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What do I do?

This is a discussion on What do I do? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; How do I treat this baby? I found brown watery mushy in one of the ...

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  1. #1
    Tmai's Avatar
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    Default What do I do?

    How do I treat this baby? I found brown watery mushy in one of the pbulbs (along with yellowing leaves) a week ago. Removed the bulb at the base and part of one near it. The part bulb and another are showing signs of rot. I cut the pbulbs off at the base; the roots look very healthy to me (but I'm a newbie!). I am repotting; removing old potting material and unfortunately damaging many roots.
    My questions are these: do I remove the base and roots of the pbulb or will removing just the bulb remove the rot?
    And: how do I clean up the roots? You read "remove this, cut that, etc. but these roots were so tight in a plastic pot and compact I'm not sure what to cut and what to save! ALL of the roots look good to me (newbie alert). Here's a pic. First pic where I removed pbulb. Second of roots. What do I do now?
    Used physan and HO and she is drying now.
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    The roots look good. Is this the plant that was shipped? It may be a result of too much heat and humidity during shipping. That caused the soft mushy spots. The base of the pbulb you cut of looks nice and white and firm. I would spread the roots out and make sure there are no rotting ones in the center of the mass. Cut out any questionable roots and pot up in bark.

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    Those roots look amazing! But highly packed from a long history of underpotting.

    I'd give them a good soak to soften them (at least an hour.) Then work carefully to tease apart what you can. Don't worry about breaking any - this guy has enough roots to fuel a large metropolis! Don't be careless, but strive to get them apart, allowing air spaces all the way to the center of the root mass. Whatever you loose in roots, you'll more than make up for with better air circulation. Then you'll likely have a larger root mass than you started with. Be prepared to up the pot size, but only so the roots will be snug in the new pot. They were choking in the old one - you'll definitely need to go up. No free swimming, however. Match the pot to the resulting root ball.

    If you're still worried about rot, soak the newly potted 'chid in Physan. You should be ok from there. I don't do a dry rest after repotting, as many do. That creates an extreme condition where the plant switches into root growing mode. Unless it's lost most of its roots, I treat it normally and let it do its thing.

    McJulie

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    Yes, Diane, this is Linda Isler. She'd been in the same pot and in a resting area since she arrived. She gave me a few more gorgeous blooms and then noticed another pbulb getting mushy today (the base in the picture). Unfortunately it was the pbulb with the two spikes.
    The base of the pbulb I cut is white and firm. She seemed to be getting comfortable with my area, so decided to try to repot today. The center of the root ball was slightly damp but no rot at all that I could see. I maybe a bit over my head for this challenge but I'm trying and she is worth it!
    Actually, been working all day on removing the old medium from the roots and what you see in the picture is the result so far. Have gotten about 2/3 of the stuff out. Loosened the roots in a physan bath and sterilized my stuff. After my arms got tired, I doused her with HO and put her on a rack to drain and rest. Will continue tomorrow.
    Thanks for the comments about the roots, Julie. I thought I was killing her with every one I damaged. But I keep remembering you say "Breathe! Breathe!" so I kept going. Ya'll think good thoughts for Linda, and thanks for the help. Any suggestions are most welcome, ya'll!

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    It's tough love, Tami! You're doing the right thing!

    Can't type much more - there's an attention starved cat sitting on my keyboard and getting fur stuck to my face - I was gone all day!

    McJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper View Post
    It's tough love, Tami! You're doing the right thing!

    Can't type much more - there's an attention starved cat sitting on my keyboard and getting fur stuck to my face - I was gone all day!

    McJ

    Ive got the same problem,but with two cats.

    I go along with what had already been said but the cut in the first photo looks a bit brown to me.I was going to say that it may have to be cut further back to the white rhyzome.

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    Murray, the brown you see on the rhyzome is the cinnamon I sprinkled on after surgery. After cut, the base was very white. So I should leave the (what seems to be ) healthy rhyzome and roots?
    The root ball in the second pic is AFTER I removed most of the old potting material. I know it looks packed; I used tweezers. Do I need to trim roots, pry them apart more, or just stuff some bark/charcoal loosely back inside the ball and around it?
    Man, I wish I had a nice furry pest wanting attention right now (I miss Tinker Toy). Been out fishing in the gulf with the kids today. Caught two Kings and missed a bunch more. Great day though! Just wish I could get the junk out from under my fingernails. Papa drives the boat, I bait the hooks (how did THAT happen?)., but son-in-law is learning quick. Mo betta to we get fin' fat fish!
    Thanks for all the help; as another poster said," Maybe I'm over analyzing!"
    Tami

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    This may be considered a sin by some, but I would thin the roots. They'll grow new ones where needed.

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    I think breaking that solid packed ball up, you'll drop roots in the process. I wouldn't embark on root-thinning, till there was quite a bit more air space on the ones you've got. You probably wouldn't need to thin at all.

    I was repotting (haven't quite finished) a densely packed Onc hybrid this evening. It dropped lots of roots as I worked all the potting material free. Onc's are more fragile; they come away quite easily. So open up the center first, before you thin the forest. It will thin itself, I would guess.

    McJulie

  10. #10
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    Keep opening up the root ball.I find that a bamboo skewer is the best,work into the center and remove any brown roots that are in there.You are going in the right direction

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