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Unread 02-26-2008, 08:35 PM

Join Date: Aug 2007
Zone: 9a
Location: Murrieta, Calif
Posts: 56
Default Root bound orchids switching to S/H

The last three orchids I have recieved from growers have been so root bound there is virtually no mediium left. One destroys the roots trying to remove what medium is left. Two questions...1) are orchids suppose to be so root bound; 2) willl it ruin the primeagra with some of the other medium still in the roots? One root bound orchid's roots are formed like the square pot it came in. The roots were ready to crack the pot. Help!!
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Unread 02-26-2008, 09:26 PM
jrhennek's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Zone: 4a
Location: Avon, MN
Age: 57
Posts: 110

It depends on what genera of orchid that you have. Some orchids will only bloom if the plant is root bound.

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Unread 02-27-2008, 09:02 AM
Dorothy's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Zone: 7b
Location: Long Island, NY
Age: 53
Posts: 7,357

I agree with Jayme .. which orchids are they?

"Nothing beats the orchid -- as an offering of love"
- paraphrasing Marlowe Hood from 'Orchid Fossil Quells Evolutionary Quarrel'

Toto, I Have A Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore! ...
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Unread 02-27-2008, 09:22 PM

Join Date: Aug 2007
Zone: 9a
Location: Murrieta, Calif
Posts: 56

cyms, phals, and max tenuifolia are the orchids.
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Unread 02-27-2008, 10:46 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Zone: 8b
Location: Southern Oregon
Age: 60
Posts: 6,018

Phals really aren't that picky about pot size in my experience. Go at least a half size up with them. I don't do Cyms, or Max. so can't help you there.

I would definately encourage you to do your best to pick out the old medium. If you leave it it will rot in the s/h, and you will end up with a mold problem. I would soak the root ball for 20-30 minutes in tepid water to limber the roots up so they won't break quite so easily. It will also soften up the leftover media and make it a little easier to get out. You're going to lose some roots, no two ways about it. I've found though that that often stimulates the plant to sent out new growth pretty quickly.

Those are my principles and if you don't like them......I have others.
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Unread 02-27-2008, 11:43 PM
Senior Member

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 327

The Maxillaria (all orchids for that matter) will appreciate it if you dont disturb the roots much. If you have to re-pot, do so as carefully as possible. Sounds like they were all growing very well. Hopefully they will take to the transition.

Last edited by dave b; 02-27-2008 at 11:44 PM.. Reason: typo
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Unread 02-28-2008, 12:30 AM

Join Date: Aug 2007
Zone: 9a
Location: Murrieta, Calif
Posts: 56

Thanks for input, I appreciate everyone's response!! ruth ann
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