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Dead root debacle?

This is a discussion on Dead root debacle? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Many of you have been following the ongoing saga of me and my free vandaceous ...

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  1. #1
    OrchidAddict's Avatar
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    Question Dead root debacle?

    Many of you have been following the ongoing saga of me and my free vandaceous orchids that I've been struggling to make happy through various methods of potting, mounting, and the occasional ceremonial tribal dance.

    Well, I think I've FINALLY hit the jackpot! They are LOVING vase culture! Since putting them in vases, I'm seeing the first new top growth since, well, March...I think. And I'm seeing root growth too.

    My question is...what do I do about all of these brown roots? If you look in the vase, you can see the healthy, green roots (I had just watered it), and a whole bunch of brown stuff. Will it hurt the plant if I just cut all the brown ones off? Or are they already dead, so the plant won't really even care?

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    After months of futzing with these plants, I hesitate to just go cutting off large hunks of the root system, just as they seem to be starting to flourish. So what do I do about all this brown stuff?

  2. #2
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    If the brown roots are soft and mushy when wet they are dead andyou can cut them with no remorse.
    If they are hard they can actually be alive, if soo I would let them be.

    /M

    PS is it a spike growing to the right? If you only have one root and that much leaves I would cut it to save some energy for the plant.

  3. #3
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    Jenn, I'm glad this is working for you! I couldn't keep mine this way for too long, because the the plant and roots were baking by the magnification of the sun through the glass. Damn this Texas sun...

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    I think Magnus gave you great advice and it looks like you are doing a good job, they are challenging outdoors. 2 thumbs up

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    Quote Originally Posted by sand_tiger86 View Post
    Jenn, I'm glad this is working for you! I couldn't keep mine this way for too long, because the the plant and roots were baking by the magnification of the sun through the glass. Damn this Texas sun...
    Kelly why u did not wrap d vase in foil girl....to reflect the light and heat

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    Because I'm an idiot, clearly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus A View Post
    If the brown roots are soft and mushy when wet they are dead and you can cut them with no remorse.
    If they are hard they can actually be alive, if soo I would let them be.

    /M

    PS is it a spike growing to the right? If you only have one root and that much leaves I would cut it to save some energy for the plant.
    Ahh...well, I'm glad I didn't just go chopping those roots off, willy-nilly! They're firm. Unsightly, yes...but firm. I'll let them be! The thing on the right-hand side is actually an aerial root. The plant had two wonky aerial roots jutting out when I put it in the vase. I was able to very gently bend one of them so that it was inside of the vase and would get the benefits of the humidity. It has since grown quite a bit. The one on the right I couldn't get in without breaking it, so I left it go. Consequently, the plant is sort of cockeyed in the vase...it leans to the left, but I figure that's the least of my worries if it's growing finally.

    I've treated the brown roots with peroxide, bleach, and also Physan (not all at the same time...I went a couple of weeks between treatments...I didn't want to traumatize the poor thing too much)! But I wanted to make sure that the fungus that attacked them when I had them in LECA pellets was good and dead. So I'm confident there's no fungus problem going on currently that's making them brown.

    I guess they're just permanently discolored?

    Anyway, I'm excited to hear the roots are probably alive! That's fantastic news! Hooray! I may just have some happy vandas! Wow...that totally blows my mind. I've spent MONTHS fighting with these things. I was just about ready to give them away to someone with a greenhouse, but I SO wanted to be able to grow them and bloom them. This is exciting!

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    Quote Originally Posted by King Kjeldz View Post
    Kelly why u did not wrap d vase in foil girl....to reflect the light and heat
    Kelly, I actually don't have mine in full sun in the vases. When I had put them in full sun on the mounts, the leaves turned dark purple and got wrinkly, and the root tips turned BLACK. The plants were miserable. I had been reading about vanda care, and I read in several places that they like to be grown/suspended under trees outdoors. So I figured...under trees = filtered sun & some shade. So I put the vandas (in the vases) in a place where they would get a couple of hours of morning sun, but then the rest of the day they would be in bright shade. It has worked like a charm.

    So, if my Pennsylvania sun was baking the crap out of them, I can only imagine that your Texas sun was char-broiling them. Wrapping the vase in foil is a very interesting idea...I've also heard of people putting the plants in clay pots with no media...the clay then blocks the direct rays of the sun. I, too, was worried about the magnification of the sun through the glass. But then I read on another forum about a guy who is doing vase culture in England in his apartment and growing award-winning vandas. He said that the vases actually don't magnify the sun. Still, to be sure, I've checked the temperature inside the vases at various times during the couple of hours of morning sun they get, and it's not any hotter than anywhere else. I think your problem may have been just plain TOO MUCH SUN in general. Of course, I could be wrong. I just know that my vandas on mounts were miserable in full sun, so it's likely that yours were even more miserable.

    How do you have them potted? Are they in pots with lava rock? I remember you said that a couple of them were "taking off," so that's great. It sounds like you've got a good system worked out, so don't feel bad about the vase thing. You can always try the foil if you ever want to give vase culture another go. Frankly, I've found vase culture to be easiest of any method I've tried! I wish I could just stick all my plants in vases! It makes things so much easier!

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    Can anyone tell me what exactly is vase culture ? What do you do, just stick the plant in a vase and that's it ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    Many of you have been following the ongoing saga of me and my free vandaceous orchids that I've been struggling to make happy through various methods of potting, mounting, and the occasional ceremonial tribal dance.

    Well, I think I've FINALLY hit the jackpot! They are LOVING vase culture! Since putting them in vases, I'm seeing the first new top growth since, well, March...I think. And I'm seeing root growth too.

    My question is...what do I do about all of these brown roots? If you look in the vase, you can see the healthy, green roots (I had just watered it), and a whole bunch of brown stuff. Will it hurt the plant if I just cut all the brown ones off? Or are they already dead, so the plant won't really even care?

    Name:  P1000582.jpg
Views: 1647
Size:  389.3 KB

    After months of futzing with these plants, I hesitate to just go cutting off large hunks of the root system, just as they seem to be starting to flourish. So what do I do about all this brown stuff?
    "and the occasional ceremonial tribal dance" hahahahahah that had me laughing pretty good with some interesting imagery....anyhow...glad to see your vanda adjusting but there does seem to be lots of roots dead due to sacrifice

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