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Greetings and Questions about roots

This is a discussion on Greetings and Questions about roots within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi folks, I'm a long time orchid fan but new to the forum , and ...

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  1. #1
    Fin
    Fin is offline Junior Member
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    Default Greetings and Questions about roots

    Hi folks,

    I'm a long time orchid fan but new to the forum, and I'd like to get an opinion on something. I just ordered a bunch of orchids from a well reputed buyer. A couple dozen seedlings and about 9 spiking plants.
    When I received them, about 90 percent of the roots, and all but one of the spikes were dead. The plants themselves were strong and should be able to grow new roots, but I trimmed about a bucketful of dead, descicated or squishy roots before potting them up.
    The dealer told me that this is the normal state of orchids, and that I was wrong in trimming off the dead and rotted roots. He said I was supposed to leave them in to support the plant.
    Everything that I have ever read says to trim them off to reduce spread of infection.

    Am I wrong?


    Fin
    Last edited by Brutal_Dreamer; May 23rd, 2007 at 05:44 PM. Reason: removed vendor name. See terms and conditions.

  2. #2
    smartie2000's Avatar
    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    You are right. If they are indeed dead roots they are not giving nutrients to the plants (unless you want micro-organisms to have them decay, then there's a cycle...) , so trimming them of was the right idea. There is no living vascular tissue to transport anything to the plant.
    Perhaps he meant that they are supporting the plant to keep them upright rather than loose in the pot?
    I also have not heard of a cycle on tropical orchids, what are you growing? Perhaps there is a cycle on orchids like a Lycaste

    A yellowing leaf is a different idea, sometimes they do support the plant while the energy stored in the leaf is moved into the main plant for use. I see that blooming plants have the bottom most leaf yellow sometimes.

  3. #3
    Fin
    Fin is offline Junior Member
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    Default Roots

    They were a wide variety of plants. Dendrobiums, oncs, vandas, and a few other assorted flavors. The roots on all of them were 90 percent dead, as were almost all the spikes.
    The seller first told me that these roots were just dormant, and would come back to life. When I replied that a could tell a hollow, dessicated root from a living one, he then said that this was normal, that most orchids have 90 percent dead roots, and I needed to leave them in place to physically support the plant.
    He said I was mistaken about trimming.

    I've always thought that removing dead and rotten tissue was a no brainer, but apparently not. These plants will survive, because they started out very healthy, but it makes me sad that they had to lose all their roots to poor shipping.


    Finula

  4. #4
    Palito is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    well I have seen dead roots that just rot and disintegrate in the media, but I have also seen "dead" roots that start to grow new roots from the tips and sides. So the question is, are they really dead or they just look desiccated but the root is alive inside.

  5. #5
    Becky15349's Avatar
    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    I think you did the right thing in removing all the dead roots, and it concerns me quite a bit that you ordered a large quantity of plants and found that their roots were rotted! I've never received plants from any reputable grower with more than 1 or 2 rotted roots. I think you ought to call this grower on his bluff and tell him that shipping out orchids with rotted roots shows his lack of care of the orchids...any orchid grower knows that rotten roots only cause more problems. We use sticks and other things to support the plant (if they need it at all to begin with)...I would never depend on rotted roots to support the plant, as they tend to encourage general decay, and that is something you don't want around your plants. If I were you, I would contact the grower again and tell him/her that you are disappointed in the condition of the plants and would like some sort of compensation, since you'll be spending quite a while growing new roots on these plants instead of growing them towards a blooming state...that's just my opinion. Don't let them take you for a ride!

  6. #6
    Joan's Avatar
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    I agree with Becky 100%.
    I think the grower should replace your order with healthy new plants. You should refuse to pay for the garbage that was sent to you.

  7. #7
    Fin
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    Hi folks!

    He offered compensation if I sent photos of the damage. Since the very first thing I did was clean up the plants and pot them in semi-hydro with some root grower, this wasn't really an option.
    His doubletalk about the roots was kind of insulting. There are roots that look dead, but when what you have is the dessicated husk of a root with a bit of dessicated fiber in the middle, then it's pretty clear that dead is dead, and I'd be surprised if someone does big orchid business and neglects basic root hygiene.
    ____

    Caveat emptor

    Let the buyer beware. Even if you are buying from someone with a good rating, read all their fine print and document everything.
    I'm now buying a digital camera, and in the future I will keep careful records.

    Finula
    Last edited by Brutal_Dreamer; May 25th, 2007 at 10:22 PM. Reason: removed vendor. Please do not mention vendors on OT. See terms and conditions.

  8. #8
    Farrah's Avatar
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    Smile roots

    Hi
    I'm a beginner too and I was having problems with my Vanda roots. They were getting skinny and brown, I called an orchid grower in Hawaii and she said to trim off the dead roots, spray with fungicide . I did that and the next day which is today, I put them in the sun. I think they look a little better.
    If any of you have any experience with Vandas, I love to hear from you
    !!

  9. #9
    Fin
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    Default Roots

    My unhappy little story continues. I left neutral feedback to this dealer. And he responded in hostile fashion. Leaving 33 identical negative responses and 1 positive!

    __(Vendor discussion removed)____

    Thanks for the moral support,

    Fin
    Last edited by Brutal_Dreamer; May 27th, 2007 at 09:52 AM. Reason: Please do not post about vendors or sales on RVO. See terms and conditions.

  10. #10
    smartie2000's Avatar
    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    I hate it when vendors do not leave feedback. Then you are basically forced to give a positive or risk them giving back poor feedback, it just doesn't serve its purpose when they do not leave feedback before the purchase arrives. I feel vendors are supposed to leave the feedback as an indicator that the plants have been shipped...
    Based on my experience in Canada, buying from an online catalogue is much better than the internet auctions since I deal with reputable vendors who wish to keep their repeat customers and they sell healthy well bred plants. And buying plants in person from a society member can really get great deals, some members really are not looking for a profit, but to share with other growers. So I am tired of internet auctions in Canada, maybe in the states where there is more selection I would purchase

    Anyway, your plants may be delayed a bit but they will bounce back with new growth after the repotting.

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