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Oncidium pseudobulb/root problems

This is a discussion on Oncidium pseudobulb/root problems within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I'm brand new to this forum ! I saw how helpful everyone was on other ...

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  1. #1
    Porreij is offline Junior Member
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    Default Oncidium pseudobulb/root problems

    I'm brand new to this forum! I saw how helpful everyone was on other posts while I tried to research how to care/save my plant and am excited to hear your wisdom of assistance. I'm also brand new to orchids! I fell into orchid care because I tend to try to save plants that otherwise will be tossed. I do this with a lot of plants, mostly to learn about their care, but sometimes I find I've jumped into the deep end before knowing how to swim. So please don't judge me for taking some horrible steps. I'm learning on the fly and am very aware I may have made some mistakes.

    I bought an oncidium that was on the heavily discounted rack because it's pseudobulbs looked sick and the leaves had brown tips, one was actually damaged. But I just looooved the flowers and hoped I could help it recover.

    This plant has three pseudobulbs, one larger one with the flower spike coming from it, and two smaller ones that seem older. The potting medium was soggy and the pot had no holes and it was clear nothing was drying out at all. The pseudobulbs were a bit shriveled but also discolored. Not quite black or brown, but a darker green. They weren't spongey either so I figured some TLC would be in order and they had potential to recover. So I was confused how the plant could look thirsty despite having a pretty soggy medium. The medium was mulched bark that was so fine it looked like soil and a little perlite.

    So I repotted the plant. I repotted my other orchid "saves" a few days ago, but the all had lost their flower spikes and their root growth after the repot was noticeable. This made me think I did it correctly and could use the same approach to this new orchid. I know you shouldn't repot when the plant has the flower spike, but I just felt like this plant needed to get out of this medium. Once removed from the medium it look a lot of rinsing to get out the soggy mush around the similarly soggy roots. They roots were just melting off the plant, almost all of them were yellow or yellow and black. A few near the crown were relatively white. I didn't want to remove all the of the roots, but it kind of just happened on its own while cleaning the roots. Maybe I shouldn't have tried to get off all the old medium. I realize as an after affect this was a very bad processes that has probably shocked my plant.

    I tried to get the remaining roots to dry out before potting it in an airy pot with medium bark mixed with perlite and a small amount of sphagnum moss (ratios mimicked from watching repotting videos). I didn't water it right away because I still wanted to dry out those roots, but the main pseudo bulb shriveled even more and I caved and watered it a few days after the repot. The two smaller pseudobulbs are turning black. The main one is still shriveled on one side, but the other side is full, but has a discoloration of brown/green that is growing up from the bottom. It is not mushy (the other two are). I should have cut the flower spike off to help the plant. It's only been three days since the repotting... I really liked the flowers and didn't know I should've done this at the time. But now I think I did more harm than good. I may leave the flowers if this plant is a lost cause and enjoy them while they kind of last. There are still many buds that haven't opened. I will cut them off if this plant has a chance to recover. Is this possible? What can I do?

  2. #2
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    hello and welcome. In my opinion, decision to repot was correct. pls post a picture of the Oncidium and it will help diagnose better.

  3. #3
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
    Chris in Hamilton is online now Senior Member
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    Welcome from Ontario, Canada! Agree with Sriram.

  4. #4
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is online now An Avant Gardner
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    Hello from Colorado!

    Agree. A repot was necessary. Did you find any viable roots (plump and firm) when you repotted?

  5. #5
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    I would also agree with what was said, I might have left it un-potted for a day or two to get it to dry out before adding media but it had to get out of that muck. Kudos for trying to save any orchid!!

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Welcome from Malaysia.

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