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Orchids in the ICU over Thanksgiving

This is a discussion on Orchids in the ICU over Thanksgiving within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Okay, the final count on what's left of my orchids is: 15 paphiopedilum orchids 9 ...

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  1. #1
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Orchids in the ICU over Thanksgiving

    Okay, the final count on what's left of my orchids is:

    15 paphiopedilum orchids
    9 cattleya alliance orchids
    1 angraecum didieri; and,
    10 brassia/oncid orchid hybrids (most tagless)

    The above are all in the ICU here in Atlanta. My Miltassia, paph delenatii, and 2 other paphs are in the ICU at the specialist nursery up north.

    Hanging on for dear life after being nearly 'cided to death and repotted are:

    4 tagless oncidium orchid types (that once had tags)
    1 Vanda lilacina - hovering between this world and the next
    1 Miltassia Shelob 'Okika'; and
    1 sad looking galeopetalum.


    My question, and I've gone through all my books and looked at various sphag-n-bag techniques described, is how best to apply that basic idea to the trays of near-rootless plants I have which, having been 'cided, scrubbed, rotting parts removed, wounds above root cinnamoned, are now sitting on beds of damp, rooting hormone and superthrive-laced sphagnum moss.

    I don't have an enclosable shelving unit. I do have some light drycleaner type plastic "bags" and lots of tape. I also have a choice on where to leave the plants - that is, in more or less light, with more or less air movement, in a warmer or cooler area. Since I'm going out of town for a few days (not willingly) for Thanksgiving with my inlaws, I'm concerned about the sphagnum drying out, among other things, and I've read so many approaches to how to rescue these wounded soldiers, my head is spinning.

    I was hoping that someone could describe a quick and dirty solution that would work with what I have.

    Right now, this is how they look:

    Name:  Sphagged Catts.jpg
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    Name:  Sphagged oncids.jpg
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    Name:  Sphagged paphs.jpg
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    I'd appreciate any input - thanks!

    Maura

    PS - Believe it or not, NONE of these have any significant roots left - they were all rotted when I got them, and none of the plants looked this good - they were yellowed and covered in black spots and dying leaves and new growths almost detached (not to mention bugs and fungus).


  2. #2
    cdayinflorida's Avatar
    cdayinflorida is offline Senior Member
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    Maura, I never got the hang on the bag thing with orchids. I've used it on begonias and gesneriads with great success. WHat has worked for me with orchids is a cool humidifier blowing towards the plants. I've used it for starting rootless vanda types and catts. Laying them on top of just slightly moist sphagnum and directing the mist towards the tray they are in.
    Good luck!!

  3. #3
    Jose R. Nieves's Avatar
    Jose R. Nieves is offline Senior Member
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    Maura:

    WOW! You really did a good job with your plants. Even though you say they are rootless.......they look very nice! What worries me is how long are you going to be away. Only a weekend, a week? For humidity I would place them in the bathroom floor and fill the tub with water. That would keep humidity checked for a couple of days. However, humidity and lack of light is a sure way to get fungus and rot. Some supplementary lights with a timer might work. You are in the right direction.
    Jose

  4. #4
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jose R. Nieves View Post
    Maura:

    WOW! You really did a good job with your plants. Even though you say they are rootless.......they look very nice! What worries me is how long are you going to be away. Only a weekend, a week? For humidity I would place them in the bathroom floor and fill the tub with water. That would keep humidity checked for a couple of days. However, humidity and lack of light is a sure way to get fungus and rot. Some supplementary lights with a timer might work. You are in the right direction.
    Jose
    Thanks, Jose -

    I'll be away until Saturday - how about if I placed them on the bathroom floor on the damp sphagnum moss, filled the tub, and put a couple of growlights and a muffin fan in there? Would that work?

  5. #5
    mauraec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdayinflorida View Post
    Maura, I never got the hang on the bag thing with orchids. I've used it on begonias and gesneriads with great success. WHat has worked for me with orchids is a cool humidifier blowing towards the plants. I've used it for starting rootless vanda types and catts. Laying them on top of just slightly moist sphagnum and directing the mist towards the tray they are in.
    Good luck!!
    Hi Cathy -

    I think I may use a combination of your advice and Jose's - can't hurt them, anyway.

  6. #6
    paphioboy is offline Senior Member
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    To be honest, most of your plants don't look as bad as you described earlier in another thread. Cattleyas definitely look fine and can be revived by just potting them up, so do many of the brassia-type oncidiums. They can do just fine being rootless if not in the active growth stage. So are the oncids, as I can see a couple of them putting out new growth. Small pots in sphagnum moss does the trick for me. But since you are going away, you can delay repotting till then, doesn't matter. BUT I think you should reposition a coupld of the oncids so that the bases of the new growths are in contact with the sphagnum, instead of sticking up in the air. They would grow roots faster if in closer proximity with a moist surface.

  7. #7
    Jose R. Nieves's Avatar
    Jose R. Nieves is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    Thanks, Jose -

    I'll be away until Saturday - how about if I placed them on the bathroom floor on the damp sphagnum moss, filled the tub, and put a couple of growlights and a muffin fan in there? Would that work?
    I think that would take care of your problem but please let us know Sunday, will you? You know, there are a lot of us who follow you.
    Jose

  8. #8
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks to all of you - yes, they're looking better, but they've been under my ministrations for 3 weeks now, if they weren't improving, it would be time for me to find another hobby. I did put more sphagnum to cover more of the roots before I left, but potting about 50 rootless plant a is going to be quite a project - there goes my living room floor, again!

    I'll report in when I get home - thank you for caring.

    Maura

  9. #9
    otis226's Avatar
    otis226 is offline Senior Member
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    Looks like you're doing a great job with them, Maura. Wish my ICU plants looked so good! Most of mine usually end up being seedlings and are most often too far gone to save, though I try anyway. I wish you the best of luck with them, but from the looks of how you've got 'em I'd be most surprised if over 90% aren't saved.
    Continued success and good growing.
    Tony

  10. #10
    mauraec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by otis226 View Post
    Looks like you're doing a great job with them, Maura. Wish my ICU plants looked so good! Most of mine usually end up being seedlings and are most often too far gone to save, though I try anyway. I wish you the best of luck with them, but from the looks of how you've got 'em I'd be most surprised if over 90% aren't saved.
    Continued success and good growing.
    Tony

    Thank you, Tony - I've been working night and day on them since I first got them back. Not having ever had to do this before, it's really nice to have all the votes of confidence.

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