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Diagnosis Needed - Rescue Cymbidium

This is a discussion on Diagnosis Needed - Rescue Cymbidium within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; So last month I missed out on buying a beautiful cymbidium at a chain store. ...

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  1. #1
    Styx is offline Senior Member
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    Default Diagnosis Needed - Rescue Cymbidium

    So last month I missed out on buying a beautiful cymbidium at a chain store. Well, I was back there today and saw this guy sittin' on the clearance rack. I said "[insert explative] yeah!" and grabbed it. Looks to be in okay condition... so far. Haven't looked at the roots at all, should I? The pot was bone dry upon picking it up.

    On to the photos!

    Base of the plant.


    I know the spots look a little like dirt, but they are not. They are on the plant itself. I'm unsure if this is a disease or because these were damaged leaves and they're not decaying. Any info?


    These leaves have sort of a mottled appearance to them. Not normal. Not all the leaves look like this. Not sure what to do.


    Damage done to the blooms.


  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Looks like it needs to be sprayed with a fungicide. I know others may disagree, but I would cut off those fading bloom, unpot that cym and repot it in the same size container with good, draining medium. It is important to make sure the roots are all healthy. Many times as orchids set in the store, different people 'water' the plants and the roots could have problems. Just my 2 cents...

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    JoeW's Avatar
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    I side with Bruce.

    BTW, the grocery store by me here had 8 cym's like yours. I saw them just after they were set out. Beautiful day one, trash by the end of the week. They were so expensive and they declined so rapidly not one sold during the week.

  4. #4
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    I would take the plant out of the pot and inspect the roots.
    Most of the time, these plants go through so much stress and inappropriate care as they move from the nursery to the final store that the roots are long dead before they even hit the display racks and the plants are living off of the pseudobulb reserves.

    The potential fungal or bacterial infections are signs that the plant's defenses dropped due to some form of stress.

  5. #5
    Styx is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Okay, so take it out, clean the roots, repot it, snip off the dying blooms, and spray with fungicide. Got it.

    What's the best mix for cymbidiums? I've found different sheets saying different things, but after owning sand boas and finding a lot of their care is inaccurate I'm skeptical of all care sheets now. I read a bunch before I bought it, but they weren't very helpful. Which is, of course, why I'm here! And what part of the plant do I spray with fungicide?

    Oh yeah, and after I repot it should I give it the bloom ferts or the growth ferts?

    And one more thing, if the roots are extensively damaged, should I cut off the flower spikes and sphag and bag it? Or something else?

  6. #6
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    With regards to the care sheets, here's my advice:
    Read all that you can get your hands on, and apply only the portions that you feel makes sense for YOUR local growing conditions and style. Discard the rest.
    Also remember that a care sheet authored by someone who grows orchids in Florida, might not exactly work for someone growing orchids in Arizona. So you cant treat care sheets as law.
    Quoting Captain Barbosa,
    ...is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules...
    Regarding the potting mix, cymbidiums tolerate a wide variety of potting mixes. But they do prefer the potting mix to remain moist all the time.
    Again, it depends on what would work best for your local conditions.
    If your pots dry out fast in your growing area, you can add potting soil or peat to your mix to retain moisture. Just as an example, 50/50 medium orchid bark and regular potting soil.

    There should be no need to sphag & bag a cymbidium if it still has healthy leaves and pseudobulbs. Even if it has lost all the roots, there would be enough nutrients in the pseudobulbs to sustain the plant until it can produce new growths.
    The new growths are where the new roots will come from.
    Just keep the plant in a shady location for now, so that it does not dry up too much. Once it has established roots, you can slowly move it to a sunny location once again.

    For fertilizers, the common regimen is a "grow mix" during the warmer 6 months, and then switch to a "bloom mix" for the other half of the year.

  7. #7
    Styx is offline Senior Member
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    I'm in Utah, so I would like to know what they like best based on my fairly dry desert weather. So I'm gonna head out and get myself some potting soil and orchid bark and a new pot tomorrow.

    And yeah, because of that I prefer to ask people on a forum like I am now. Then I get more of an array, and possibly even someone in my state that has success with something.

    Gottcha on the ferts.

  8. #8
    Styx is offline Senior Member
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    Okay, repotted the plants. Turns out there's three seperate plants, two blooming, one is not.

    There was extensive root damage from underwatering. 90% of the root mass was dead and I cut that all away. Now the two bloomers have some good roots left, but their psudobulbs are almost used up. The last one, the non-bloomer has no roots left, but nice fat psudobulbs and it's putting out root nubbins.

    Anything more I should do?

  9. #9
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    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    You are going to need to keep a close eye on water. Unless you live in a very humid area, they are going to dry out on you faster than you realize. I read on one care sheet that some cymbidiums like long narrow pots, so I transplanted mine to two quart and 1 gallon lemonade jugs. (No drain holes, so I have towatch fro too much water).

  10. #10
    Styx is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Yeah, figured that one out already. Haha

    Seriously though, I was really surprised to unpot it today and find it was really dry after only three days. I'll have to check it every other day for moisture I think.

    Thanks for the tip, I'll keep that in mind for next time. Right now it's in a 10 inch terra cotta pot.

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