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For those with rootless plants

This is a discussion on For those with rootless plants within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have been at growing orchids for only 14 years. I have worked at a ...

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  1. #1
    Persistence's Avatar
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    Default For those with rootless plants

    I have been at growing orchids for only 14 years. I have worked at a nursery for several of those for fun and I have learned a few things on my own and at the nursery.

    OK,back to the topic. If you import, you know that many plants come in rootless or with very little roots. If you over water and have little air movement you might get rootless plants at home.

    it's good to know what caused your roots to die or rot. Most of the time it's root rot. Root rot is when a plants roots can not exchange the gases it needs to and a build up of carbonic acid rot the roots. it's not the fact the plant gets too much water but the fact the medium stays to wet or brakes down to the point where good air exchange is no longer possible. This is why many plants can grow in water culture or hydroponically, stay constantly wet but because the water is changed or the water gets poured through it allows for a good gas exchange and the roots never rot.

    OK, a good remedy for getting roots to grow is called Sphag and bag. I personally have never done this but the main point is to not water but give the plant a high humidity situation. I can do this in my GH, but a problem with the bag part can be fungus and mold. A little physan(or other fungicide) and opening the bag everyday will help out.


    So, once I started with a sugar water mixture to give all my rootless and imported plants a jump start, my success rate soared. here is what you need:

    First, I spray all plants with a fungicide and let dry. Then I put in this mixture
    1 gal warm water.
    1/4 cup sugar
    a rooting hormone (I have personally used Superthrive or schultz's rooting hormone and they work well)
    You can add 1 tbs of vitamin E oil if you can find it but it's not necessary

    I let the plants soak for 3 to 5 hours in the product. Then keep the plants in a humid environment. Sphag and bag, on a bed of Sphag in a GH or another way to keep the humidity high without constant watering. Usually rootgrowth happens in about 2 weeks. Some species earlier and some later.

    There might be many other recipes out there but this is the only one I know and it works very well for me.

  2. #2
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    That's a wonderfull tip! THNX!
    I'll have to try that sometime...sadly i can't find any super thrive here

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    Ki_in_NoVa is offline Senior Member
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    hey, Mike's recipe made a noticeable difference. Some of the new comers this year are very thankful.

    I do "sphag and sweater box" - bags are often too small and promote nasty moldy stuff.

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    hey, mike...
    how much rooting hormone do you use?

    thanks!!

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    Depends on the brand but I think(don't quote me) it's a tsp of Superthrive to a gallon of water.

    Schultz's rooting hormone works just as well and is probably more available. I am sure there are other brands with the same ingredient(forgot the name of the acid) but I have not used them.

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    I did a similar sphag and bad with my rootless dendrobium, and it is working like a charm. I took the den out og the pot, took of as many roots as I could that were rotten. Then I soaked some sphag in water with SuperThrive. I squeezed the excess water out and put a piece of saran wrap covering all but where the canes were sticking out. In a week, I saw about 10 roots starting. Most of my plants come without roots and I have to nurse them back to health(they all come from one source). But that is a whole different thread....

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    PAGrower is offline Senior Member
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    Hey Mike,

    You regimen sounds a lot like mine, except for the sugar. What does that do for the plant?

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    Some good energy for plant swith roots and it sticks on the plant with the vit E for the new roots to use as energy.

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    Persistence, some growers I know use the sugar water mixture also when deflasking. They take the plants directly from the flask and soak them in the mixture. It apparently helps ease the plants from the agar to the bark/mix because the seedlings have been accoustomed to the higher energy they get from the agar. Have you any thoughts on this?

    Cheers!
    Brutal_Dreamer

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    Persistence's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good idea. the only problem with agar and sugar water is that it gives fungus good food as well and for seedling that can be devastating. I guess as long as a fungicide is used then it sounds like a great idea. I was lucky enough to work for a nursery that didn't really care how I deflasked so I got to try a bunch of different methods. I would have loved to try that one. I don't know if I would be brave enough to try it on my own flasks. LOL

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