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  • 1 Post By orchid_killer
  • 1 Post By Cjcorner
  • 1 Post By Brutal_Dreamer

This dendrobium might be a goner...

This is a discussion on This dendrobium might be a goner... within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Before photo. What is left of the leaves look fine, though - color is okay, ...

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  1. #1
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    Default This dendrobium might be a goner...

    Before photo. What is left of the leaves look fine, though - color is okay, firm, no wrinkles.


    But the roots... man. No sign of life there. Not even off the new growth.


    So, I dumped it in a glass of water (I read about water culture last night). By the way, am I supposed to add any nutrients in the water? I used filtered water, thinking it would be better because my faucet water is hard. Might not be a good idea?


    I'm leaving the chids that are in water culture indoors. Don't want any bugs getting in the water. I know the patio is screened, but it's not completely bug-free. So, it might not get as much light.

    Anything I did wrong?

  2. #2
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    Water culture will rot off the existing roots first. New root that form later will be able to adapt to the water, but you should do a little research on this website for a few "water culture" posts to see how others did it.
    And again, the pot you showed above is "glazed" pottery and will only hold in water. Glazed pottery does not breath like terra cotta pots available at local garden stores everywhere. Rotted roots is from the pot, lack of air exchange. Many here use styrofoam peanuts (the packing kind) in the bottom of pots to create a large "air bubble" for the plant. While dendrobiums can be potted in spagnum, a mix of bark, perlite and charcoal would work much better. Orchids live on the bark of trees, without drawing any nutrients from it's host. They survive off of dew, rain and whatever falls onto their roots. Putting the same into a pot that doesn't allow for air-movement will rot the roots.
    Hang in there! We all kill our share before we get a few to thrive.
    Last edited by Cjcorner; April 8th, 2009 at 07:12 PM. Reason: missed a sentence...

  3. #3
    ischel1's Avatar
    ischel1 is offline Senior Member
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    Check out this link.
    It might answer your questions about water culture
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...culture-2.html
    Good luck

  4. #4
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    IMHO, the glazed pot that you are using with the cut outs on the side can be used without any major problems. Most of us don't use them due to the expense.

    Good luck with the water culture.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron-NY View Post
    IMHO, the glazed pot that you are using with the cut outs on the side can be used without any major problems. Most of us don't use them due to the expense.

    Good luck with the water culture.
    Whoa... I was just planning on going to the store for some clay pots from some comments on here... but if they're okay, I would really rather use them. They are pretty!

    The pots are sold by the manufacturer as "orchid pots". The same manufacturer also sold "african violet pots". They also sell cactus ones - but they look more like small baking dishes than pots.

  6. #6
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    I think the main thing is to not 'over pot' your orchids and allow plenty of air movement. With cattleyas and dendrobiums, they want to dry completely out before being watered again. AND, they should dry out quickly, not over more than three or four days. If you pot with the correct media, the water should evaporate or be absorbed fairly quickly.

    Good luck.

    Cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
    Orchidzrule's Avatar
    Orchidzrule is offline Senior Member
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    Although I prefer non-glazed terracotta pots, myself, I agree that these glazed ones with holes can work as long as you are careful. The non-glazed ones are easier, though.

    Two key things are, 1) allow the roots to dry sufficiently between waterings (as Bruce has already detailed); 2) be sure the potting media isn't in contact with the water that collects in the saucer--it's amazing how it can wick up water. I lost a plant to this very cause when I didn't realize the media was in contact with the water in my pebble tray, which I was using for increasing the humidity.

    Cheers,
    Rob

  8. #8
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    Thank you all so very much for your assistance!

    Okay, with much deliberation, I went ahead and kept the designer pot. I tested the "outflow" mechanism to be sure it doesn't let the water in the tray touch the pot. Okay, the inside bottom of the pot is designed so that the "floor" is elevated. There's a hole in the middle that exits to the tray (which is part of the pot) and the floor is convex in shape so that extra water has to run off to the side exit holes. I filled an empty pot with water and observed where the water is running through. The tray lip is lower than the convex floor, so there is no water left inside the pot and the water level in the tray doesn't reach the lip of the inside hole. So, I think it's okay. I'm going to turn on a fan to improve aeration.

    I moved all my orchids out of the patio into the front porch with the cattleyas closer to the edge of the porch (a bit more sun than the others). From all my other problem orchid posts, the common theme is the leaves are too green. The front porch faces south-east, but since it is under the roof, it should eliminate noon-time exposure and just have morning sun full blast.

    I'm going to have to adjust my watering schedule because I don't have sphagnum moss now. I'll play it by ear - the phals to be watered more often than everybody else, I think, the catts the least. I'm going to attempt miracle gro in 2 weeks if they're still alive by then...

    I only have 9 orchids left. Waaaa! I had 16 in December.

    - 2 oncidiums:
    1 in water culture (all roots are dead but still has a few green leaves)
    1 in special orchid mix (a mixture of bark, charcoal, and perlite)
    - 3 cattleyas:
    all in special orchid mix
    - 3 phalaenopsis:
    all in special phal mix (a mixture of bark, charcoal, perlite, and coarse peat)
    - 1 dendrobium:
    in water culture - all dead roots but with 1 surviving cane.

    All my vandas and cymbibiums are goners and even my favorite dancing lady. I think I'm going to stick with these 9 until I can get them to stay alive before I let myself be tempted to grab new ones. It's going to be really hard. I'm a compulsive orchid grabber. It's an addiction.

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