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  #11  
Old 08-03-2020, 07:16 PM
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Roberta Roberta is online now
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If you're using LECA, there are lots of people on the Board that use it... I mostly use bark, but your humidity is much higher than mine. I think that a good drying-out will tell you if there are more serious problems with the rhizome... if it is firm, black on the outside is probably not a problem. If soft, then surgery may be in the cards... if rot gets into the rhizome and starts up the pseudobulbs, it can progress quickly. Since the pseudobulbs are nice and green, that's likely not the issue. Also, once those icky roots dry out, you'll be able to "comb" through them with your fingers, find out what is firmly attached and what isn't. So don't be in a rush to pot it up.
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2020, 07:34 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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Has anybody mentioned KelpMax yet? I would highly recommend it. I apply it to my plants months at a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water, and it helps them grow more roots and be more robust.

For sick plants, I use 2 tablespoons per gallon. Soak the entire plant in the KelpMax solution for a couple hours before you pot it, then water it with regular strength KelpMax every other week or so. That will encourage new root growth.
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2020, 07:39 PM
bunnylotus bunnylotus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
If you're using LECA, there are lots of people on the Board that use it... I mostly use bark, but your humidity is much higher than mine. I think that a good drying-out will tell you if there are more serious problems with the rhizome... if it is firm, black on the outside is probably not a problem. If soft, then surgery may be in the cards... if rot gets into the rhizome and starts up the pseudobulbs, it can progress quickly. Since the pseudobulbs are nice and green, that's likely not the issue. Also, once those icky roots dry out, you'll be able to "comb" through them with your fingers, find out what is firmly attached and what isn't. So don't be in a rush to pot it up.

Got it! Yes our humidity in TX is off the charts. I also have a humidifier that I use in the back half of our house (where my orchids are) sometimes because it can get dry with the AC on.

Hmm, interesting. The black part (now it looks just light brown almost dead / dried out), on the rhizome right now is completely firm / hard. There's no squish anywhere. But the pseudobulbs attached are yellowing where they meet the rhizome. Above the "surface" they're green. I attached another pic so you can see the gradient I'm talking about.

How long do you think I should let the Cattleya dry out for?

Thank you for your help!
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Help me save my Cattleya :-(-img_4770-jpg   Help me save my Cattleya :-(-img_4769-jpg   Help me save my Cattleya :-(-img_4772-jpg  
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  #14  
Old 08-03-2020, 07:49 PM
bunnylotus bunnylotus is offline
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Originally Posted by JScott View Post
Has anybody mentioned KelpMax yet? I would highly recommend it. I apply it to my plants months at a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water, and it helps them grow more roots and be more robust.

For sick plants, I use 2 tablespoons per gallon. Soak the entire plant in the KelpMax solution for a couple hours before you pot it, then water it with regular strength KelpMax every other week or so. That will encourage new root growth.
Yes, Roberta did. I am actually ordering it right now!! My boyfriend is going to be wondering why all these packages are coming to the house this week...I keep telling him the orchid craze is just beginning...only thing keeping me sane during COVID!

To clarify your kelpmax watering. When i am getting ready to repot my Cattleya I should soak it in the 2 TBSP per gallon solution for a few hours. Then after that water it with the the regular 1 TBSP per gallon. And do that every other week there after. Just want to confirm I followed that correctly :-)

Thank yoU!

---------- Post added at 05:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:45 PM ----------

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Most welcome BL. Also remember that very dry bark repels water. So if you do use bark and it's very dry, soak it for an adequate duration in water before using it for potting. Eg. soak for a while, and then drain for a while. And then use it.

Also - some fungus that may grow on the surface of bark can make the bark water repellent too - so that the bark can't absorb the water - which can cause dehydration issues for orchids.

So when using bark, if the pot feels relatively light after the water has run out the bottom of it ------ then that's a sign of very dry bark ----- which means needing to check the bark.
Great tip. Thanks for sharing. This would explain the medium in my velvet melody dendrobium post watering - still feels dry sometimes!
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  #15  
Old 08-03-2020, 07:54 PM
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First, the yellowing pseudobulbs... those two are probably done. Rootless, and on their way out. The plant will suck them dry. But in other pictures, the upper part of the plant has lots of others that look fine. So don't sweat those two oldest ones. There's plenty of newer growth (that produced all those roots) that will be the source of the new growth that revives the plant. Even on the healthiest plant, old pseudobulbs lose roots and eventually die. That part is just force of nature.

You have the kelpmax part pretty much right. I think that after the first soak, the normal regimen is only once a month. Ray is the expert on that part - and the bottle will come with clear instructions.
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  #16  
Old 08-03-2020, 08:08 PM
bunnylotus bunnylotus is offline
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Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
First, the yellowing pseudobulbs... those two are probably done. Rootless, and on their way out. The plant will suck them dry. But in other pictures, the upper part of the plant has lots of others that look fine. So don't sweat those two oldest ones. There's plenty of newer growth (that produced all those roots) that will be the source of the new growth that revives the plant. Even on the healthiest plant, old pseudobulbs lose roots and eventually die. That part is just force of nature.

You have the kelpmax part pretty much right. I think that after the first soak, the normal regimen is only once a month. Ray is the expert on that part - and the bottle will come with clear instructions.

Rodger that! Glad my instinct was right there. And very glad to hear that that's part of the Cattleya's normal cycle. I was concerned. Yes, there are tons of other pseudobulbs on top that are all green. Once those older pseudobulbs die, will they just dry out and break off the rhizome? Will I need to cut that part of the rhizome at all once that happens?

And thanks for the clarification on the Kelpmax that helps.
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  #17  
Old 08-03-2020, 08:23 PM
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Yes, there are tons of other pseudobulbs on top that are all green. Once those older pseudobulbs die, will they just dry out and break off the rhizome? Will I need to cut that part of the rhizome at all once that happens?
Actually, those old dead pseudobulbs will pretty much just sit there. At some point, when all is healthy and you repot, you may find that they're joining together two active parts of the plant and if you cut them off (like to fit the plant into the pot) you end up with two plants. At that point, you can either put both parts in the same pot, or put in separate pots and have two plants. You need to get it healthy first, but at some point it will climb out of the pot... and at that point you can remove old leafless pseudobulbs and divide. For future reference, though, you always want to have at least 3-4 firm, green pseudobulbs (with or without leaves) in any division... less than that and you end up with weak plants. Personally, I like to grow 'em big... the more active growths, the more flowers. In general, pot size should allow about 2 years' growth, no more... an over-potted plant tends to end up with an airless, wet spot in the middle. So, they like to be on the potbound side.
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  #18  
Old 08-03-2020, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
Actually, those old dead pseudobulbs will pretty much just sit there. At some point, when all is healthy and you repot, you may find that they're joining together two active parts of the plant and if you cut them off (like to fit the plant into the pot) you end up with two plants. At that point, you can either put both parts in the same pot, or put in separate pots and have two plants. You need to get it healthy first, but at some point it will climb out of the pot... and at that point you can remove old leafless pseudobulbs and divide. For future reference, though, you always want to have at least 3-4 firm, green pseudobulbs (with or without leaves) in any division... less than that and you end up with weak plants. Personally, I like to grow 'em big... the more active growths, the more flowers. In general, pot size should allow about 2 years' growth, no more... an over-potted plant tends to end up with an airless, wet spot in the middle. So, they like to be on the potbound side.
Fascinating, how cool. Good to know to not cut/remove until absolutely ready with the number of firm, healthy bulbs. I think I would prefer a larger plant as well, and hopefully as soon as this Cattleya is healthy again I will get me some nice flowers. I am dying to see this bloom - the photos of when it was in bloom before I purchased were incredible!

So I suppose when I put this in that 8in pot that will be its pot for the next several years until it is totally outgrown and ready to size up or divide. Amazing the things I have learned today. That's my favorite part about having orchids. It's like getting to be a scientist! You never know what you might discover in a day!
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  #19  
Old 08-03-2020, 09:04 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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Originally Posted by bunnylotus View Post

To clarify your kelpmax watering. When i am getting ready to repot my Cattleya I should soak it in the 2 TBSP per gallon solution for a few hours. Then after that water it with the the regular 1 TBSP per gallon. And do that every other week there after. Just want to confirm I followed that correctly :-)

Thank yoU!
Yes, you have it right. Soak it in 2tbsp per gallon at first, then water every other week with 1tbsp per gallon. After roots have grown and the plant has returned to relatively decent health, or is at least on the road to recovery, you can reduce KelpMax application to once a month at the regular concentration (1tbsp per gallon). You should treat all of your plants once a month with KelpMax at regular concentration. You will visibly notice a change in your plants and their increased vigor. It really is amazing stuff.
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  #20  
Old 08-03-2020, 09:04 PM
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Sure! Also... when you repot, look at where the newest growth(s) are coming out, and where the old part is. Put the OLDEST part of the plant against one side of the pot, so that the new growth(s) have a maximum amount of space. If you have growth in more than one direction, this can be a guess. But the habit of a Cattleya is to grow along that rhizome (or might have more than one if it has already branched into a "V" so it's very "directional". Aesthetically, you might think that the center of the pot is the place, but it's not going to stay there... so place it for the maximum growing room going forward.
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