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  • 1 Post By Roy
  • 1 Post By OrchidAddict
  • 2 Post By orchidsal

My orchid seedlings aren't do very well

This is a discussion on My orchid seedlings aren't do very well within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; In Sept i was given 4 seedlings. The epiphedrium seems to be the only one ...

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  1. #1
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    Unhappy My orchid seedlings aren't do very well

    In Sept i was given 4 seedlings. The epiphedrium seems to be the only one taking root.

    The other 3 did not have roots when i received them

    1 I suspect is a paph

    1 has a marker that says it's a Phal Bastianii, it is growing like Phal, but it's leaves seem to be longer and narrower

    1 looks like a Massedavellia. One shoot has 2 leaves and the other one

    All i can say about them is that they are still alive. The Phal- like one has good air roots
    So in your wisdom, is there anything i can do to get them to send out new roots?
    i replanted them when i got them, but decided that the medium might be too coarse for babies, so added some spagnum moss to the mix.

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    I would suggest a good clear picture of each will help greatly. Guessing is not going to help anyone. As a starter, Phal bastianii is a clear sister to phal. mariae. The 2 main differences reported are that the spikes on mariae hang down whereas bastianii are erect & self supporting. The hairs on the lip of bastianii are few where mariae is quite hairy. Flowering is the only way to get close.

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    Hi Katherine; Roy's right and photos of the potted plants should do. I have always purchased or received as gifts mature, blooming size orchids so my depth of knowledge with seedlings is rather poor to say the least. Not to discourage you, but 'infant mortality' of seedlings by hobbiest's seems to be high. I am going to bump this along as I know there are others here with more experience with seedlings than I. I assume your using a fine bark mix with the moss? AL

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    Hi Katherine!

    I grow a lot of seedlings, so perhaps I can give you some help. When seedlings are healthy with good roots, I usually pot them up in fine bark, in a small clay pot. I water them every other day or so. However, when a seedling has no roots or only aerial roots, different measures are in order usually. I have found the best method for rooting seedlings is propping the seedlings up in a very small plastic pot (so that the leaves rest on the pot sides and hold up the plant). I fill the plastic pot with sphag and soak the sphag, then I set the seedling down so that the base of the plant (where the roots would emerge from) is in contact with the top of the wet sphag.

    I then put the little pots with the seedlings in a terrarium. Mine technically isn't actually a "terrarium;" it's supposed to be a glass "lantern" holder...but I bought it because it has a large hole at the top to allow for air flow. The glass allows in light and keeps the humidity up, and the hole in the top allows for air flow. I put the terrarium on the floor of my growing area, so it gets VERY indirect light, but still warm temps. The humidity inside the terrarium will allow for the aerial roots to keep the plant going while the seedling sends new roots down into the wet sphag. About once a week I take out any seedlings inside and give the plant a good watering to make sure the aerial roots and the new roots going into the sphag get really wet.

    Just be careful to check for any mold or fungus development. Since you've got a fairly moist environment going on, you'll need to keep an eagle eye on the seedlings to make sure there's no mold developing. I haven't really had any problems with mine...the plastic pots tend to keep the mold at bay (clay pots invite mold in my environment).

    I currently have one plant being "re-rooted" in this manner (it arrived in the mail with the entire root ball having rotted off...all it had left was a tiny aerial root about 1/4 of an inch long!) It is currently sending out new roots and looking well. It's a Phal Pulcherrima (previously Doritis).

    I would be happy to post a pic of the little guy in its sphag pot in the "terrarium" if it would help you.

    I'd like to mention that I don't use this technique to root mature plants that have for some reason lost their root systems...those I put in bark and mist the aerial roots daily...and I don't put them in a terrarium either. But seedlings are more delicate and have less of an ability to store water, so they need special loving care if they are in distress...especially if they are phals or paphs, which have no pseudobulbs with which to store water.

    Oh, and I also have a Phal Bastianii. The leaves are markedly narrower and longer than a regular phal, so that seems to fit your plant's description (although I've found that many of the species phals tend to share this trait. You should see how skinny the leaves are on my Hieroglyphica!

    I wish you luck...let me know if you'd like a pic of my Pulcherrima that's in "rehab!"

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    Gee Jenn! I wish I had been able to give such good advice! Sound counsel I'm sure. AL

  6. #6
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    Thank you so much for this info. I don't know where to get tiny pots.
    I tried to upload pictures, but they didn't seem to go attach. You have great info here, if i can fgiure out how to come by a pot about the size of my thumb for the paph. the others I could probably us a 2 " pot and suspend them some way. I just don't know why the pix didn't load

    Yes i sure would! Thanks

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  7. #7
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    Hi Katherine so nice the young seedling good growing one thing on the Phal bastianii leaves got yellow black spot my opinion you need to cut it.

  8. #8
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    @ Zainal..The whole leaf or the area of the spot. I am dangerously new to orchids so please be very specific. Thanks for your help!

    Seems my Stuartiana has more roots than I remember, did I plant an air root? I believe the medium I had it in was too coarse for this tiny plant, should i go all spaghnum with a bit of rooting enzymes?
    The black blob in the center of the root area is something woody, maybe a piece of bark that has made itself permanent, the white dots on the roots is rooting hormone, i washe what i could off so i could take pix

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