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Cattleya Novice Mistake !

This is a discussion on Cattleya Novice Mistake ! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I need to confess about a major mistake that I did about a year and ...

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  1. #1
    rich63's Avatar
    rich63 is offline Senior Member
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    Question Cattleya Novice Mistake !

    I need to confess about a major mistake that I did about a year and a half ago.I started going nuts over cattleyas.I didn't do enough homework.I purchased a bunch of plants and brought them home.When I placed them into wood slated baskets,I place a layer of Sphagnum Moss in the bottom of each basket.This was to keep the medium from slipping through the bottom of the basket.Now here in Florida, a few weeks back we had about a week of straight rain.The moss retained a lot of extra water.I have sprayed them with a funguscide to get rid of a few of mushrooms.I think that I have two plants that have root rot issues.I already removed two plants and repotted with a layer coconut fiber instead of the moss.The problem is some of the plants have all kinds of roots all over the outside the baskets,making it very difficult to get the plants out without doing more damage.Should I let these guys be and keep spraying,or should I remove them and get rid of that moss? Sorry to be so long winded. Thanks,Rich
    Last edited by rich63; July 23rd, 2010 at 11:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    Ephemera is offline Michael
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    Hello Rich,
    I would carefully saw through the wooden slates so that you can easily remove the cattleya's and healthy roots from the all too wet prison. You can leave and keep the the pieces of wood where the roots are too firmly attached, provided the pieces are not too big. Then find a new suitable container (earthern pots with many holes or baskets are the best as they allow for good air circulation and drainage), repot the orchids one by one using preferably natural charcoal as truly an excellent natural media and some chopped coconut husks/fibers (NOT compressed bar-b-que briquets!). When finished give one good watering and then keep completely dry for 10-14 days in a shaded place as you live in Florida (similar tropical climate as we have in Thailand) to stimulate new root growth; then gradually expose to a place with good light and some sunshine! Good luck!

    Cheers, Michael

  3. #3
    rich63's Avatar
    rich63 is offline Senior Member
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    As I starting thinking how long it has been since these plants were placed in there baskets,it is closer to 2 - 2 1/2 years ago.I found John's(Wetfeet101b) posting about re-potting cattleya s. way to late. Thanks,Rich
    Repotting a Large Cattleya - the wetfeet101b way. - Orchid Article Library

  4. #4
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Hi Rich,

    If it has been two to three years, the moss under the orchid potting media is most likely rotted away by now. The orchids probably need to be repotted anyway. Here is how I would do it.

    Take the baskets and try to shake as much of the media out of them as you can. Use a waterhose and blast away as much media as possible. If you feel you got it clean enough that the rotted stuff is gone, you can put in new bark. If it is not clean enough, then soak the basket in water for 15 - 20 minutes - orchid and all. Next take a small hand saw and as Michael said, cut away as much of the basket as you can. Some baskets are put together with pins or nails. Try taking a corner apart. Do not worry about pieces sticking to the roots - this is normal with wooden baskets and orchid roots. Normally, the orchids we repot that have been growing in baskets simply get a good cleaning and fresh media and if they are outgrowing their basket, we set the original basket inside another one one size larger or whatever is required to suit the orchid. After you get as much of the basket taken apart as you dare, repot into a new basket with fresh, open media.

    Good luck and sorry I missed your post earlier. I hate that you needed to remind me to see it.

    Cheers,
    BD

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