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Saving p-bulbs from rotted-out oncidium

This is a discussion on Saving p-bulbs from rotted-out oncidium within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; My huge Sharry Baby got too much rain last fall. I trimmed and repotted, but ...

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  1. #1
    Mirabelle's Avatar
    Mirabelle is offline Junior Member
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    Default Saving p-bulbs from rotted-out oncidium

    My huge Sharry Baby got too much rain last fall. I trimmed and repotted, but it still wasn't happy. Finally last month I took it out again and cut all the rotten roots. There were a few small roots coming from most of the p-bulbs.

    Today I noticed that 3 p-bulbs were rotting. Turns out the entire rhizome was soggy as a sponge! I cut it all of and now have 5 cuttings -- the first photo shows three of them have some promising roots.

    The other two I'm not sure of. What do I do with these? Also, how much of the old brown roots do I need to remove? The way it looks, it would have to shave it off bt I don't have a clue how-- I'm afraid to cut in too much for fear of damaging the new roots. I soaked everything in Physan 20 to be safe.

    Are these worth trying to save? Should I dry them out? Put them in sphag and bag? Help please!
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  2. #2
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Looking at the p-bulbs, you have had a root issue for quite some time. I think what you need to consider is it worth the effort to try to save these, for it will take a few years to get them back to blooming size, if you are successful.
    The hybrid is common and fairly reasonably priced. It might be better for you to get a new one.

    If you want to try to save them, put them in a bark mix and secure them with pot clips so they are stable. keep them on the dry side only watering maybe one time per week and keep the pots in a shaded spot. Running them dry for a bit will encourage the roots to lengthen and search for water.

  3. #3
    Mirabelle's Avatar
    Mirabelle is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the honest feedback. Orchid space is too precious to tie up for a plant that won't flower for a few years -- if it even survives my amateur care. I already have 7 giant rootless catts -- we had a very rainy summer and fall and black rot or fungus hit hard.

    Next summer the plants will definitely have a roof over their heads when they go outdoors.

  4. #4
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Sorry Mirabelle, but I agree with Ron. Order another Sharry Baby if you love it and pass the rootless one on to someone who wants the challenge and has the space. Best wishes.

    Cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
    Kerry's Avatar
    Kerry is offline Too much to learn, let alone re-member!
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    Sorry to hear about your Sharry Baby, but as someone who has a very limited amount of space, whilst it would be really hard to get rid of a loved plant, my main reason for having them is for their flowers.

    I suppose if you were really attached, you could keep one cutting and see what happens. I know I would be tempted to just replace the plant.

  6. #6
    Mirabelle's Avatar
    Mirabelle is offline Junior Member
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    Kerry and all -- you have made me re-think what I've been doing after my fungus epidemic. You are absolutely right -- the fun is in the blooming. I've focused on saving these huge rootless catts, my sharry baby, and others-- because they flowered for me for 3 years or more. Amazing how one epidemic can wipe out so many, and how helpless one feels.

    I've decided to take my "rootless prior performers" and put them someplace where I don't have to look at them every day and get depressed.

    I will focus on the healthy ones and buy new ones.

    Thanks, all, for helping me to get an "orchid life".

  7. #7
    Kerry's Avatar
    Kerry is offline Too much to learn, let alone re-member!
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    I hope I haven't suggested a bad thing, if you are taking my advice.

    I recognise the need of caring for and nursing back to health sick plants, it helps us understand the plants requirements better. However, I can't do it for too many due to space and as long as I learn from my mistake where I have made them, then I will hopefully do better in the future. And somethings, you just can't help when they happen.

    You never know, if they follow the pattern of blooming flowers, you ignoring them could be just the tonic they need.

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