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Clueless about health of new Epidendrum radicans keiki

This is a discussion on Clueless about health of new Epidendrum radicans keiki within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello all, I'm back on the forum after a horrid semester at Michigan State University. ...

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  1. #1
    powersauce's Avatar
    powersauce is offline Cage Fighter
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    Default Clueless about health of new Epidendrum radicans keiki

    Hello all, I'm back on the forum after a horrid semester at Michigan State University. A few weeks ago, I was given an Epidendrum radicans keiki from the North Campus Botany Greenhouse and have no idea of the state of its health. The mother plant is in great shape with no signs of disease, and the keiki is in the same shape as when I received it. I have it in an orchid bark substrate in a clear plastic orchid pot with open slits on the side and a concave bottom with drainage holes. I've watered it regularly and frequently mist it alternating between distilled water and dilute orchid fertilizer in distilled water. I have it near a north facing window at a fairly constant 75 degrees F. I'd like to know how large of a pot I should put it in given the size of the orchid, and whether I am giving it the right conditions. I've read that the species needs very bright light, but do not know whether to trust the source of information. I have no experience with Epidendrums. Here are the pictures:












  2. #2
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    I have a basket of epidendrums grown from cuttings pretty much. First of all, those roots are way rotted. Cut the brown mushy stuff off and lay the little thing across the top of a pot, using the remaining healthy p-bulb laying across the top. The little one eventually will suck the p-bulb dry, as it grows larger and grows roots of it's own. It's going to be awhile. Knock off the serious watering thing....these like to be in potting soil mixed with orchid bark....imagine it growing atop the forest junk just above the real dirt. It's a humousy mixture with a little real dirt mixed in. Keep it moist but never ever soggy. Until the little thing sprouts roots I'd stick to misting it and let the dirt mixture run a little on the dry side. The smaller the growth, the smaller the pot. Don't let it worry you, these grow well and fast. It can take as much sun as you give it. But that is long about springtime...while it's so small it can't handle full sun. Some direct sun in the mornings is okay, but unless you have a greenhouse, keep it shaded for the first few months. About 2500 footcandles...phalaenopsis level and moisture levels at first. Once it grows a couple growths and gets bigger you can really ramp up the sunlight.
    Good Luck
    Connie

  3. #3
    powersauce's Avatar
    powersauce is offline Cage Fighter
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    Default question

    I feel really stupid asking this, but what is the p-bulb? And would I just have the p-bulb on top of the bark/soil mixture, or have it just a mm down into the mixture. Also, where should I trim the plant? Just an inch or so from the roots, or closer to the p-bulb (and how far from the p-bulb, and whether it should be trimmed on both sides)?

  4. #4
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    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    Leave the stem (p-bulb) intact for now as the baby is drawing its nurishment from that. Lay the stem across the soil mix, not buried at all, with the baby above the soil. As the baby grows roots, they will seek out the soil below or air above. By the time the stem has dried up and surrendered its all for the baby, there should be well established roots.

  5. #5
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    The p-bulb is the long this reed-like thing that the roots are attached to. Find a spot above where the roots attach that isn't squishy feeling and make a clean cut with sharp scissors. You will need to always steralize your cutting utensils so you dont' spread the rot. Leave the p-bulb, the body of the plant, laying on top of the medium. Point the little keikei's top towards the ceiling. The roots will eventually grow from where the keikei attaches to the p-bulb. They will grow down into the potting mix eventually. Since this is a tiny plant, and since orchids grow at the slowest rate imaginable, be very patient and fight the urge to over spritz or overwater. Just keep the medium abit moist and when you see roots you can begin giving the roots a drip or two of water every morning. You might want to look up orchids 101 information posts that are on this site. The illustrations will answer alot of the basic terms used on here. If you see a word in blue, you can click on it and it will give you a basic definition as well. There are thousands of us with the same questions, so never feel any question is too simple. Odds are, someone else is out there wanting to know the same thing.
    Good Luck....
    Connie

  6. #6
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    terenh is offline Guerrilla Gardener
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    Default

    I'd do exactly what Connie said about cutting the mussy part off, but I'd lay it on a wad of damp (not wet) sphagnum moss in a sealed bag. Keep in a shaded place (phalaenopsis lighting) and forget about it for a bit. This will increase the humidity and help keep the little piece hydrated. When the roots are about an inch to two inches long you can put the little guy up. From my experience with Epidendrum radicans they do best in straight sphagnum moss. Remember to give it lots of light and it will reward you with practically everblooming flowers. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    I would do just as Connie stated...radicans is a very pretty weed...It can get humongous and will eventually need very bright light to get it to bloom

  8. #8
    pavel's Avatar
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    Btw, just for clarification ...
    p-bulb = pb = pseudobulb


  9. #9
    John G's Avatar
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    Connie I am one who learns from questions and was waiting to learn what a p-bulb was too. Thanks to powersauce for asking and you for answering
    John G

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