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I'm a sick Catt, what do I have?

This is a discussion on I'm a sick Catt, what do I have? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I think I've posted a picture of this guy before but he's just not getting ...

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  1. #1
    Phyrex's Avatar
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    Default I'm a sick Catt, what do I have?

    I think I've posted a picture of this guy before but he's just not getting better. I thought it would be a matter of time and a new growth since the weird brown stuff didn't expand, now the new growth has gotten a black tip even though the rest of the plant pretty much stayed the same. The second oldest p-bulb has yellowed now. The brown areas are not mushy at all they just feel like a normal leaf except for the bumps. I marked the leaves with a marker to see if the brown patches were spreading; they aren't. Does anyone have an idea what's going on here?
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  2. #2
    Becky15349's Avatar
    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    I'm by no means a catt expert, but all I see here is water water water!! Do you ever let this guy dry out a little bit? Overwatering generally leads to yellow leaves, pbulbs and rot...and you may have all three, IMHO. Let this guy dry out for a bit...mild mistings at most.

    BTW, the new roots look great - so something is going right here! All is not lost!!

    You may have just watered this guy before you took the picture - and if that is the case, then that is that...but what is your watering schedule like w/ this plant? I'd hope no more than 1x per week -and even less if there isn't significant drying out going on. Tell us more about the watering, and maybe we can help....you may have to rid the plant of the rotted parts before the rot continues to spread, that may also be an alternative option, and probably a safer one...

    ~B

  3. #3
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Just some suggestions for cattleya triage if you suspect that this plant is suffering from some culture-related issues.

    1. Take a look at those fat new roots on top.
    2. Unpot the plant and look at all the other roots.
    3. If the other roots do not look like the green/white roots up top, cut them.
    4. Take care not to damage the good roots up top. Those will be your workhorses for this season.
    5. Repot the plant into a smaller pot, or a faster-drying container like a wood or plastic basket. Unglazed clay pots work too.

    Another observation I can express is that the bark nuggets are way too big for the plant. Those create uneven moisture concentrations inside the pot where certain sections can get dry while others could still remain very wet.
    This would result in certain roots staying too wet for too long and other roots not getting enough water.

    For small plants, try to use smaller bark to create a more even distribution of moisture inside the pot. Once the plant grows bigger and has the ability to grow larger root networks, then you can move up to bigger bark nuggets.
    For potted cattleyas, if the bark is as big as the plant's pseudobulb - ITS TOO BIG!

    I would use bark that is 1/4th the size of the largest bark in your bottom picture.

  4. #4
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    I always take pictures of my chids after I water, so 99% of the time it'll look like I'm overwatering. I can tell you that that's not the case. I water every 4 days during the spring/summer months and every week during the fall and winter. I always make sure it's dry by checking with a skewer but after 4 days at north-eastern exposure it's bone dry.

    If I get rid of the rotted parts it won't have any leaves anymore. The roots, besides the nice white one you can see, are quite dry and only a couple are functioning properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Becky15349 View Post
    I'm by no means a catt expert, but all I see here is water water water!! Do you ever let this guy dry out a little bit? Overwatering generally leads to yellow leaves, pbulbs and rot...and you may have all three, IMHO. Let this guy dry out for a bit...mild mistings at most.

    BTW, the new roots look great - so something is going right here! All is not lost!!

    You may have just watered this guy before you took the picture - and if that is the case, then that is that...but what is your watering schedule like w/ this plant? I'd hope no more than 1x per week -and even less if there isn't significant drying out going on. Tell us more about the watering, and maybe we can help....you may have to rid the plant of the rotted parts before the rot continues to spread, that may also be an alternative option, and probably a safer one...

    ~B

  5. #5
    Becky15349's Avatar
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    I see what you're saying - and I figured you had just watered, that's usually when I take pictures too!! haha....

    Anyways, I still stand by what I said - I'm just seeing things that look like rot, or too much water. I only know this bc that is exactly how I killed my past few catts...I tried to treat them like phals, and they said "h*ll with you!" and died just like that. They got marks and brown spots just like the ones on your leaves. Try watering 1x per week-perhaps a misting every morning or whenever they get sun, that is what I'm doing now, and I'm having much better results. I wish you luck! People say catts are easy, but I'm still learning them myself...but learning quickly, because if I kill any more, my wallet will be empty! ;-) I shant kill another catt...I shant kill another catt....haha

  6. #6
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    Richard, this might be a candidate for an S/H expirement. I am not sure I would call the brown part rot. Looks like cells have collapsed, maybe too hot or too much sun for a while? I would put it in a small 16 ounce plastic drinking glass in LECA. That would give you a chance to check/remove any damaged roots and be able to keep an eye on what is going on below ground so to speak.

  7. #7
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindiras View Post
    Richard, this might be a candidate for an S/H expirement. I am not sure I would call the brown part rot. Looks like cells have collapsed, maybe too hot or too much sun for a while? I would put it in a small 16 ounce plastic drinking glass in LECA. That would give you a chance to check/remove any damaged roots and be able to keep an eye on what is going on below ground so to speak.
    This sounds like a good alternative. I would consider putting it in S/H and seeing if that will help it. Good luck, Richard.

    Cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
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    The plant pretty much halted the browning a few months back and stayed the same for about 2-3 months. Now the slightly yellowed leaf has turned completely yellow.

    To my surpise however this plant doesn't look like it's giving up at all. Look at that new growth popping out there... How can I prevent this new growth's tip from blackening like the other has (before I cut part of it off)??
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  9. #9
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    I'd un-pot this little guy and clean it!!

    Everything that is dead and not providing nutrients to the plant needs to be removed. Any dead roots or dead rhizome below the medium is a recipe for ROT. I'd clean all the old skin off of the pbulbs. Take an old, very soft, warn out tooth brush and clean the pbulbs as best you can.

    I would then leave this little fellow bare root for a while. Sit it up straight in a clay pot w/ nothing in it. Making sure that the new growth will grow straight and in line with the rest of the plant.

    I don't see a pot clip or anything holding this orchid in place. Are there good roots anchoring it to the oversized bark that we can't see?

    You've spent a lot of time photographing this plant and describing it's symptoms in your post, but from the string of photos you haven't spent any time following any of the good advice above. Sorry to dive straight to the point.

  10. #10
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    I've recently moved this sick guy to S/H after removing all the dead and fungus-laden roots. Since the brown spots in the leaves isn't spreading I have not yet removed it. Everything that did seem to spread/growh I've chopped off.

    I also found a new growth that is barely visible in the picture but it's there believe me. It had several new roots growing too so I hope it'll make it through and will eventually replace it's browned p-bulbs with some nice green stuff.

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