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Rootless catt backbulb

This is a discussion on Rootless catt backbulb within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Okay, so here's the story. In 2005, I bought my mother this Catt. Portia Cerulea ...

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  1. #1
    scopinox's Avatar
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    Default Rootless catt backbulb

    Okay, so here's the story. In 2005, I bought my mother this Catt. Portia Cerulea 'Capri', which at that stage had three pseudobulbs in flower. Ever since then, two of the leads have kept going, producing smaller, fatter bulbs and leaves, yet the one has done nothing. Zip, nudda, nothing! In addition, the plant slowly began to lose its leaves when it had all of them on before, mainly due to a lack of humidity IMO.

    Here's a link to what it used to look like
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...lea-capri.html

    During a random bout of googling, I finally discovered a company in South Africa that sells hydroponic pellets, and even better yet, they have recently opened a shop in Johannesburg. Up until that point, I had read articles on semi-hydroponics, but had never really considered it, due to lack of a source of pellets, but after discovering this I was quite excited. After a few hours of reading, I noted that the plant had to have actively growing roots in order to make the transfer to S/H. I looked at mine, and the lead I was planning to experiment on has no roots whatsoever.

    So now for the questions:
    1. I wanted to repot the catt and divide it into three (2 main leads and the backbulb) because the new growth has reached the rim of the pot. Can I do it with the new growths at this stage of development?

    2. What should I do with the back bulb? Do you think it's possible to just go ahead and cut the division in the pot and then pull it out, disturbing the new growth as little as possible.

    3. Should I wait for roots before trying anthing with it?

    4. Does rooting powder have any part to play in all this?

    Thanks so much for looking.

    Cheers
    Praveer
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    More pics to show what the growth structure is like, and areas for divisions
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  3. #3
    stefpix is offline Senior Member
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    i would stick it in plain water till new growth and roots comes out and then coco chips.
    but i think the yellow PB / canes probably are just on teh way out

  4. #4
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    How about cutting the psuedo bulbs apart while still in the pot, leaving them there until visible root growth begins, then repotting the three divisions?

  5. #5
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    Cattleya Repotting and division is covered in the RVO Care Page Here:Repotting a Cattleya Orchid - Step by Step instructions with photos.. Hope that helps some!

    Cheers,
    BD

  6. #6
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    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Hi Praveer,

    I am assuming that you already have your mind set on switching this plant to S/H.
    The main consideration with switching to S/H is to make sure you stick with it and not try to switch the plant back to bark medium after just a few months.
    The transition from one culture to another puts some stress to the plant, but a healthy plant that is moved at the right time will be able to recover.
    Repeated transitions between different mediums in a short period of time will leave the plant severely stressed and will use up all energy reserves just to survive, and barely grow.

    The recommended time for transitioning plants to a different culture is during the early growing season when new roots are just starting to emerge. This will give the new roots enough time to adjust to the new culture.

    Another consideration is that if the plant is already stressed in its current culture setup, then the shock of transitioning to another culture might actually be too much for it and end up killing the plant.

    From the pictures that you posted, it appears that the plant is showing symptoms of dehydration. But it is not due to lack of watering or humidity, it is most likely due broken down potting medium that is retaining too much water that led to root loss.

    When was the last time you repotted the plant?

  7. #7
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    Firstly, a heartfelt thank you for all of you who replied. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

    Secondly, to answer some of your questions. The last time the plant was repotted was sometime in late Oct/Nov in 2007. It was moved from a full rockwool medium to bark at that stage, and placed in a bigger pot. During the repotting, I took some photo's for a reason that I cannot remember. All I know is that I didn't get time to post them. I was planning on repotting this season or the next.

    As you can see, the roots were in quite a shocking condition back then, but the plant looked much healthier. Looking at those photo's now, I realise I should have cut the backbulb off then. Ah well, spilt milk.

    Interesting to note is that I took a picture of the exact same two rootless pseudobulbs back then. Comparing them to the current pictures above, they haven't done anything.

    Thirdly, I would like to apologise. At the best of times, words escape my grasp and I would like to say sorry for not communicating my intentions better. What I was really meaning to ask was for advice on what would be the best method to save the backbulb.

    In addition, I have not yet decided in what medium I am going to pot the plant in. I was really just toying around with the idea of using S/H. More than likely, I won't be, as I doubt it will provide the humidity that I feel my orchids are lacking.

    Just to add a final word, my original plan before starting this thread was to cut off the back end and place it in a stone and water filled aquarium (on its side) in my bedroom. I was planning on misting it daily, as well as misting the base with rooting hormone, hoping the last pair of leaves might absorb some water. I was going to tackle the potting issue only after it started showing roots.

    Well, that is all. Once again, sorry for not being clear enough, and thanks for the advice.

    Praveer

  8. #8
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    The pics don't seem to have loaded. Let me try again.
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