Advice needed with FDK After Dark - forced winter rest needed?
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  #1  
Old 11-25-2017, 11:02 PM
mexicowpants mexicowpants is offline
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Advice needed with FDK After Dark - forced winter rest needed? Male
Default Advice needed with FDK After Dark - forced winter rest needed?

A friend of mine has had this FDK After Dark for about 18 months now. She brought it round to mine because she wanted a bit of advice on it, as it's never flowered for her.

It has 2 "new" PBs forming -- I say "new", as one of them is 6 months old now, and the other (marginally larger) one is a little over a year (!) old. Neither of them appear to have any viable roots, and the larger of the 2 is hanging onto the previous PB by a thread. Leaves are all healthy-looking, and the older PB is still putting out new leaves (!). I unpotted it to get a better idea of what's going on.

What I found was a really tightly packed ball of predominantly dead roots and decomposing pine bark. I trimmed off what dead roots I could, but got a bit scared of going any further for fear of damaging what viable roots were still alive in the knot. As already stated, the "new" growths have few to no viable roots, and appear to be surviving off of whatever remaining roots the old PBs have in the middle of that tightly-packed mess (I'm guessing there aren't too many of them, either).

Could anyone recommend how to proceed with this plant? My guess would be that it needs a period of dormancy so it can put out at least one new growth and start growing some much-needed new roots.

Thoughts?

PS: Sorry about the sideways photos, just spent an hour trying to correct it, no dice. The forum obviously doesn't like my new phone.
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2017, 01:25 AM
estación seca estación seca is offline
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Advice needed with FDK After Dark - forced winter rest needed? Male
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Fred Clarke has detailed instructions on his Web site. Look for Orchid Culture then Catasetinae.

He recommends decreasing watering as fall progresses and stopping completely at the end of December in the Northern Hemisphere, which should result in the plants dropping their leaves.

Most people recommend not repotting until new roots are just emerging, and not repotting when new roots are so long you might damage them with repotting. Fred said in a lecture to our society he doesn't think old roots have more than 5% functionality, so damaging old roots like yours isn't usually a problem heading into dormancy, though most Catasetum growers wouldn't repot this time of year. I have read some growers winter Catasetums out of the pot sideways on dry benches, and I have read some cut off the roots each winter after plants are completely dormant. I have not read of people posting nowadays to OB doing anything this extreme.

Here on OB people have written that growers in Hawaii, where temperatures are reliably over 55 F / 13C, can water theirs all year. They stay in leaf, grow and bloom normally. I can't give the exact reference but I have read it in old threads multiple times. Of course Mexico City gets a lot colder than that.

I edited this to say what I wrote above was unclear. Parts of Hawaii experience temperatures below 55 F. I should have written above, "Here on OB people have written that growers, in those parts of Hawaii where temperatures are reliably over 55 F / 13C, can water theirs all year."

Modern phones seem not to preserve orientation information, and regard all photos as landscape orientation. If you have image manipulation software on your phone you can open the image, rotate it 90 degrees in any direction, save the image, reopen it, rotate it to the proper orientation and save it again. It should now upload properly. This also works if you transfer the image to your desktop and use an image processing program to do the same. The simple old Windows Image Viewer will suffice. Of course you probably are trying to avoid using a desktop.

Last edited by estación seca; 11-26-2017 at 01:28 PM..
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2017, 01:47 AM
mexicowpants mexicowpants is offline
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Thanks for the info, it's nice to know I was thi9nking along the right lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
Here on OB people have written that growers in Hawaii, where temperatures are reliably over 55 F / 13C, can water theirs all year. They stay in leaf, grow and bloom normally. I can't give the exact reference but I have read it in old threads multiple times. Of course Mexico City gets a lot colder than that.
Heh, yeah, it's already colder than that at night now. 7C when I got up this morning.

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Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
Modern phones seem not to preserve orientation information, and regard all photos as landscape orientation. If you have image manipulation software on your phone you can open the image, rotate it 90 degrees in any direction, save the image, reopen it, rotate it to the proper orientation and save it again. It should now upload properly. This also works if you transfer the image to your desktop and use an image processing program to do the same. The simple old Windows Image Viewer will suffice. Of course you probably are trying to avoid using a desktop.
Actually using a desktop (yeah, I'm weird like that). I rotated the images a couple of times, it's made no difference whatsoever. Kind of irritating, as I never had any trouble before with my LG G3. I miss that phone.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:00 AM
bil bil is offline
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I have that problem so much that I try to avoid taking portrait shots. Resaving the image in any rotation does no good.

WRTo the plant. I wouldn't cut those roots if I were you. Just pot what is left in moss and keep it wet. If the leaves fall, stop watering, let it dry and go into dormancy, and wait for it to start growing again next year.

Catasetinae are a lot less rigid in their requirements than people think.

As to flowering, my FDK leaves it till quite late, after most of the leaves are gone, unlike some others that are flowering now when the plant still has all its leaves.

After all this the plant may decide not to flower, damaged Catasetinae often don't. Also if it hasn't had good growing conditions, ie lotsa light, high temps and mucho fertiliser, that too may prevent or reduce flowering.
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:47 AM
estación seca estación seca is offline
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It's interesting you can't fix the photo rotation issue, even on a desktop. What software?

Try this: Open photo, rotate, save, close program. Open photo, rotate to desired orientation, save, close program. Upload. What happens?
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:14 PM
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fishmom fishmom is offline
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I use a laptop with Apple Photos and Firefox. I've never been able to solve the orientation problem either, but I will try the "double rotation" routine and see what happens. Thanks!

And I think bil's advice about the plant is right on. I wouldn't disturb the plant any more. I'd continue to water lightly and let the plant decide when to go dormant and start growing again. I much prefer to repot when the new growth has just started so I can give the plant the best possible orientation in the pot.

Last edited by fishmom; 11-26-2017 at 01:18 PM..
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:42 PM
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The lack of good roots on the new growth tells me there is a cultural problem, so blooms are unlikely. I'm not sure if this plant was wiggled while the roots were growing or watering commenced too early and/or too quickly so the new roots stopped growing before reaching a useful size. You can probably just leave the plant as it is and throw it in a pot without new media. Water as normal, but the quick drying nature of a plant with no media will send the plant into dormancy in a week or two. After the leaves fall off, then begin watering again in spring/summer, per Fred Clarke's link posted above.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2017, 02:53 AM
mexicowpants mexicowpants is offline
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test photo -- well, that seemed to work! Thanks! Awful lot of faffing around, though... Need to see how much it'll cost to get my G3 repaired, if only for use as a camera.

Oh, and thanks for the advice on the plant, guys.
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Last edited by mexicowpants; 11-28-2017 at 02:57 AM..
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