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Sphag & bag for severely dehydrated orchids?

This is a discussion on Sphag & bag for severely dehydrated orchids? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Last fall, I finished my PhD (English, if you're curious). I kind of haven't done ...

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    Default Sphag & bag for severely dehydrated orchids?

    Last fall, I finished my PhD (English, if you're curious). I kind of haven't done anything since, in any area of my life. My ~4-year-old orchid collection is decimated, but I finally feel up to dealing with it. A lot -- a *lot* -- are dead. The ones that aren't are dehydrated beyond anything I've seen in person. I feel so bad.

    I kind of want to chuck all of them and start totally fresh, but that seems like a shame, in case I could save any of the ones that are still hanging on. I'm wondering whether sphag & bag would be appropriate. I think of that as a way to grow orchids from leafless p-bulbs, but it seems like it might work here? Maybe?

    If so, can I bag them up and put them back under my lights? I usually read advice like, "seal up the bag and put it in the shade," but I grow in my living room and don't have access to a shady area outside. Again, I would think this would be fine, but I've never done it.


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    Hi, congrats on the PhD, a well deserved brake was due so I can understand that the orchids would take a back seat. I have tried that with one of my orchids, though I don't have spag available in these parts, I used wet new print instead but it still worked. I gave the roots a douse in rooting compound, I'm not sure about the intensity of the light, I just kept it near an east window but not in direct sun light, morning or other wise, until I saw something positive happening. I'm guessing the light depends on the type orchid. Also, be careful of fungus, I used SA 20, as a precaution, but you can use what ever fungicide available. Hope all goes well, and happy orchid shopping

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    It is worth a try, just keep them out of direct sun, or a little further from your lights. Before bagging them up I would soak them overnight in a bucket of water with just a slight amount of fertilizer.

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    I am constantly amazed by what orchids can recover from. I say to go for it! What genera are they? Those with pseudo bulbs could be treated as backbulbs...I recently discovered a little growth with roots on a stanhopea pb that I thought had been thrown away. My embreii "died" of some sort of rot VERY QUICKLY. I chopped and chopped at it until I gave up and tossed it out. Two weeks ago I found one shriveled old pb on the back of a shelf with a new shoot. It was probably there for two months with no special treatment...just the coincidental misting it got when the other plants were being pampered.Posted via Mobile Device

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    Most the ones that are still green are Cattleya hybrids. One Dendrobium smilliae that's clearly way too tolerant of my bad plant-parenting, because no way should it still be alive, and a couple grocery-store Phalaenopsis. One or two Oncidiinae that are just bulbs (and shriveled ones). So a whole variety, although none of my really delicate ones stuck it out with me.

    What I most love about orchids is how tough they are, though. That's so true. Your Stanhopea story is totally inspiring -- I feel less crappy already.

    Also, PaphMadMan, that's a good tip. If I ever knew to do that, I'd forgotten it. Thanks!

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    You can also use seaweed extract as a soak. It contains all sorts of stimulants.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    I'll just add my congratulations and encouragement to try and bring them round. Get a healthy one to keep you going while the other orchid recover.

    cheers,
    BD

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    Congrats on the PhD. Sorry can't help with advice on reviving the neglected but I would seriously consider BD's advice on getting some new healthy orchids in the meantime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cakedaddy View Post
    You can also use seaweed extract as a soak. It contains all sorts of stimulants.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    I have no experience with seaweed extract, but I would hesitate to use anythng meant as a 'stimulant' on such weak plants. Take care of the big deficiencies from long term neglect (water, basic nutrients) and give the plants time to recover and they will grow when they are ready. Anything that might push a weak plant to grow before it is ready could be very counter-productive - weak growth that the plant can't support leading to another step backward. Your results may vary of course, but 38 years growing orchids plus a horticulture degree tell me to let nature do its job first.

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    I ended up only actually bagging a couple of them; the rest that seemed worth trying to save had at least 4 or 5 leaves, just 4 or 5 very thin, used-up leaves. And they seem like they have a number of ok roots -- so I felt like not disturbing them from their pots was the best choice. I moved all the worst ones to my bathroom, though, where they ought to get better humidity than under my (living room) lights. Gave everybody a long drink and light fertilizer. Hopefully by the end of the summer, I'll have some on the road to recovery.

    I did order some new ones from this really cool grower near me, too. Keep me excited about new growth while my older plants are getting back to where they want to make some of their own.

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