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Freaking out about my New Cattleya!!!! help!

This is a discussion on Freaking out about my New Cattleya!!!! help! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I know I should have repotted the day I brought my cattleya home...well its been ...

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  1. #1
    orchidbaby's Avatar
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    Exclamation Freaking out about my New Cattleya!!!! help!

    I know I should have repotted the day I brought my cattleya home...well its been a week and 2 days and i finally did repot......and the roots are really disappointing.... and as I was breaking away the old mixture the plant started to "fall apart"....now it looks like 2 different plants?! I am not sure what is going on....and if I should return and get my money back from the grower/nursery....SOMEONE HELP what would you do?!?! this is making me freak out lol

    oh and there were a lot of pieces in the old mixture that looked to be "chunks and pieces of gold" what the heck is that?!

    pictures below........

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  2. #2
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    Now, now, take a deep breath. We can fix it I'm sure. You'll know better from now on right? If you can't see the roots through the plastic pot WHILE at the nursery/BBS carefully take it out as soon as you get home, which is what I do 98% of the time, the other 2% I check em the next morning after carting my kids to school. I'm not sure about the return policy there but if you don't want to fight with this one take it back. I do see some viable roots but you will have to do some major surgery. Rooting compound and sphag n bag is an option.

    Give them a good wash and bath in fungicide (cinnamon, SA 20, hydrogen peroxide or rubbing [you guys use another type I think, but I can't remember the name] alcohol ) and rooting compound. Let them dry out a bit cause they are drowning, 24-48hrs is my time but you can judge for yourself in your environment. Then choose your method of growning, mounting or potting, and you know what to do next... water weekly weakly, space it out more if you find it staying wet longer or with plain water more often if it's drying out fast and leave it to do it's thing. I have all my catts mounted on clay saucers with coconut husk and as we say here; "They doin' de dog!", translated: They're flourishing.

    The two pieces can be potted separately or back in one pot, but that's up to you if you have limited space.

  3. #3
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    Tamara gives good advice. I would be less worried that there are two pieces than I would be about the obvious root rot. It may be that when the baby orchids were taken out of their community pots, these two were too intertwined to separate without doing damage, so they just got potted together. Or sometimes the rhizome just breaks. When that happens to me, I just figure I'm saving time struggling with the shears to divide it. The two pieces you have both appear to have their own "lead" new growth and they are just big enough to survive on their own *IF* they have enough healthy roots left.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    Now, now, take a deep breath. We can fix it I'm sure. You'll know better from now on right? If you can't see the roots through the plastic pot WHILE at the nursery/BBS carefully take it out as soon as you get home, which is what I do 98% of the time, the other 2% I check em the next morning after carting my kids to school. I'm not sure about the return policy there but if you don't want to fight with this one take it back. I do see some viable roots but you will have to do some major surgery. Rooting compound and sphag n bag is an option.

    Give them a good wash and bath in fungicide (cinnamon, SA 20, hydrogen peroxide or rubbing [you guys use another type I think, but I can't remember the name] alcohol ) and rooting compound. Let them dry out a bit cause they are drowning, 24-48hrs is my time but you can judge for yourself in your environment. Then choose your method of growning, mounting or potting, and you know what to do next... water weekly weakly, space it out more if you find it staying wet longer or with plain water more often if it's drying out fast and leave it to do it's thing. I have all my catts mounted on clay saucers with coconut husk and as we say here; "They doin' de dog!", translated: They're flourishing.

    The two pieces can be potted separately or back in one pot, but that's up to you if you have limited space.


    What do I do, just poor Hydrogen peroxide all over the roots? Im nervous I dont know anything about fixing a bad plant, Ive only gotten healthy ones and managed to keep them flourishing!

  5. #5
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    Calm down. Breathe. This shit happens all the time. I don't know what kind of garbage people pot their Cattleyas in, but it looks soil almost. I get this a lot as well. I just shake my head, repot and let them be. Fortunately Cattleyas are very forgiving orchids, and throw out new roots almost immediately after a medium change and repotting. Don't fret, it'll work itself out. Cattleyas are the toughest and most determined orchids out there.

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    well i just uprooted and cut off most the mushy bad ones and poured cinnamon on the area.....Im not sure about "bathing in peroxide" that sounds detrimental to me! How many months will it take before I know if this orchid is trying to get better? The bloom is already faded and dying since a few days ago....

  7. #7
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    The 'gold' like stuff you mention is called 'vermiculite' and is an awesome additive, it is basically like sponge rock but lighter and can retain amazing amounts of water and yet allow air for the roots to breathe. May be it was mixed with peat (which is the wrong component for you) Do not worry your Cattleya will be fine. Just cut away all the roots. Keep the pseudobulbs in a dry shaddy spot for 3-4 days for the wounds to heal. Then stake it (tie the pseudobulb to a support) It is necessary because your orchid has no roots to stay stable. Then put the staked plant in a pot and fill it with bark or lava rock as a medium. Water thoroughly and then leaving it in a bright spot without direct sunlight. Water every week, spray the top of the media very other day. Soon you will see new roots sprouting all over the new media.

  8. #8
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    Great advice from everyone here. If you are looking for a simple and easy way to disinfect your plant before you repot it, I highly recommend giving it a bleach bath. It scared the heck out of me the first time I did it, because really, it sounds ridiculous to stick a plant in bleach...but it kills everything...mold, bacteria, fungus...and leaves the plant unharmed. I use 9 parts water to 1 part bleach. I just get a bucket and use a 3/4 cup kitchen measuring cup. I fill it 9 times with lukewarm water and once with bleach. Then I dunk the roots and leaves in and use the measuring cup to pour the mixture over all the parts of the plant (except the flowers, if there are any on the plant.) Since yours doesn't have flowers right now, you can just soak the whole thing.

    Anyway, soak for 5 minutes or so, then rinse off well with lukewarm water. You will have a clean, disinfected plant that will be no worse for wear because of the bleach. I also like to use SuperThrive whenever a plant is in trouble like this. So if you decide to repot it right away, I would mix some SuperThrive in when you water to help nourish the plant while it regrows.

    Good luck! I hope it bounces back for you! And don't worry...we've all been through things like this. Keep us posted!

  9. #9
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    orchidbaby, Did you leave cinnamon on the roots that were still good? If so, please rinse it off. Oddly enough, out of all the things that folks listed (alcohol, peroxide, bleach, fungicide, cinnamon, etc.) cinnamon is the one that has the most potential to harm healthy tissue. It is a dessicant--a drying agent--so it is helpful to dab it on infected parts or fresh cuts that you want to dry and scab over quickly. But you want your live roots to be able to continue to absorb water, so you don't want to apply cinnamon to the whole thing. I have just started using bleach like Jenn ( I do 1-10 parts water.)

    You can let the orchids unpotted overnight. Use a good coarse medium and make sure it is soaked overnight, but drained well before you repot, so that the roots don't get soggy wet right away again. Make sure the pot[s] just fit the roots that are left and help the plants be really stable in their pots so that they feel secure. Put them in a humid place with good air movement and resist the urge to water them for 7-10 days. Then resume normal care. Sometimes they start growing right away, in fact I think I see a fresh root tip on your third picture. Sometimes, (especially in winter) I've had them wait months before they decide to try to recover. As long as there is green, there is hope.

  10. #10
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    There is plenty of good advice from everyone. You have plenty of good roots on those plants, so don't fret. I overpotted my cat, and as I was trying to rectify the situation, I chopped the rhizome in 1/2. One 1/2 had no roots. It now has one with another on it's way. I agree Cats are very forgiving. They'll be back to gorgeous in no time with a little TLC.

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