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2 orchids need your expertise.

This is a discussion on 2 orchids need your expertise. within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; The orchids i received from Wisconsin about a week ago. The first is a Miltassia. ...

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  1. #1
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    Question 2 orchids need your expertise.

    The orchids i received from Wisconsin about a week ago.

    The first is a Miltassia. it came bare root, the bulbs were shriveled,the leaves were healthy, so i gave it a good soaking in plain water before I planted it in a standard medium.Now the leaves are spotted and orange!

    The second came in the same box, the sender said it was at least 13 years old and has not bloomed for nearly 10 years. The original bark is very old and dry. Can you identify the orchid? When i received it I also gave it a good soaking in water and have been misting it daily. What do you suggest as a mount or pot/ I think the top of the plant is salvageable, it has about 6 bulbs with leaves.

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  2. #2
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    Okay...here's what I think is going on with the Miltassia. I think the plant was shocked somehow in shipment...probably due to temperature fluctuations. I think the plant is just now showing the damage that occurred when it was sent. It can take a little bit for plants to show damage sometimes...I have a Cattleya that I accidentally let sit in too-hot sun weeks ago, and it just lost a pseudobulb yesterday. The leaves turned yellow and looked very much like yours (except without all the spots). At any rate, I don't think you caused this.

    You will most likely lose the bulbs with the worst-looking leaves. You don't need to proactively remove anything, though, as you don't want to traumatize the plant further. But the good news is that the plant seems to still have several bulbs that are quite green and decent-looking, so I think you'll only end up losing some of the plant.

    Here's what you can do to help the plant bounce back:

    Keep it out of bright sunlight for now; it won't be able to tolerate full Catt sun until it recovers. Right now it needs to spend its energy rebuilding any cells it can. Make sure it has plenty of humidity, and give it some Superthrive if you have it. Leave it in the mix and pot you've put it in, but baby it until it recovers from whatever traumatized it. Be prepared for some leaves to fall off, and perhaps some bulbs to shrivel or flop over. If that happens, you can usually just give a little tug and the dead bulb will just pop right off. You shouldn't need to perform any "major surgery" though.

    Once the plant has finished dropping anything that didn't make it, just keep an eye on it, and then you can gradually transition it back to full light levels when you begin to see new growth.

    I think this one will recover on its own as long as you keep it out of really bright light and make sure it gets enough humidity, but it's definitely suffered a major setback. With tender loving care it will hopefully start putting out some new growth within a month or so. That's when I'd start moving it back to regular light levels.

    As for the second plant, ID'ing that one is going to be really tricky without a bloom. It looks like it could be a mini Cattleya, but that's just a guess. It could also be some obscure species plant.

    I'm not a huge fan of growing things on mounts, so personally I'd divide that sucker and pot up the divisions in very coarse bark in clay pots. I find that orchids that like to grow mounted often do extremely well in very coarse bark that's just sort of loosely tossed in a pot. I make sure to let the roots sort of ramble in and out of the bark, leaving some exposed to the air, so that it simulates the feel of a mount for the plant. It looks like you could get a couple of decent divisions out of that huge plant!

    Just make sure you have at least three older p-bulbs included in each division to give the plant some energy/water reserves, and I think it will transition nicely to pots. I can't wait to see it bloom!

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

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    Hi Katherine! I am sure you enjoyed reading Jenn's calm and level-headed reply as much as I did. Experience shows! I agree with her: looks like the Miltassia will sort itself out given a bit of time and a bit of love. And a Miltassia is SO worth saving! Gotta love 'em!

    And the second plant: well she said it all. I won't be surprised if her instinct for the ID will be vindicated too. (Jenn's a bit of a star!)

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    Thanks Pindar and Jen! I shall nurse these babies along and see what happens. they traveled from Wisconsin to Oregon and I was a bit fearful that they may get cold going over the Mountains. and I did suspect that the Miltassia was temperature shocked. So i am glad to have the confirmation. With the mounted, i shall hold my breath and try to repot it. I know nothing of mounted plants and dismantling this to me is scary. Do you think i should use a net pot or?

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    Most Orchids are very robust, so take courage! Best time for cutting, potting, mounting, and all operations is at the start of the growing season- when new shoots and new ROOTS begin to appear. Divide when necessary, making sure any division has at least three bulbs, some healthy roots (if there are any) and the newly developing roots will take over- the back bulbs fuel the new growth. It soon becomes almost second nature.

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    Well, I took a deep breath and divided the mounted orchid. It was a bit of surgery with serrated bread knife and kitchen shears. It does have roots. After dividing I soaked it for a bit and then planted the divides in coarse medium, guess i have a 50/50 chance of success!. If it weren't for my wonderful friends here I would truly be a sea!

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    Hi Katherine, sorry for not reading this post earlier but I think you should remount the second plant. The correct ID that plant is Dendrobium lindleyii (formerly Den. aggregatum). The shape of the pseudobulbs and their closely set growth pattern are very distinctive and different from cattleyas and their relatives. They rot very easily and therefore pot culture is generally unsuccessful (though not impossible). It likes to be mounted but can also grow in a shallow hanging slat basket filled with coarse bark pieces, which allows the medium to dry out within hours after watering the plant. It likes it hot and humid in summer and needs VERY bright, cool to intermediate conditions in winter when it should only be watered once or twice a month from December to the end February. During this time the plant must be hung in the ridge of the greenhouse or set in a southfacing window (but indoors you must choose a room where it won't get too warm or burn the leaves, which is not a problemin a greenhouse) as they will not bloom if they don't get maximum light, a dry rest and cooler temperatures.

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    Serama, as i understand this, Dens are long arching plants. Is this a mini Den? I have no where to hang anything. Short of giving it to some one to try to rescue it, are there other solutions? I tried to find information about this plant and but it seemed pretty general. Thank you for you obsevations. Waiting to hear from you again

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by serama View Post
    Hi Katherine, sorry for not reading this post earlier but I think you should remount the second plant. The correct ID that plant is Dendrobium lindleyii (formerly Den. aggregatum). The shape of the pseudobulbs and their closely set growth pattern are very distinctive and different from cattleyas and their relatives. They rot very easily and therefore pot culture is generally unsuccessful (though not impossible). It likes to be mounted but can also grow in a shallow hanging slat basket filled with coarse bark pieces, which allows the medium to dry out within hours after watering the plant. It likes it hot and humid in summer and needs VERY bright, cool to intermediate conditions in winter when it should only be watered once or twice a month from December to the end February. During this time the plant must be hung in the ridge of the greenhouse or set in a southfacing window (but indoors you must choose a room where it won't get too warm or burn the leaves, which is not a problemin a greenhouse) as they will not bloom if they don't get maximum light, a dry rest and cooler temperatures.
    Wow, nice job on the ID!!

    Katherine, I did a bit of digging online and found some info on this plant:

    "Dendrobium lindleyi is a showy plant with bright yellow orange flowers. The magnificent flowers of Dendrobium lindleyi are a huge reward from an easy to grow species. Possibly best grown in a basket or mounted on a treefern slab with extra water, the species will then develop into large specimens. Very amenable to cultivation, just rest the plant in the cooler months, use lots of water, fertiliser, good drainage and bright sunlight just short of leaf burn. I find that they only flower best when grown in high light conditions and must be protected from winter rainfall if at all possible. I give them a very brief spray maybe every 2 or 3 weeks over winter and don't stress too much when you notice they have shrivelled a little....they will benefit from that and reward you with prolific flowers."
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    It does seem that this dendrobium is more of a miniature in habit...the pseudobulbs and leaves don't seem to get very tall, but the long, arching sprays of flowers are gorgeous!!

    From what I'm seeing online, this den can be grown in baskets, so if you're not a fan of mounting (which I'm not), you may have success with lava rock in a net pot. I'm also seeing pics of people growing them in clay pots...I've had success with plants that like to be mounted in very coarse bark in clay pots, so that may be another option for you. Here's a pic of one in clay:

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    At any rate, since you have several divisions of the plant, you could always try one in lava rock in a net pot, one in coarse bark in clay, and one mounted to see which grows the best in your conditions. Just use your orchid grower instincts and you'll find the key to making this plant happy! Keep us posted!

  10. #10
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    Here's another pic that I found where the appearance of the pseudobulbs is easily seen. You can see the similarity to yours here. Way to go on that ID again, Tony!!

    Name:  dendrobium pseudobulbs.JPG
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