C. Intermedia Remount/Vacation Dehydration/Growth Questions
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Old 06-09-2024, 02:51 PM
galguibra galguibra is offline
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C. Intermedia Remount/Vacation Dehydration/Growth Questions
Question C. Intermedia Remount/Vacation Dehydration/Growth Questions

Hey all! I posted a couple weeks ago about a C. intermedia seedling I'd mounted up on some cork bark, and I got a lot of really helpful responses! This is my first orchid, so I really appreciate the support I'm back with some more questions and what I think is a slightly better mounting set-up, so I'm hoping someone on here can give it a look for me.

I wasn't originally planning on remounting the little guy since there were already some new roots coming in and I didn't wanna risk doing more harm than good, but after a long weekend out of town for some friends' wedding (SO cute btw, they're preposterously in love) it ended up becoming a necessity.

I had set up a humidifier, soaked the mount and covered all the roots in some sphagnum I'd soaked overnight, set out some dishes of water to evaporate, and grouped all my plants together to conserve humidity while I was gone. When I got back after four days, though, some of the older roots had unfortunately completely desiccated, and since they'd retracted from the floral wire pins, the seedling had started to come loose on the mount.

I trimmed off the dead roots and made sure to give it plenty of water, but since I needed to reattach it anyway, I figured now would be a good time to try and make some of the adjustments people had suggested on the first thread I posted. If any of you has any good vacation contingency plans for when you can't find a plant sitter, that'd definitely be appreciated, but mostly I'm looking for some input on this remount and the rehydration process. It's looking mostly okay and the pseudobulbs are nice and smooth, but one or two of the leaves are still pretty wrinkly. I also went ahead and carefully removed the dried sheathes, since they were looking a little suspect and were starting to come off on their own anyway.

I'm also a bit confused about the growth pattern, since it looks like the bigger pseudobulbs are unifoliate, and the smaller ones are bifoliate, and I can't quite tell if a new growth near the top is a new root or an incoming pseudobulb. Anyway, here's some pictures of the remount, which—like usual—I only ever seem to remember to take immediately after watering:

  • Left View:

  • Right View:

  • Top View: (Note the wrinkly leaf)

  • Bottom View:
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Old 06-09-2024, 05:05 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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C. Intermedia Remount/Vacation Dehydration/Growth Questions Male

I'm a practical person. In my opinion mounts don't work in a low humidity home unless you figure out some way to water them every day or so, even when you're on vacation.

That may mean a terrarium with an automatic misting system, enclosing them in a tight jar while you're out of town, or something else. Seedlings are even less tolerant of drying out than are mature plants.
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Old 06-09-2024, 05:50 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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C. Intermedia Remount/Vacation Dehydration/Growth Questions Female

Unless they're very rotted (and thus a possible disease vector) in general I would advise against cutting roots - even if the velamin falls of, the core of the root can still passibely hydrate the plant, and also can be helpful in anchoring the plant in place (absolutely vital so that new roots have a chance to establish without wobbling). A dessicated root is not necessarily dead, eitherr. To that was first mistake... especially if the plant is somewhat dehydrted. No matter hwo much you water, if there are few roots, the plant can't benefit, roots are the only mechaninism for taking up water.

Most mature C. intermedia growths will be bifoliate. There will always be a few that have just one leaf, but as the plant matures, more will have two leaves. At any rate, if you are growing it well, new growths will become larger than the older ones, but they do take time to grow, On a baby plant like this, not an indicator of which way the plant is growing. You need to observe the plant - wtih experience you will improve your skill at determining its growth direction.

For a short absence you can put a plastig bag over the plant to raise humidity in the immediate area of tghe plant. ES is right, it does need regular watering. If you are gone for more than a weekend or so, you will need to come up with a setup to water in your absence. That is very definitely the downside of mounting - a potted plant can go withoug water for a lot longer than a mounted plant. But alsi, a mature plant (especially in the Cattleya group) can go longer than a seedling. There aren't any shortcuts... you can also put some sphagnum over the roots (NOT between the plant and the mount) to hold some more water for a little longer, take it off once you can water "on schedule" You can tie it in place with fish line (which is what I use for mounting generally...)

Now, the plant does not look particularly dehydrated - pseutobulbs are nice and fat. Plants like this have evolved to manage with "drought" - rain does not fall every day. If p-bulbs shrivel, then you do have a dehydration problem (which can be caused by lack of water, but more often by lack of roots). And if it happens, they don't readilly get plump again, everyting is sloowwww. But I don't think that you hit that situation.
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