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HELP I am so disappointed in my Cymbidium

This is a discussion on HELP I am so disappointed in my Cymbidium within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Katherine Sorry to hear of your dead Cymbd. roots my guess well overdue for repotting ...

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  1. #11
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    Katherine Sorry to hear of your dead Cymbd. roots my guess well overdue for repotting . remove completely all dead roots , treat with fungercide before potting . add some river pebbles in base of pot for good drainage most of the energy is stored in the bulb . if your season is favourable it can survive in time . make sure your tools are sterilised first. I use a 10 inch candle we have several , excess of my wife`s florist business now retired . I use murate of potash sparingly at 2 month intervals use as foliage spray enough to lightly colour the water as anti-fungle . also can add deeper colours to some flowers and Orchids specially Climbing Sweet Peas cheers

  2. #12
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    I've had a few similar experiences buying online. I always add the note, 'please pick me out a nice-looking plant with good leaves and roots.'

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    Sorry about your plants root system. I would make sure to try and read/find out as much about an online seller before purchasing online. I ordered my Blc Robert Furguson's Florida Sunset cattleya from online and had great roots, currently waiting for another online purchase to come, my first Masdevallia. I just make sure to check all angles before buying online and be sure you feel 100 percent confident with the seller, even email and ask questions if u have to. Good luck and I hope it bounces back and gives u beautiful blooms in the future!
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    Oh and one thing I forgot to mention. ALWAYS repot as soon as u purchase a new orchid! You want to check out what's going on under the medium. I leArned this from advice of many on this forum, I had went to an orchid nursery and purchased a mini Catt, I was told to let it stay in the plastic pot it would be fine. I decided to repot cuz there was moss on top, and the mix looked all too dark to me. To my surprise it had root rot and I was so upset! So yea, just always repot as soon as u can!
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  5. #15
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    Katherine, I bought about 10 cymbidiums in a crazy buying frenzy (we won't go into more detail than that... but let's just say I went a tad nuts...), and EVERY SINGLE ONE had brown roots. They weren't slimy... just brown. I thought they looked odd, but I repotted them all into clean bark when they arrived, and they are all doing just fine. I think because cymbidiums are semi-terrestrial, the roots can appear different than, say, a phal or a vanda which has those thick, firm, white roots.

    I also discovered this to be the case with paphiopedilums. I had once contacted a vendor about a paph that I was certain had rotting roots, but the vendor said that because the paphs naturally live in humus, they don't have that protective white covering on the roots that other orchids do. It turns out that brown roots are just fine on paphs (which are also semi-terrestrial). So, because ALL of my cymbidiums arrived with brown roots (even the ones that were shipped bare-root), I figured it was a similar situation to the paphs and just assumed it was the way the plant naturally adapted to its growing conditions.

    Now, if stuff is smooshy and obviously rotten, that's a different story. Anything slimy should definitely go. But I think that, even if brand new roots emerge looking whitish, as they get bigger and grow deeper into the bark/humus, they become more brownish in hue. They can also have a bit of a mottled appearance, with some areas being "browner" than others.

    But I don't think your plant is in any trouble unless your foliage starts dying off in large clumps. That happened with ONE of my cymbidiums, but I think the plant that was sent was just too small and weak to make the trip bare-root, and that it had been left to dry out for too long. Those bulbs died, but it was quite obvious from early on that it was a goner. My other cymbidiums have shed a leaf here or there at random times, but overall they are growing just fine.

    I would pot up the plant the way you had it and set it in a not-too-sunny spot for now... let it adjust to your growing conditions. I hear they can take full sun if adjusted slowly, but when I put mine in my bright front room, I got leaf burn, so I moved them to my cool basement, where they are much happier and growing merrily.

    I guess what I'm trying to convey is that "weird roots" do not always equate to "doomed plant," especially if it's a type of plant you are new to growing. If the roots are brown but not slimy, I wouldn't panic. Slowly introduce that cym to brighter light, put it outside in the summer under a tree to give it some shade, and you should see some new growth on it soon!

    Hang in there! Your vendor sounds confused (about the moss/bark issue particularly), but I don't think he necessarily sent you a plant that's destined for orchid heaven. Keep the faith and send that cym some healing energy!

    Also, since cyms are seasonal bloomers, don't expect to see much in the way of spikes or anything for quite a while. Your plant won't bloom until the end of next winter, so right now you just want to focus on keeping it stable and watching for new growth, which will indicate that a healthy new p-bulb is forming and that blooms will hopefully arrive next year!

    Good luck!

  6. #16
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    Thanks everyone for the great advice and encouragement. I have cleaned it up and re-potted it. It is on a side table where it gets light, but not bright. It will live, hopefully, ever-after

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by coeruleo View Post
    i have no idea why a person would ever pot a cymb in moss?????
    I think in the original pic she posted of the mess of her cymbidium, it was actually tree fern fiber that had compacted with the bark. It was so smooshed together that it looked like it could have been rotting moss, but I'm almost positive it was tree fern fiber, which is used for aeration and moisture retention. It was also very brown in color, which is consistent with the tree fern fiber theory. I've never heard of anyone putting their cymbs in sphag.

    i live in a dry environment, but would never use moss on a cymbidium. and i do use it well for other orchids like oncidiums. cymbidium roots do tend to rot if kept too wet. it is one of the few orchids that really do need to dry between waterings. (many people say that for orchids they should dry out between waterings, but i find most like to be damp at least, not bone dry, vandas and cymbidiums being the exceptions in my book).
    The lack of consistent information out on the internet is extremely frustrating to me. When I went on my cymbidium buying binge, the majority of the sources I looked at said that cymbs like to be kept "evenly moist." That would seem to me like a plant that would not want to dry out at all! And most of my other orchids (except for the phals) like to pretty much dry out COMPLETELY between waterings. But everyone's growing conditions are different, so I think we all just need to learn what works for us personally.

    My method isn't all that scientific: I basically just putz around with the combination of watering and environmental conditions until things seem to be going right. I find that if I listen to my plants, they will sort of tell me what they need. Shriveling p-bulbs? Needs more moisture. Yellowing leaves? Too much sun...etc, etc. I think my philosophy at this point is that 95% of growing orchids successfully is just paying attention and changing something if you notice your plant is struggling. Almost anything can be fixed if caught early enough.

    I would be willing to bet that Katherine's plant will rally and bloom next winter! And, of course, we want to see pics when it does!

  8. #18
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    sometimes i feel growers who sell their Orchids phase out the worst of their collection deffinitly not their very best ! maybe just to lasy to repot owing too many plants that are well overdue for potting hence U are the Bunny ? always best to buy local if in doubt or reputed grower . cheers

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine View Post
    Thanks, I cleaned the dead roots and potted it in Orchiata. It should be fine. I appreciate your encouragement.
    i have always dreamed of visiting India.

    Your always welcome to India. If you planning a trip, try to visit North East part of india. Its a Heven for orchids...

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by raindeepak4u View Post
    Your always welcome to India. If you planning a trip, try to visit North East part of india. Its a Heven for orchids...
    I wish i could plan a trip, but it is not in the future. Thank you.

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