Originally Posted by mrphilips
the problem i have now is that i've found all roots are rotted off!! not even sure where to begin giving him a new chance
Try smearing some Keiki paste on the nub where the roots should be. The way I have learned it, the cellular structure of certain areas are kind of like "stem cells" and will revert to creating the part of the flower they need to. I am rather inelegant when describing scientific things, but if you have ever grown a pineapple from the cluster of leaves on the top, if you peel the skin, you have, generally, the same thing you are seeing now-- a rootless cluster of leaves.
But a narrow band of the leaves at the bottom is a "root zone" where the cells of the "leaves" can potentially create roots if placed in the right medium and given the right care. Obviously a pineapple is a bromeliad, and they follow bromiliad rules.
An orchid also has these root "zones." With Keiki paste, you apply "growth hormones" to the area around the base of the plant. Hopefully, in a few months the roots will form.
The 2nd thing you must do (or the first if you have to wait a few days to get your keiki paste in the mail), is the sphag and bag method. If you cannot get Keiki paste, then try table sugar, or rooting hormone in your daily water change. With a roth's huge leaves, you may want to go to a store and buy a clear plastic container, or you can use a fish tank. Then keep it moist, watered, not sopping. I started a rootless oncidium by using zip ties and tying it to a piece of rain gutter plastic mesh, to keep it nice and "still."
(Pictured below). I have found that the plant will kind of hibernate, using more and more of its resources, unless it is firmly attached to something. All the roots you see have grown since being attached to that mesh. Yes, plant it in a pot like this, and keep the root zone on the top layer (not heavily covered). The mesh keeps the rootless plant "hovering" with root zone near the top of the planter. This will help you to avoid crown rot, which will happen if you bury the root zone deeply. I use the leca type potting material. but like I say. change water daily.