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Dry Roots Need More Water?

This is a discussion on Dry Roots Need More Water? within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I've noticed that my Sc. Tokyo Magic was leaning more and more and decided to ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Dry Roots Need More Water?

    I've noticed that my Sc. Tokyo Magic was leaning more and more and decided to quickly pull it out of the pot check the roots and set it straight. What I found were, according to me, way too many dried roots where the velamen were falling off of. I've gone ahead and trimmed the dead roots and removed some left over sphag from when I bought it. I was shocked by the number of dead/dried roots on this guy. I'm wondering am I waiting too long for it to be watered? Is it normal to have this many dead roots in a year? Is it ok to remove the roots even though they're not mushy just dry, or does the plant still use these? It's just popping out new growth but I don't see any new/active roots. How far do I trim the dead roots, all the way to the rhizome? I know I'm asking tooooo many questions; sorry, I'll stop now.
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  2. #2
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    Ok first you want to soak the roots for about 10 min. Check them out and see if they look any better. The live ones should be plump by now. Anything that still looks dry, broken or rotten cut back to good root even if it means cutting all the way back.

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    I agree, soak the roots, but add some superthrive to help with root growth.
    Connie

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    No its not normal to have so many dead roots in a year.
    I think you may be waiting too long to water, maybe different from that of the vendor of the plant. Even though catts are tolerant of salts, perhaps there are too many dissolved matter in the water? How is water quality in Vancouver? what is the source the city pulls its water from? Also with salty waters, drying can be detrimental as it increases dissolved solid concentration

    I find that plants send roots that adapt to your watering and medium choice. Orchids will send smoother roots when grown wet and velamen rich roots when grown dry (and same goes with sphag vs bark). And catts can sit in water, proven by hydroponic methods, but they have to adapt to it and send new roots while old ones die.

    So make sure your water quality is alright. Stick with one medium, and consistent watering habits. Then let the plant adapt with new roots to your condidtions.

  5. #5
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    Just to add my 2 cents worth, that plant will easily recover once repotted and given consistent watering. I've had quite a few that had massive root death when left in the care of my "orchid sitter" while on long business trips. Many immediately threw new growth and/or buds once they put out more roots.

  6. #6
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    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    I'm wondering am I waiting too long for it to be watered?
    From the looks of your plant, I actually believe it is the opposite. It appears to have been overwatered for way too long.

    It looks to me like it has gone through an extended period of overwatering and recently had gone through a dry spell.
    The overwatering caused the roots to rot and die and the dry spell left the roots to dessicate and end up looking like the dry husks you see now.

    The plant can only take in so much water through the roots. This rate of water intake is dictated by the ambient temperature, humidity, light and the plant's current growth rate.

    The plant only takes in enough water that it can use. Any excess stays in the potting medium and is at the mercy of evaporation factors (air circulation, temperature, humidity, etc). If the roots stay wet for too long (specially on cattleya type orchids) the roots end up rotting.
    Those dead roots may appear dry, thats because they are in fact dry. They have dried up after drowning to death.

    I would double-check the watering schedule for that plant, and also verify that it is not overpotted. An overpotted catt in plastic pots tend to lead to roots staying wet for too long.

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    Thanks for the input all. I've had this plant since last summer (July). I repotted it right after I got it in large fir bark. The roots seemed fine to me, but I was green green green. I've watered it once every week during the rest of the summer and once every 2 weeks fall through winter only fertilizing occasionally. I always skewered first to see if it was dry and only watered when the skewer was completely dry.

  8. #8
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    Once a week for a Catt??? Usually mine get it every 3-5 days depending on the season and what they are potted in. If you will invest in some really airy potting medium, your catts will love you. They like to breath and hate to be overpotted. Be free with the charcoal when you make your mix, it keeps the wood from clotting together and holding water. I had a local nursery talk me into using coconut fiber and baskets and even the phals in there that had almost total root loss are thriving and loving their new 'airy' root environment and I'm seeing amazing growth rate. I also use rainwater....unless the barrel is empty and then they get tap water. Good luck...and like the others said, don't worry....they'll give you new growths soon. Orchids are very enduring as long as you don't overwater.
    Connie

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