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Ill Cymbidium

This is a discussion on Ill Cymbidium within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello all, I got my first Cymbidium just a few days ago. When I got ...

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  1. #1
    waldo's Avatar
    waldo is offline Plant Junkie
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    Default Ill Cymbidium

    Hello all, I got my first Cymbidium just a few days ago. When I got it, it was healthy looking and in full bloom but within a day its blooms started to drop and foliage started to yellow.
    It was extremely root bound so I have transplanted it, alot of roots were dead but I removed very few since they were entwined so badly. This morning I have removed all but 2 flower stems and they will most likely go later today or tomorrow.
    Now I am having to remove yellow, dieing leaves daily. The leaf tips are turning brown and the plant generally looks ill. I need help to save this plant, what can I do? Should I repot it again, this time taking all the dead roots off? Should I try some african fish fertilizer? Thats what I do when my african violets start to yellow.
    I was thinking that maybe dry house is causing the problems, I will get my humidifier out and get it going close to the orchid stand, I'm sure the phals would like that too.
    Last edited by Brutal_Dreamer; April 5th, 2009 at 10:47 AM. Reason: vendor information removed. Please see FAQs about posting for details.

  2. #2
    smwboxer is offline Senior Member
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    If it happened as fast you said it did, it was prob. nothing you did that caused it. My guess would that is was exposed to the cold for to long when it was delivered to the store. Just a guess though.

  3. #3
    waldo's Avatar
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    I never thought about the cold, it is still quite cold here this time of year.
    I went ahead and repotted the poor thing, over 60% of the roots where rotten and soggy. I managed to cut a bunch off and get the good roots untagled some. I also went ahead and removed all the flowers and a few more leaves. I'm hoping that getting all the soggy rot off will help, it was a real mess.

  4. #4
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    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Orchids have relatively slow metabolism. So symptoms you are seeing now were probably caused by factors that happened to the plant several days or weeks ago. Even before you took possession of the plant.

    Coming from a big box store, I suspect that the plant experienced significant shipping shock when it was transported from the nursery to the store as Stephen suggested.

    That's one of the risks of buying from a BBS. They look great on the shelf. But once the make up fades who knows that lies beneath.

    If it was a healthy plant when you got it, it would take very significant stress to cause cymbidium leaves to wilt as fast as you are describing. Even when completely rootless, the pseudobulbs contain enough nutrients to keep the leaves alive for several weeks.

    My guess is that the plant has been dehydrated for a long time already and you just happened to purchase it right before it jumped over the edge.

  5. #5
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    Take heart Waldo. After repotting and root trimming on some of my Cyms, I have had a few leaves that yellow/brown and die off. As long as the psuedo bulbs are firm and there is some vegatative growth, it will probably pull through. It may not flower again for a few years as it slowly rebuilds strength. You might consider crushing a multi vitamin tablet into the water when you next water to provide some minute quantities of trace minerals to the plant.

  6. #6
    waldo's Avatar
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    The leaves didn't get wilty, just turned yellow.
    Whatever caused it, I hope I was in time to save it. There are 6 psodobulbs and most of them look ok, one is kinda yellowy but the others are a proper shade of olivey green.
    I did a fair amount of grooming when I transplanted it, it looks nice now. Keep your fingers crossed that it stops dropping leaves and goes into a grow cycle.
    Is there anything I should do now? or is just leaving it alone the best plan of action?

    Edit: I'll try the vitamins in a few days when I water agin, thanks

  7. #7
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    Time to ignore it for a bit. I am continually amazed at how ignoring my 'chids seems to help them grow. The ones I pamper just don't do as well. Bright light? Moderate temperatures? My cyms are in my basement setting on the concrete floor in slightly cooler conditions, about 60% to 65% f. I have them sitting in a row under a 4 foot flourescent fixture. Lets see, the tops of the leaves are about 4 to 6 inches below the bulbs with the psuedo bulbs about two feet from the lights. Slightly warmer conditions (temps in the 70's) would probably help with root growth, but I will be putting mine out on the porch when we are past the danger of frost, so I do not want them used to warmer temps.

  8. #8
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    So far, so good. A couple more leaves are yellowing but most look good and all the psuedo bulbs are nice and firm. Thanks for all the advice

  9. #9
    cherublace is offline Senior Member
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    cin: that's so funny. when i quit messing with my 'kids i go back to them and find all kind of good stuff going on! course ignoring them is hard at times because i'm such a tinkerer (maybe the word is tinkerbell)!

  10. #10
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindiras View Post
    Time to ignore it for a bit. I am continually amazed at how ignoring my orchids seems to help them grow. The ones I pamper just don't do as well. Bright light? Moderate temperatures? My cyms are in my basement setting on the concrete floor in slightly cooler conditions, about 60% to 65% f. I have them sitting in a row under a 4 foot flourescent fixture. Lets see, the tops of the leaves are about 4 to 6 inches below the bulbs with the psuedo bulbs about two feet from the lights. Slightly warmer conditions (temps in the 70's) would probably help with root growth, but I will be putting mine out on the porch when we are past the danger of frost, so I do not want them used to warmer temps.
    Isn't that the truth! Even if the ignoring part is done on accident because of hectic schedules or on purpose - orchids are so resilient.

    Good luck, Waldo.

    Cheers,
    BD

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