Is there any saving my cattleya with no roots?
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  #1  
Old 03-24-2019, 05:45 PM
jblume1127 jblume1127 is offline
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Is there any saving my cattleya with no roots?
Default Is there any saving my cattleya with no roots?

Hi everyone,

I bought a couple young cattleyas about a year ago and out of the three two are doing great. However, my Golf Green Hair Pig cattleya has struggled from the beginning and I recently discovered it has no roots. Right now I have it sitting loosely in a small mason jar filled with moist sphagnum with a bag to enclose in humidity over the top. The new lead doesn't appear to be growing new roots but there are small bumps on the base of the stem. They don't look like roots so much as small flaps. It was my favorite from the group so I really hope that I'll be able to save it, so any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2019, 10:58 PM
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I have no idea where in the USA you live, but if you are some place that gets good rainfall, and humidity, and that is now getting warmer (temperatures soon staying above 40 F at night), try hanging the whole plant, bare root, in the shade outdoors, where it will get rain but no direct sun over the next few months. This will often encourage Cattleya types to grow and make roots.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:24 PM
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Is there any saving my cattleya with no roots?
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Fortunately, the Cattleya growing season is about to begin. Humidity is important at this stage. If you want to pot it, stake it on top of the medium so that it doesn't wiggle and put it somewhere humid (can be a tall vase, old aquarium....) and with proper Cattleya lighting. Do not move it around. It should soon begin new growth. Good luck!
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:13 PM
jblume1127 jblume1127 is offline
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Is there any saving my cattleya with no roots?
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I live in PA so temperatures are still too low for me to put it outside I think. Do you think it would work similar if I keep the humidifier running and mist it everyday inside?
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:56 AM
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Humidifier might be too wet.

Spraying helps a tiny bit, but not really.

I would just pot it up in a small pot, and water the potting medium and keep it in a place that stays between 65 F - 75 F for the time being. Make sure the potting media has an opportunity to dry out completely before watering again. If there's some place in the house that gets between 65 F to 80 F, even better.

Provide strong indirect light and it might bounce back. There's still a chance that it may not make it, but the odds are still pretty good for it to survive at the moment.

As was mentioned, Cattleya growing season is right around the corner.
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jblume1127 View Post
I live in PA so temperatures are still too low for me to put it outside I think. Do you think it would work similar if I keep the humidifier running and mist it everyday inside?
This is mostly a technique I use outdoors, here in Georgia, where we have the humidity, rain, and temperatures in our favor. It would work in a lot of other southeastern states too. I would suggest one of the other methods proposed since you don't have the needed weather conditions (unless it is still rootless this summer, then you could try it).
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:44 AM
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My approach in such situations is to first, soak the plant in a KelpMax solution to guarantee fast root emergence, then - above all else - find a way to keep it warm and in maximum humidity.

Having no way to readily absorb moisture, but still losing it through transpiration, the plant can desiccate itself to death before growing a sufficient root system. My maximizing the humidity around the plant, you slow those losses, "buying" it more time.

Misting will not be sufficient. Humidifying the room will help, but enclosing the plant with a nearby moisture source (a la sphag-and-bag) is even better.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:18 AM
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Increasing the humidity using Sphag and bag for a Cattleya, is IMO not necessary and probably not the best idea. I know that the recommendation is not specifically only to use Sphag and bag, but since it was mentioned, I just wanted to preface this by saying that Sphag and bag can be pretty hit or miss. I understand the recommendation is to increase humidity and localize the humidity - let's stick to this idea. If you really wanted to do that, a small container works better for Cattleya in general. There's less chance of molding and getting problems with gas exchange. Using a container to contain the humidity to a localized area is I think better and is less of a hit or miss. The container doesn't even have to be very large. It just has to be large enough to hold the orchid itself at the base.

I have a Sophronitis martiniqueira that had root problems when I first bought it. Didn't need to do a Sphag and bag, and the thing bounced back. It pretty much looked like how the Cattleya in the OP's pics were, where the pseudobulbs were plump but still a bit shriveled with leaves that were still turgid enough to be held upright, but looking a bit dehydrated. Just mounted the guy watered regularly and put it in a place that gets plenty of light without burning it and is within its temperature range amongst my other orchids, and within 1 month I started seeing signs of roots. It has still slowly and steadily improved and grown since then. (Sophronitis grow slow by the way. Cattleyas are faster growing.)
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:12 PM
jblume1127 jblume1127 is offline
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Is there any saving my cattleya with no roots?
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Thank you all for such great suggestions. I have him in a small container filled with lightly packed moist sphagnum in a small room that is able to maintain humidity around 50+ percent. I do have a bag over it but it is just draped over a larger container, so that a lot of air can still circulate. Hopefully it will bounce back. I'm relieved to hear that cattleyas start their growing season now at least.
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