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Rootless wonders

This is a discussion on Rootless wonders within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi all! I have a question. I have several catts that i noticed have little ...

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  1. #1
    cherublace is offline Senior Member
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    Default Rootless wonders

    Hi all! I have a question. I have several catts that i noticed have little to none live roots. They had fallen out of their pots during a huge storm, so while i had the chance i repotted in better medium after cutting away dead roots. Here's the question, two of the rootless wonders have new growth. They have eyes (?), in fact one of them has two coming off one pbulb and another off the pbulb behind that first pbulb with two growths. Will these growths continue to grow? will they die due to the lack of roots? what's the best way to care for these rootless wonders? i have so much that i am overwhelmed by all the info, bag em, don't bag em, mist em, leave them in moss, ugh!!! (okay maybe i had more than one question!) I appreciate any and all feedback!!!

  2. #2
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    O.K. I have done a VERY large amount of fretting over "rootless wonders" of the catt species! (Can we say root rot?) Select a smaller than you think they need pot. Nearly fill with your choice of potting medium. Stick a bamboo skewer (available at most supermarkets) firmly into the medium. Secure the Catt to the skewer with whatever it has in the way of roots just barely covered by the media. No roots, no problem! Just have the base of the catt setting on the top of the media. Make sure the catt doesn't shift around much- you may need more than one skewer per plant. I use twist ties/wire ties to wire the pbulbs to the supports. It seems to me that the catts won't form roots if they aren't fairly stable. I mist daily with a very weak solution of 7-7-7 fertilizer and water. Of the 50 or so rootless wonders I have been playing with, about 1/3 have not yet responded as well as I would like. (And two succumbed, poor things!).

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    cherublace is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks! I will have to pot down on a couple and pull them up, i had them IN the medium. So i guess its possible that they have active growth without roots? Too curious!

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    I have a couple rootless wonders of varying types and my road to success is S/H pellets with the plant, as cindiras said, mostly on top of the medium. I mist daily and that has stimulated root growth in several, though not necessarily catts. New growth is a great sign because often the old growth won't grow new roots, but if you can keep the old growth hanging on long enough for the new growth to grow roots, you can save it. So it is all the about the new roots to come on the new growth, lose them and you will probably lose the plant eventually.

  5. #5
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Check out this article: Reviving an Old Cattleya Pseudobulb.
    It should cover the basics of reviving rootless wonders as well as explanations of the methods applied.

    Reviving an Old Cattleya Pseudobulb

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    cherublace is offline Senior Member
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    Excellent, thanks all! i have repotted and raised them all to proper position and misted with 7-7-7. I have my fingers crossed!!!

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    cherublace is offline Senior Member
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    Update: I put about six of the rootless catts just on top of the medium and misted daily with 777, somedays misted twice depending on the heat. I put another four in bags with sphag and i opened daily and blew in to move the air around. All catts not only have new roots emerging but have new growth ranging from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches. Both methods found equally effective. I am happy with the new growth on all!!!!!

  8. #8
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    Congratulations on reviving your catts!

  9. #9
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Good to hear that.
    For most cattleyas this is the season when they begin to produce new pseudobulbs and new roots. Once the roots have reached full strength, then the plants will be on their way to a full recovery.

  10. #10
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    Good job cherublace!
    cindiras' reply was on the money. The only thing I would add is to use a pot clip across the rhizome to help keep it secure and stable. 80% of my collection came from bare root divisions. I do a lot of potting work in trade for divisions. A Catt. with no roots is not a problem. Always look into their eyes! The eyes will tell you all.....

    Most of the time I will find a new growth starting from a good eye long before signs of a new root. When I get a cluster of divisions I stand them in empty clay pots keeping the pbulbs straight. This way when a good eye throws a new growth it will grow in the correct direction which makes for easier potting and a nicer looking plant. I rarely pot a division prior to it showing some type of active growth.

    I find it better to remove all bad and/or questionable roots. I'd rather have a naked rhizome in a pot then old dead roots that can be the source of lots of troubles in the future.

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