendrobium, a no name, has four spikes growing. When I bought it this ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Repotting a large dendrobium

    This new dendrobium, a no name, has four spikes growing. When I bought it this week it was in a 3 inch pot and obviously busting out. The pot had to be cut off as it was so tight on here. The entire job took about 6 hours due to the extremely tight bound roots that had woven around and around. I had to soak the roots for about 20 minutes in water with physan 20. Then I left it to let the water get all through it for about another 20 minutes while I prepared my work area and tools.

    While soaking you get your tools together, then after all is ready you begin....

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    This is the view before I started, close-up. As you can see, there is no air room for the roots to breathe. I had plucked a few pieces out before I realized I should take a few pics...

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    After two hours, very little progress is visible....

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    After four hours the middle is beginning to appear and progress becomes much easier. The roots begin to be released from the middle and unbraiding them becomes much easier as you get farther along.

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    next....

  2. #2
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    After six hours of picking, trimming and unbraiding I took a break and let the plant rest outside where it's nice and humid.

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    As you can see, repotting now has saved many roots that later would have been simply rotted to nothing. The middle contained a hard chunk of wood that roots had grown all through. Four spikes of flowers later, this wood would have hopelessly rotted anything in the middle. and now what I have left is more than healthy enough to carry the plant.....but you ask....won't that mess up the buds?????

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    Apparently not.....look at the picture below. After a mere 12 hours a couple buds have leaned over and are dripping orchid honey. This spike didn't look nearly this good yesterday. I'm guessing it's the first time in awhile those roots have gotten good clean air in awhile and they are liking being dry for a change.

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    Next I'll put it in a nice new clay pot and put some new fir bark around the roots. When it blooms I'll update this post....I can't wait to see what the flowers will look like!

    I hope this will help with repotting your dens.
    Connie

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    Connie, why not create an article in the orchid article library with your step by step? The article will be easily searched and found, whereas this thread will become buried beneath several others in time.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Connie, I would have waited until after blooming. Most Dends like their roots to be tight, I keep them very root bound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron-NY View Post
    Connie, I would have waited until after blooming. Most Dends like their roots to be tight, I keep them very root bound.
    Actually I've done this before to save the plant....the flowers usually bloom and last much longer after being cleaned up. I was very careful with my tweezers and only removed very bad roots. Today another few buds have leaned over with honey on them and are developing nicely. I was afraid with 4 spikes I might mess it up, but this one seems to have handled the repotting like a champ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cjcorner View Post
    Actually I've done this before to save the plant....the flowers usually bloom and last much longer after being cleaned up. I was very careful with my tweezers and only removed very bad roots. Today another few buds have leaned over with honey on them and are developing nicely. I was afraid with 4 spikes I might mess it up, but this one seems to have handled the repotting like a champ.
    Thanks for posting this, I also have a Den that I recently purchased that is currently in bloom. Mine is also on a 3" plastic pot with 11 spikes, yes 11 new spikes cramped in that little plastic pot. Would it still be okay to re-pot with the flowers already in bloom? My hands are just itching to get this guy out of this little pot.

  7. #7
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    I would definitely take a look by slipping your den out of it's pot. If everything looks okay, don't worry that the pot is small. Dendrobiums like small tight pots, just not tight to the point that mine was. I could see brown rotten roots on the sides and bottom even with the clear pot on. That is why I went to all that trouble. If you can get a chance to pot in between blooms on the different spikes that might work better. But with that many spikes...esp. if some of them are developing, it should be okay. The current flowers might die on you, but if you still have tons developing you'll have flowers again soon enough. When in doubt...I repot. lol I still have problems with roots from time to time.
    Connie

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    I'm sorry I get confused on these orchid terms, I meant 11 new canes on this small pot. There's only 2 flower spikes. I checked the roots which still look okay, most of them are still white and turns kind of greenish after watering.

  9. #9
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    You may want to wait then...if your roots look good it should hold out until blooming is over.

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