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  #1  
Old 09-10-2019, 10:16 AM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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Default Relatively light watering of roots

I have decided to very lightly water the new emerging roots of a whole bunch of my Fdk., Clo., Monn., and Mo. Painted Desert plants that are coming out of dormancy. This is to see what happens ----- ie. will the root growth become stalled. If it turns out to be a 'told you so' situation later, then that's ok. I'll take one for the team. Otherwise, if everything turns out fine, then I'll report on the outcome(s) later.

At the moment, I'm just giving light sprays of water with the wand water sprayer (which I use for watering my orchids). Spraying roots, and even lightly wetting the spaghnum (surrounded by rocks) medium. Definitely not a good idea to have the media really wet at this point, as the plant isn't going to be getting much water into it.

I'm mainly interested to see if the new root growth will stall all of a sudden. This test isn't about a need or desire to water these plants before they even have enough leaf growth.

Relatively light watering of roots-cataset1-jpg

Relatively light watering of roots-cataset2-jpg
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Relatively light watering of roots-cataset1-jpg   Relatively light watering of roots-cataset2-jpg  

Last edited by SouthPark; 09-10-2019 at 10:18 PM..
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:26 AM
rbarata rbarata is offline
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I don't onwn any of those but that's what I do. Probably the result will be good.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:28 AM
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I don't onwn any of those but that's what I do. Probably the result will be good.
Thanks for mentioning that you've been down this alley already rbarata!
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:10 PM
mook1178 mook1178 is offline
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I think this thread would be helpful for you to read through.

Catasetum - To water or not to water ?
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mook1178 View Post
I think this thread would be helpful for you to read through.

Catasetum - To water or not to water ?
Thanks mook! I saw that thread in the past. Maybe my memory could be wrong, but I think I recalled that their test was to water the roots on the 'other side' of the growth. Maybe they ended up watering everything - not sure.

My test here is ----- very lightly water everything, brand new roots and surrounding media.

The media is fairly tightly packed spaghnum around the bulk of the media roots, surrounded bottom and sides with volcanic rock (scoria) ....... in very good drainage plastic pots. In the near future, I'm also going to put 1 established plant in pure volcanic rock - no spaghnum.

Last edited by SouthPark; 09-10-2019 at 06:32 PM..
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:40 PM
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I'll make this my update post, and will only update with this post (- future edits done here).

Update 1 : It's 9 days later, and just observing no stopping or hold-up of root and shoot growth. All these plants coming out of dormancy are growing nicely. Each day, I spray water on the roots all around the sides of the plant ----- spraying new roots and all. And making the media lightly moist/damp ----- lightly moist/damp throughout the day. Good air-circulation - allowing drying/evaporation to occur. This experiment started with little to no new root growth. Started soon after very small new growth began to emerge from the dormant bulbs (leafless) that had been sitting in their same growing pots - in totally try media during their dormancy.

Update 2: 18 days later (relative to initial post). New roots all increasing in length on all plants. Some of the new roots are approximately 4 cm long.

Update 3: 40 days later (relative to initial post). Roots continue to increase in length - all plants. New leaves getting much longer. The plants are just growing nicely.

Update 4: 58 days later. Roots are strong. No problem - all plants. Observations are indicating lightly watering the roots of catasetum type plants does not stunt the roots or growth of the plant. It is likely in my opinion that not enough air-circulation in the wet medium is what harms or kills the roots and/or plant. I will later show photos of all the plants seen in the opening post for this experiment.

Last edited by SouthPark; 11-08-2019 at 04:39 PM..
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthPark View Post
I will later show photos of all the plants seen in the opening post for this experiment.
Update 5: 60 days later. This is a photograph update - photos taken 20 minutes or so ago.

I'm reporting that continued light watering of roots of my catasetum type plants (Fdk., Mo., Monn., Clo.) has not stunted the growth of the roots or the plants. They continue to power-on strongly.

An interesting leaf-rotting event occurred, which abruptly swept across every single one of my catasetum type plants. This was noticed about 2 weeks ago. The issue was the same - for every one of them - relatively small isolated thinning patches at the base regions of the newest leaves - basically crown region. Yes indeed ..... this was happening to all my catasetum type plants - every one of them - big and small.

Responding to that situation - I applied Yates Anti-Rot phosacid (systematic fungicide, based on phosphorous acid) - sprayed onto the leaves and stem, then watched all plants like a hawk. That sorted it very successfully. The light rot regions have dried up. The leaves are growing at such a nice rate that the new leaves have pushed those dried regions out, which only now appear as 'bands' or patterns across the new leaves.

Watering was temporarily halted for a few days for pot dryout during this short treatment time. I resumed light watering after that.

No issues with the roots. The leaves were never purposely wetted except for the time when spider mites came along. The spider mites did their 'eating work' on a couple of Fdk. plants, which prompted for some natra soap spray for treating those plants, which was sprayed onto leaves and into crowns of all the other catasetum type plants ----- but all plants were manually tilted and tipped over to drain as much natra soap solution as possible from the crown pockets. So maybe that had something to do with the recent spate of light rot.

The systematic fungicide worked excellently. The plants are doing great.

Attached are photos. All the plants from the original photos (from the opening post) that came out of dormancy are doing excellently. At this point, I believe that light wetting of new roots (of any length) of catasetum type orchids does not kill or stunt their roots.

I'm speculating that the issue (that people get with early watering of roots) is along the lines of not enough air-circulation in the media or roots, leading to stagnation and issues with the roots and plant health in general. Eg. root suffocation in dense media, or even something nasty (fungal/bacterial) activity occurring in the media - due to poor air circulation or 'airyness' (not enough water movement through the media), which then probably stunts the growth and sets the plant back.

Relatively light watering of roots-catasetum-family2-jpg


Relatively light watering of roots-catasetum-family3-jpg


Relatively light watering of roots-catasetum-family4-jpg
Above: the two Fdk. plants at the top had a spider-mite visit, which prompted natra soap spraying. All other plants were sprayed with natra soap too - leaves, crown etc. The leaves and crowns of these plants usually do not get wet usually.


Relatively light watering of roots-catasetum-family1-jpg
Above: showing the 'patterns' on the new leaves. Remnants of the dried up rot activity - that had earlier appeared around the crown area. Leaf growth is so fast, that the old rot activity merely appears as dried yellow/brown patterns on the leaves.
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Relatively light watering of roots-catasetum-family1-jpg   Relatively light watering of roots-catasetum-family2-jpg   Relatively light watering of roots-catasetum-family3-jpg   Relatively light watering of roots-catasetum-family4-jpg  

Last edited by SouthPark; Today at 02:25 AM..
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