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This is a discussion on Maxillaria help within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi all! I'm a new member, and recently converted orchid fanatic and i was wondering ...
Hi all! I'm a new member, and recently converted orchid fanatic and i was wondering if anyone could help me with my beautiful coconut orchid. It was my first non-phal and seems to be doing OK. Are are two dozen pseudobulbs that are plump and masses of roots. I have noticed a few problems however. 1) the exposed roots on the top have turned black at the tips and died while the roots inside are white and healthy. I tried to trim them back, treated with anti-fungal, then covered with new media. Anyone know why the roots died? I know this species needs a lot of water. Could it be that the top dried out too fast? 2) There were 3 pseudobulbs in the middle, coming off the same stalk (I dont know the right word) that turned mushy and brown. I assumed it was rot so I cut the first two off. Now the last one is rotting. It is so deeply buried inside the plant that I feel like I cant get to it without damage. Is it ok to let it go? I sprayed Physan and sprinkled cinnamon. Is it possible that the rot will spread? There is so little literature on the max I would be very grateful for some guidance. Thanks!
A photo is the best way to express exactly the condition of your orchid.
The air roots (roots growing above the orchid medium) turned brown and died because of lack of moisture (most likely). As a Max tenufolia grows, it steps up and out of the pot. if the center of your max is rotting, you will need to clean it up. This may require you unpotting the orchid and caring for it and then repotting if you are not able to do it otherwise. Again, a photo of this will help others offer sound advice.
If the p-bulbs are buried in the potting mix, they will rot. They should have their roots covered and the p-bulb should sit right at the top of the mix. As the orchid grows - of course it will step up. This is normal for this orchid. Many people grow huge plants that have stepped up all over. The trick is to keep the roots moist by providing humidity. Not enough to wet the leaves and cause fungus, but enough to provide moisture to those air roots.
If you click on the tag below this post (maxillaria tenufolia) and look for a post by Molly Taco (Cin), she has a huge tenufolia for comparison.
Good luck and welcome to OrchidTalk.