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How concerned should you be about set back due to repotting/division?

This is a discussion on How concerned should you be about set back due to repotting/division? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by OrchidAddict Does the post-division success of the plant have to do with ...

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  1. #11
    pavel's Avatar
    pavel is offline change is the only constant
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    Does the post-division success of the plant have to do with how many old pseudobulbs are left?
    It had four mature bulbs when I bought it. It also had three "babies" coming in. With all that new growth it just didn't fit in its pot any more, so I took off two of the mature growths, leaving two old ones and three new ones.

    So, could you elaborate on how you could do successful division without setting back the plant? Is there a minimum number of old bulbs that should always be left there? Thanks! I've got a Catt that will need dividing soon, so general tips on how to do this properly would be great!
    The general "rule of thumb" is to leave at least three of the older/mature pbs for each division. The thought is that in doing so you are leaving food reservoirs intact to provide energy should the new growth need it.

    Having said that, however, I would also have to say that I agree with Bruce that a bigger problem is dividing at the wrong time. Most orchids seem to do best if divided while in active growth as new roots are being formed.

    Can't help you with the Milt. question as I don't grow them. I do know they tend to be cool growers so if your division coincided with higher temps, it may be that that upset the plant.


    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    Although I have heard that changing the media can cause a setback. I have a phal violacea var. coerulea that came in peat moss(? not 100% sure that's what it was...it looked like very lightweight dirt) and perlite, and I repotted it in bark. It took a bit to get going after that, but I suppose if the roots have to adjust to the new media, that would make sense.

    Anyone else have this experience when switching media?
    Changing a mix can cause a set back, particularly if the new mix has significantly different properties. With regards to the violacea you mentioned, that would have been a very large change in media conditions. As such it is perfectly understandable that the roots would have taken some time to adjust. In all likelihood, many of the old roots probably died off and new growth didn't get really underway until new roots which could handle the new conditions were grown.

  2. #12
    coeruleo's Avatar
    coeruleo is offline Night Bloomer
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    i think the 'set back' can also be subjective to how badly the plant needed to be repotted, and the condition of the old medium. timing is everything for some orchids, but if you have waited too long to repot and your plant has lost a lot of roots, the time you are 'set back' with top growth is really the time the plant is growing new roots. you might not notice that going on, but after a short adjustment, i find my plants spend some time growing fresh roots into the new medium. eventually the top catches up, and the plant does much better. after growing those 'rescue phals' in sphagnum moss so well for years, i was scared to repot (they were doing well, so why not wait?) but wanted to build an 'orchid tree' out of treefern pots staked up together. i thought for certain i would lose some orchids, especially since some were old orchids people nearly killed and then gave to me, and some i had accidently sunburned myself... and some in great shape that were in flower, but i bit the bullet. every single orchid is doing well now, and the ones in bad shape are perking up. the ones in bloom did lose a few open flowers, but have since opened more and are still in bloom, months later. i've ordered more treefern pots and will finish the project soon. and i've started a few more outside as this set up seems to work, and provides a nice structure for climbing jungle cactus. but on the other side, if you cannot bring yourself to repotting, get vandas in teak baskets. no repotting ever needed. or you can use the lava rocks etc. that don't really need to be changed much.

  3. #13
    tradceci's Avatar
    tradceci is offline Senior Member
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    This is a division of Pavel's plant in the first pic. I got it through Orchidbids and it arrived quickly and in good shape after traveling to Puerto Rico. I planted it immediately and look at it now, a month after. Pavel, thanks for this beautiful plant and bloom!
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  4. #14
    pavel's Avatar
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    Very happy to see that it is flourishing for you, Carmen!

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