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aerangis citrata - root problems?

This is a discussion on aerangis citrata - root problems? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; My aerangis citrata has been growing like crazy and has seven spikes 2-3 inches long ...

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  1. #1
    burtonr is offline Junior Member
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    Default aerangis citrata - root problems?

    My aerangis citrata has been growing like crazy and has seven spikes 2-3 inches long and another about half an inch long. I have had it a few months and have not yet repotted it because I did not want to distress it while in spike.
    In the last few days it has developed a strong mildew-type smell. There are no other symptoms. I do not know if the medium is breaking down or the roots are rotting or if there could be another explanation.
    It is in a plastic pot, with what appears to be fir bark, though there might be something else in there, perhaps sphag. Again, I did not change this to something more airy because of the spikes.
    It is my first aerangis and I am very keen to get it to bloom.
    But I am very concerned by the odour, with the possibility that it is all going horribly wrong under the surface.
    Should I get it out of there and check and repot/mount now, or will I lose all the spikes? Or is the alternative that I will lose the whole plant? Or am I worrying needlessly?
    I know these like lots of air movement and I fear I have not given this enough attention, which may have caused all the trouble. But I has appeared so very happy otherwise.
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  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    My advice is to repot immediately. Disturb the roots as little as possible, but it is always better to save the plant than worry about flowers. It will bloom in the future and my be absolutely fine after a repot, but if left alone, it could show its last flowers before the root rot kills the plant all together.

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    serama's Avatar
    serama is offline Senior Member
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    Like Bruce, I'd try to save the plant over the flowers too. I love this species but it's a tricky one to grow well and keep alive for long. It does seem to require more moisture than other aerangis species but it also rots quite easily (I killed a couple of seedling before acquiring an adult plant that I've now had for 3 years). The roots are a lot thinner than those of the other aerangis I've grown and they are easily damaged, so take extra care if you need to remove the old compost from them. I think mine doesn't like the cool to intermediate temperature in my greenhouse and it would probably be happier if I could give it a bit more heat in winter.

  4. #4
    burtonr is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you both for the advice. I have repotted. There were a couple of mushy roots, but not many, so I trimmed those and gave them some cinnamon on the cut parts. Of course, now all I can smell is cinnamon, so I can't tell yet if that has removed all the mustiness! In my hamfisted clumsiness I snapped one of the spikes, but with luck the others will keep going. I guess it will take some time to assess if it will be happy in the new pot. We will see. Thanks again.
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