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Thread: Help: Burrageara and Odontocidium

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Help: Burrageara and Odontocidium

    I am relatively new to growing orchids. I started with a number of Phalaenopsis, all of which are dead. About a year and a half ago I found two lovely specimens: a Burrageara and an Odontocidium (Pacific spotted star). At present I am having some issues with one of them but I don’t know which is which anymore. Let me describe what is happening.

    I believe that the Odontocidium is the one I am having the issue with. The original pot came with 3 very healthy pseudobulbs, two of which had produced a spike with several blooms. This was a year and a half ago. The psuedobulbs are now quite furrowed but still green although they have now developed some browning. The psuedobulbs are slightly spongy to the touch. The best description I can give is that they look like not quite ready raisons. There are no longer leaves. The one positive thing I have noticed is that there is pseudobulb/baby(?) starting off one of the “parents”. This has been present now for about 6 months and has not grown much. I do water once a week, allowing the substrate (bark) to drain. I feed about every 2 weeks. It is kept in a sunny room but not in direct light.

    The other plant is quite the opposite. Over the last 6 months or so the “parent” (there was only one pseudobulb) has shot up 5 new “babies”. Some of these have what I think are called “air roots” but unlike the Phalaenopsis, they are very thin and white and there is no bulbous cap on them. I care for this plant the same as the above.
    What I would like to know is what am I doing wrong with the one that is not growing.

    Also, with the one that is growing, should the “babies” be left where they are or should they be separated? Also, do these plants bloom only once in their life or should I be expecting future flowering?

    I don’t know if my region would be helpful. I live in Ontario Canada the plant hardiness zone is 4a/b.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Starting with the easy questions--
    The pbulbs only bloom once...new blooms will come from new growths. But, the old ones still contribute to the plant's health. Your "babies" are new growths. You should leave them until the plant gets big enough that you need to divide (to keep size in check), or want to do so (to get more plants). When you divide, you always want each division to have at least 3 pbulbs (generally) to have strong plants.

    These are members of the oncidium family. Having thin roots is normal for them. Having roots that wave about in the air is also quite normal. These orchids don't want to completely dry out (but close) between waterings.

    One sounds quite happy. The other, not so much. Many oncids have deeply furrowed older pbulbs...but they are normally firm, not spongey. I'm afraid your roots may have rotted. The new growth will develop its own roots, if all else is well, but it may take it a while to "come back". Personally, I'd unpot and check out the roots & the media.

    Hope this is helpful. Posting a pic of it would also help us help you. Good luck!

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