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Help With This Ugly Cattleya orchid

This is a discussion on Help With This Ugly Cattleya orchid within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have a few of these gangly, floppy, big plants with roots showing and growing ...

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  1. #1
    DEC's Avatar
    DEC
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    Default Help With This Ugly Cattleya orchid

    I have a few of these gangly, floppy, big plants with roots showing and growing everywhere. They are unsightly but they produce big beautiful flowers. What can be done to improve their appearance. I know it needs to be replanted and I don't want to divide it. What can I do with these air roots? Thanks in advance for your help and advice.


  2. #2
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    Well, you realize it needs a repot, so that's good. You don't want to divide it, so I can't ask for a division So, at the risk of someone jumping on me for saying this; as much as I love Catts, and they are one of my favorite 'chids. I don't really think they are the most aesthetic plants around when not in bloom. Of course some are more homely than others, but I don't think yours is 'ugly'. It probably falls some where in the middle. I don't think I'd mess with all those roots as that's why its blooming well. IMHO, I'd let it be After a repot, of course.
    Last edited by otis226; December 21st, 2011 at 04:34 PM. Reason: add

  3. #3
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    To me it's quite ok it show that your plant very healthy and happy with your care maybe you can get bigger pot and cover with some charcoal to solve this problem.

  4. #4
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    Accept the plant(s) for what they are. Nature has its own concepts of beauty and functionality -- ones that are not as limited as ours.





  5. #5
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    dont 'repot' as such, but pot on. wrap the pot in a tea towel, and gently tap with a hammer to crack the pot and shatter it. Any pieces that fall off can be used as potting material for the new pot All the bits that stick to the roots are fine, leave them, and any cracks will soon be forced apart by the roots, and the terracotta can serve as potting material anyway. Sit the plant and what was the old pot in the new pot and fill in with any broken terracotta and some bark or S/H pellets. Make sure the diameter of the new pot is about an inch larger the whole way round than the old pot.

    I know someone who has a Sophronitis coccinea 'Port Light' (his own creation), that he has had for years, and he has potted it on using this method-there are about 15 terracotta pots hidden amongst the roots lol Funny thing is, he hasnt filled in the edges of the new pot when he pots on, he leaves it empty

  6. #6
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    to what Jordan has said. I use this method effectively.

  7. #7
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    I would recommend what Jordan has suggested, just make sure you do not use any bark or moss in the medium as it will likely remain wet and decompose, uŽjust use LECA pellets, charcoal, styrofoam peanuts etc.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    I would recommend what Jordan has suggested, just make sure you do not use any bark or moss in the medium as it will likely remain wet and decompose, uŽjust use LECA pellets, charcoal, styrofoam peanuts etc.
    i didnt think of packing peanuts! Thanks Amey

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    I would recommend what Jordan has suggested, just make sure you do not use any bark or moss in the medium as it will likely remain wet and decompose, uŽjust use LECA pellets, charcoal, styrofoam peanuts etc.
    Add wine corks to that list of possible fillers

  10. #10
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    I agree with Jordan also. I've used that method if I want a specimen plant. The method I use if I don't want to go to a much larger pot is that I find a place near the rear of the rhizome where I want to remove some of the back bulbs. Without disturbing the plant I make a cut through the rhizome to seperate the back bulbs. Sometimes I put a plastic label in the cut so I can see where it is. Then I wait until Spring to repot when new roots start to growing. Often, but not always, the backbulbs will have initiated some new growth by then and I wind up with two plants without dividing the healthy leads at the front of the plant. It looks like you use Sta-lite as a potting medium. I think that works well here in Florida. Good luck.

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