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  #1  
Old 02-21-2010, 01:29 AM
Erinmir Erinmir is offline
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Question Don't want to kill another Zygopetalum...

Hi all!

I'm a bit of a lurker here, posted a few times, but mostly just read. I'm looking for a bit of help with my Zygopetalum "Syd Monkhouse".

My mom and I went to an orchid show in Cleveland last year on a special "girls only" trip we took together. I bought a Zygopetalum from a local grower and she chose a Dendrobium. The plant did wonderfully for me for a long time and was putting out new growths and then my cat got curious and basically destroyed the poor thing. Unpotted it twice, tore up most of its lovely long leaves... you get the picture.

Well, my hubby, being the sweetie he is and knowing what that 'chid meant to me, took the ID tag, called the grower and got me a replacement. (Yep, he's a keeper!)

I'm trying not to kill this one. My issues are these:
When it arrived the pseudobulbs were plump almost to bursting, now they're all shrively and I"m not sure what to do to plump them back up. Should I soak it for awhile in a dish of water? I've heard not to spray or get Zygo leaves wet... is that true? I should mention that it arrived in bud and has since bloomed and the flowers have just dropped off. Also, on some of the leaves, I've been noticing black spots developing towards the ends that look similar to black spots that bananas get when they start to go overripe. The leaves start to yellow around the black spots and this seems to spread pretty quickly. I've cut a few of the leaves back to try to stop this from spreading if it is indeed a disease of some kind... am I doing the right thing? Or are these just leaves that are old and dying back on their own?

I noticed a new growth starting at the back of one of the pseudobulbs today so it must be doing alright. (?) Also, the roots were plump and pale and lovely when it arrived and since some seem to be dying off. Since the blooms are done and the 'chid is definitely in need of a new pot (tight root ball, pseudobulbs hanging over the pot), I assume just trimming off the older roots will be ok... should I do anything else?

Sorry this was so lengthy... I just don't want to kill another one (even though hubby swears the first was the cat's fault and not mine) Zygos are simply my favorite orchids and I'd really like to do well by this plant!

Thanks in advance!!
Erinmir
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2010, 07:15 AM
Sandrilene Sandrilene is offline
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I would maybe soak it its hard to say without pictures though. The spots can be a normal thing But if they are spreading you may want to treat them to be on the safe side. Only cut roots that are dead or rotting don't cut the other ones or you may stunt the plants growth. Your plant also may be getting a little too much light or simply not enough water but again without pictures it is really hard to say.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2010, 09:23 AM
mojomick mojomick is offline
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Don't want to kill another Zygopetalum... Female
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Zygos hate to be repotted and will often sulk after being taken out of the pot. So patience and good research is a must.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2010, 11:16 AM
Erinmir Erinmir is offline
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Ok... I've got some pictures attached and possibly some answers.

I've been doing more reading and from several sources I've discovered that Zygos should not be allowed to become pot bound as this increases the risk of the possibility of root rot. Shortly after this 'chid arrived, it took a tumble from a short table as a result of its pot not weighing enough to offset how top heavy the plant is which caused no damage to the plant but cracked the plastic pot it is in. It is definitely pot bound at least in my estimation. This could be the cause of the root dieback at least in part, so perhaps not my fault.

I also caught on another culture sheet from a grower that "pits or brown freckles" can appear towards the ends of Zygo leaves as a result of underwatering. One of the other cited problems with pot-bound Zygos is that as a result it is easy to under-water them.

In either case, I'm attaching some pictures of the 'chid to see if anyone has any other ideas. I'm definitely going to repot the big guy today as its pot is in terrible shape and from what I've read all signs point to repotting just after the blooms have dropped.

I'd be open to any other advice or ideas offered!

Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Don't want to kill another Zygopetalum...-100_3025-jpg-jpg   Don't want to kill another Zygopetalum...-100_3026-jpg-jpg   Don't want to kill another Zygopetalum...-100_3027-jpg-jpg   Don't want to kill another Zygopetalum...-100_3028-jpg-jpg   Don't want to kill another Zygopetalum...-100_3003-jpg  

Don't want to kill another Zygopetalum...-100_3012-jpg  
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2010, 05:04 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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How often are you watering?

What is the temperature range where it's growing? Include day time temperatures, night time temperartures, and seasonal temperatures.

Is it receiving some air movement?

How strong is the lighting?

1. Pseudobulbs are fine. They naturally do that as the pseudobulbs age. However, they shouldn't continue shriveling down to nothing very rapidly.

2. The leaves may be showing signs of temperature distress with the spotting.

3. While there are dead roots, there are also quite a few good ones. Since the plant is incredibly potbound, I wouldn't mess with it by cleaning off dead roots - at the moment.

4. Pot it up. As in give it a pot size that's just a little larger than the roots - preferably using 1/2" increments; for example instead of jumping from 3" pots to 4" pots, go from 3" pots to 3 1/2" pots. Be sure to wet the roots during the entire repottting process. Wetting the roots makes orchid roots pretty pliable and easier to work with. They're less prone to damage compared to when they're dry.

5. It only gets a brief dry out period between watering. They like lots of water.

6. Roots can photosynthesize. I recommend using a clear plastic pot to see the roots and to allow them to photosynthesize.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 02-21-2010 at 05:43 PM..
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2010, 05:14 PM
dozer1028 dozer1028 is offline
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More shows in Cleveland area in a few week... Come on over.......
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2010, 06:10 PM
orkie orkie is offline
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I have one Zygo and have had both issues you've had, so here's my experience.

Whrn I bought plant it had no spots on leaves and quickly started getting them with the spotchly bits on some of the ends. I trimmed those off to help keep them from spreading (the big parts, not any of the fine speckling, which can be caused by misting). Once the plant seemed to adjust to my house (about 1 month), I no longer got any of those big blotches at the ends.

I sometimes don't water as much as my zygo would like and get wrinkled bulbs. So I'll soak the plant for 2 hours or so in the sink or a bucket and then it gets all plumped up again. Seems to work well with no harm to my plant.


Good luck!
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2010, 08:13 PM
Erinmir Erinmir is offline
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Ok... lesse...

Watering: 1x per week minimum, spritzing the media with water when it seems slightly drier (its dry here in the winter)

Current Temps:
Daytime Temp: 75-80 daytime as the plant is in a South window, warmer in the afternoon times

Night Temp: probably around 65-70-ish as it is by a window that is prone to drafts.

It does get some air movement as I am much like orchids and don't like still air. There is a small fan and an air vent near the plant that keep it moving, not a lot but enough to prevent stagnant air.

I'm honestly not exactly sure about the lighting strength. It is in a South window that gets a lot of sunlight from about 10am till around 3-4 pm. I also have a grow bulb above the plant, just your garden variety grow spot-light bulb though that I've had for longer than I can remember.

The pseudobulbs seem to be staying about where they are in the pictures. They were plump as can be when it arrived and went downhill within the 2 weeks after it got here. At first we chalked it up to the fact that it was in flower and probably using up a lot of energy and resources. We'll see if it bounces back.

We did repot it today - used a slightly (probably not more than 1/2 inch) bigger pot - used a ceramic pot made for orchids though as the plant is very top heavy and we didn't want any more tumbles for it. I did pick out some of the old media that was rather broken down. We found one side had quite a bit of dead root matter so trimmed it up a bit to try to stem any rot. The roots were TIGHTLY packed together. We tried to loosen them up a little before repotting (we did wet the roots first btw and it did make it easier).

Also, thanks orkie for your personal experiences, I was afraid to soak it longer than 30 min because everything I've read says that they don't like to stand in water. If the bulbs don't make a comeback as a result of the repotting, I'll definitely try bucket soaking to see if that helps. It seems that the spotting is letting up somewhat... I started with just a couple of leaves that way which I've trimmed and I'm watching the two (the only ones like that at the moment) that are in the picture to decide whether to trim them or not.

Thanks again for all the help everyone!
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2010, 08:21 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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I forgot!

Zygos are a bit picky (not too much) with water quality.

They're very prone to leaf tip die back (aka leaf tip burn), due to high levels of dissolved minerals in the water.

Consider the plants from the genus Zygopetalum the hardiest and least picky of the Zygopetalinae (plants related to Zygopetalum from other genera) as far as water quality is concerned!
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2010, 02:52 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Finally got my internet working properly to continue...

The pseudobulbs for your Zygo will not plump up again to it's original state.

Focus on the future. Concentrate on growing big strong, healthy new shoots. These are where the inflorescence is going to emerge anyways, not the older backbulbs. I'm by no means telling you to ignore the backbulbs.

Spikes form on the new shoots before the pseudobulbs are formed. They emerge from the base of the new shoots.
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