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Catt Root Question

This is a discussion on Catt Root Question within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Every time right after watering the roots of two of my catts are black and ...

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  1. #1
    Phyrex's Avatar
    Phyrex is offline .CA-member-t
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    Default Catt Root Question

    Every time right after watering the roots of two of my catts are black and soft for a while, but two days later they start to dry, become grey and firm up. Should I remove those roots or should I leave them? I'm worried that they might be infected, however, there won't be too many roots left once the black ones are removed. This only happens with two catts and they both are the same plant (same name).

  2. #2
    clintdawley's Avatar
    clintdawley is offline Wrapped in metal..wrapped in ivy...
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    Any mushy roots need to be removed. This time of year removal of bad roots can stimulate new root growth. If they are mushy and the velamen slips easily from the roots--they are goners.

  3. #3
    pavel's Avatar
    pavel is offline change is the only constant
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    Black soft roots are dead roots and can indeed be a vector for disease to spread deeper into the plant's system. Remove them.

    Richard, are both potted in the same media? If so it might be worthwhile to experiment and try a different media with one of them to ascertain if that would be a better route for you to take with that particular species/hybrid.

  4. #4
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Catt roots should stay firm even when wet. If they feel squishy (or actually excreting water/fluids when you squeeze them) then you should cut them away.

    In terms of color, healthy catt roots would be more on the green side when wet and turn very light grey/white when dry.

    Sometimes though, moss/algae could grow on the surface of the roots so it could end up with misleading colors. A dead root might look "alive" because it is still green - but in fact it is just the green moss that has grown into the dead root tissue.
    Or a healthy root might look dead because of brown/black algae remnants that covered it.

    Another way to tell if the roots are healthy, is that the healthy roots would feel "solid" even when dry. Dead roots would have a "petrified" or "hollow" feel to them when dry.

  5. #5
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    to the experts! They should be firm, not squishy.


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