Dendrobium nobile - Brown and yellow Leaves
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:06 AM
bil bil is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
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Dendrobium nobile - Brown and yellow Leaves

Originally Posted by kozl1756 View Post
Alright, well this just made things a bit more confusing with the varying replies.

From a personal perspective, I prefer not to have to water every day. With the job I have, I am often on call and watering daily is sometimes not a possibility. I will definitely not be mounting the plant.

As for the pot, and the medium. Correct me if I am wrong here, but the plant grew up in this pot with this medium, and has been doing just fine in my possession for the past few months, so something has changed...

My thoughts for now are, I will remove the medium and check the health of the root system (how long does it take for the roots to get damaged?). If its unhealthy then I will consider re-potting. I will stop the spray on fertilizer. And monitor the watering much more carefully.

Another question, is this possibly due to the lack of light? Or over fertilization?
I really don't think it is lack of light, fertiliser? possibly. If you go the First Ray's site and look up the nitrogen calculator, and keep at the really low levels, say about 25 ppm N.
A generalisation, I admit, but you can give an orchid no fertiliser for 6 months, and it will still be OK. Give it too much and it can be dead in a month.

There is a rule. Ask three orchid keepers a question, you will get 4 answers. That is very true. It is also true that not everything works for every person and every situation.
HOWEVER, it is a fact that certain things DO apply to every orchid in every situation, and chief among that is that the medium you pot them in MUST allow free and easy passage of air.

In your shoes I would repot. Hell, I repot EVERYTHING I buy straight away. I have saved many a plant by doing so, because you cannot trust every vendor. Many of them pot an orchid in, for example moss. That works fine for a seedling, but by the time the orchid has grown and is sold, the moss has compacted and is starting to kill the roots.

In an ideal world, orchids should have the least amount of medium possible, if not mounted.
I appreciate that you don't want to water every day. However, the point is, the further you move away from that ideal, the closer you are to losing the orchid.

There is a way you can extend the watering interval, which is to use a wider diameter, shallow pot with water reservoirs. I use a pot 8-9 inches in diameter, and I put 3 balls of sphag moss, lightly compressed around the perimeter of the pot. They are about 2" in diameter. I put the plant in the middle, and fill with sieved fine bark.
That means that there is always a large area of the pot that is free draining, and 3 reservoirs that stay wet, but because they are not large, they will not become anoxic.

Alternately you can use a bark/moss mix, light on the moss, that works well, or even pure moss. However as you move down that road, you start to move into the danger zone. You can leave longer between waterings, but the risk of root suffocation goes up.

Using pots, the more water the medium retains, the shallower it has to be.

You say "Correct me if I am wrong here, but the plant grew up in this pot with this medium, and has been doing just fine in my possession for the past few months, so something has changed..."
Well, my guess is that you have bought this at the point where the wheels started to fall off. To me the pot is WAY too deep. The medium looks like fine bark which is good, but even that decays and as it decays it crumbles and the air passages start to fill.

My advice is to repot, but to do it into something shallower. If that makes the plant wobbly, then put three rocks round it to hold it stable, or support it with stakes. In shallow media a single stake won't cut it. I use 4 or even 6 to stabilise it, tying them together into A frames with the points at the edge of the pot, then linking the A frames together.

If you have other questions, do feel free to ask.
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