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What is "broken root"?

This is a discussion on What is "broken root"? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello everybody! Yesterday I repotted pretty big Cymbidium which I brought from friend of mine ...

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  1. #1
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    Red face What is "broken root"?

    Hello everybody!
    Yesterday I repotted pretty big Cymbidium which I brought from friend of mine - she got it for Interneshional Women's day (March 8th) blooming. But now it is turning yellow - she kept it on hot sunny deck and repotted it into regular garden soil! Well... poor thing was about to be thrown away anyway - I decided to try to resque it, why not?... So, when at home I removed it from soil, expecting to see a disaster - to my amuzement there were a lot of tiny new green root buds! All roots were very tightly packed though and it was almost impossible to untangle them. It took me more than 2 hours to work on roots. Finally I was able to untangle them to acceptable degree and remove dead and empty roots. But during doing that I, unfortunately, broke off a lot of new root buds and broke s lot of good roots too - their velamen part.
    So, now I got some questions:
    1) what do we consider a "broken root" - broken velamen part but inner thread is still there, or whole thing should be broken off?
    2) If velamen part got broken or cracked - is that root still going to die?
    3) If old velamen got dry and pilled off but thread inside still looks white and good (as on picture) - is that root alive and functioning or I should cut it off?...
    4) What to do with roots which have black areas along the root but it is hard (not mushy)? OR mushy in the middle but still have new root buds on a healthy areas closer to the end of the root?

    May be my questions sound funny to most of pros here, but I didn't find clear unswer to it anywhere yet. Means - I'll be very grateful for explanation and suggestion what to do if velamen gets cracked or broken and root is hanging on "thread" only.

    Thanks in advance!
    Wish healthy orchids to everybody! :-)
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    Actually now, after reading about someone successfully growing his Cyms in manure, I got a lot of doubts - did I do the right thing repotting it into big bark mix from that potting soil it was sitting in?... It sure did get a lot od new root buds there! Have I rouined it's thriving condition?!...
    May be bark is not the best one for Cyms - too dry and too much air?...

    Dear people, please suggest something...

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    orchidlady is online now Senior Member
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    I don't grow Cymbids, but my mother does. She uses a small grade bark mix. These plants are terrestrial rather than epiphytes, so large bark is generally not the best. As far as the roots go, the ones on your plant look good. You can cut broken ones if you like, but with this amount of roots, I probably would only worry about roots that are rotten.

    Susan

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    I agree with Susan. I would also add that cymbidiums like to be root bound, so don't over pot the orchid.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Thanks guys! Tomorrow will go to buy some potting mix andl repot poor Cymbidium again.

    Anyway, would somebody, please, unswer my questions above about broken roots? Please... I still would like to know...

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