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Shrunken pseudobulbs

This is a discussion on Shrunken pseudobulbs within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello, I'm afraid I killed my calanthe vestita. I didn't realize it needed lots water ...

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  1. #1
    Velamen is offline Member
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    Default Shrunken pseudobulbs

    Hello,

    I'm afraid I killed my calanthe vestita. I didn't realize it needed lots water while the leaves we're growing from the pseudobulbs. I watered the plant once a week. When the leaves started dying back (as expected) I watered it much less - once every two weeks. From that point on, until now, the pseudobulbs have withered and the tiny green notch, located at the base of one of the bulbs, would have grown into a flower spike has not grown at all in four weeks. It remains a tiny stump.

    Apparently, I mess up this plant. I wonder, however, if there is a way to restore the pseudobulbs while the plant enters dormancy (or is on the way out!).

    Please advise. I would appreciate it.

    Thanks.

    Don

  2. #2
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    Not familiar with that type of orchid but I have two catts that I bought with my bff in April (I had to ask her the date cause I'm bad at remembering that type of stuff), when I got them they weren't overly impressive but they looked good. I repotted them in plastic baskets and McGuyver'ed them into hanging baskets. Needless to say they looked like I took a needle to them and sucked every bit of moisture out of them for a long time. They needed frequent watering and I wasn't keeping up. The rainy season is here now so I'm now seeing vast improvements in the last month because of the increased wettings. Check the roots and trim what is dead, and do the usual cleaning of the cuts, repot and water the recommended amount and frequency depending on your environment, maybe it will get a kick start from that.

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    Thank you, Dazed!

    I'm not sure what to do but to leave the plant be and water sparingly. If it dies it will be my FIRST casualty in my handling orchids. Since it is closing its cycle without blooming -- thanks to me! -- I will replant it later on.

    Still hoping the p-bulbs can be nursed back to health. Somehow.

    Thanks again for your time in answering my query.

    Don

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    Hope it helps, keep us posted.

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    Hi Don, like Tamara I have no experience with calanthes but I have had a few catts that the pseudobulbs were wrinkled and stuff . Some with better watering have somewhat rehydrated . I was told that mostly likely they won't rehydrate the way that I would like but they stayed a live and have been putting out new growths . Maybe you should check your root system to see if there is any rot or too much moisture or also drying out too much . I think shriveled bulbs might mean that the plants watering needs aren't being met so it is using the bulbs for sustenance . Also I find that they freak out sometimes when you repot them , have you repotted recently ?

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    Thank Nicole,

    Thanks for replying. I purchased the calanthe about seven months ago. It is in the same pot. It grew leaves, which died back (that is normal) and was supposed to grow its flower spike while the leaves were dying. However, while the leaves did die back and fall off (again, that is normal for its cycle), no flower spike grew. Instead, the p-bulbs have shrunk.

    I will water some more and see what happens. I don't think it's root rot as the plant has not had enough water. The literature online that I have read was not clear nor consistent. I will let you know what happens.

    Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

    Don

  7. #7
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    Well, rule of thumb start with the most obvious problem first; check roots. It might not look like you're over watering, depending on your environment, the centre of the potting mix(what is it in bwt, realised I forgot to ask that very important question) may be staying wet longer than you realise, thus rotting the middle roots. If that's not the problem then the next is under watering or not enough humidity. It's chance of some type of fungus or pest attacking it from inside the pot, but that may not be the case if the leaves that are left look good and the p-bulbs are just shrunken and not discoloured. Some bacteria take hold out of the blue and move fast, killing a plant in no time then can spread to others. There is no harm in checking what's going on in the pot, at least you know what it isn't. As for what you find on line it is all subjective to where you are located, where you have the plants growing (indoors/outdoors/greenhouse/shade house). What it's potted in, that includes the media and pot or no pot at all. If the root are getting enough air flow to dry them out and sunlight. How is the humidity in your region? There are 3 Barbadians on this forum and we live in different areas of this 166square mile island and we have very different kinds of growing set ups to give our orchids the things they need to grow cause of very different humidity levels.

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    Thanks, Tamara! I will repot this weekend and thus examine the roots. You may be onto something. I live in the U.S. in the midwest - NOT at all like the glorious Barbados! I grow my plants under grow lights indoors. And I keep bowls of water under my plants (mind you, no water touches the base of the flower pots, which are elevated away from the water).

    I will let you know after the weekend what the roots are doing.

    Thanks again,

    Don

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