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  #1  
Old 01-29-2021, 11:57 AM
ROSIEonFIRE ROSIEonFIRE is offline
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Covid killed my orchids
Default Covid killed my orchids

I am so sad.
In the Fall I moved to Buffalo from a city several hours away for graduate school. However we ended up being completely online by November. I went back to my hometown to vote at the end of October thinking I'd be back in Buffalo in a week and then we got the news our program was going totally online so I decided not to go. I finally went back to get some stuff now that I'm partially vaccinated and my roommate had let all of my plants die!

My orchids were all doing SO WELL. Now all the roots look like little brown twigs and the leaves look like fruit leathers do you guys think they might come back? I'm hopeful that they will!
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2021, 02:48 PM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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They could probably make it. Just keep them nice and warm, and provide adequate humidity (but also with adequate gentle air-flow) - letting them re-hydrate and recover.
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2021, 03:17 PM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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I think they can recover. If you can swing it, get some Kelpmax. Unpot them and soak them in a Kelpmax solution overnight. Repot them in the smallest pot you can fit the roots into. Put them somewhere warm with bright diffuse light. Water whenever the bark looks dry / pot feels light. Add the Kelpmax to the water monthly. You should start to see new root growth in short order (within a month). If you can’t get Kelpmax and/or keep them on the cool side, it may be 2-3 months before you see growth. Unless the roots disintegrate, I’d avoid cutting anything. If you get a moldy odor due to rotting material a few weeks after repotting, you can unpot and remove rotting material at that point. Phalaenopsis are tough: they can survive and bounce back from under watering much better than over watering so it might be a bit of a blessing that they were neglected. Plant sitters are apt to kill with “kindness”.

Last edited by aliceinwl; 01-29-2021 at 08:10 PM..
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2021, 04:36 PM
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I have received a recommendation to use an anti-transpirant such as Cloud Cover (which seems to be no longer available) or Wilt Stop (Wilt Pruf is another similar product), on imported plants that have become dehydrated in transit. The prescription was to paint the product on both sides of the leaves with a small watercolor brush (or a cotton swab), being very careful to keep it off the roots. I have tried it recently but haven't had the plants long enough to see if it it makes a difference, they weren't that bad when I got them.

Directing the question especially to Ray... what are your thoughts on using a product like this to slow down transpiration while a dehydrated plant recovers? It seems reasonable to me, but are there considerations that I haven't thought of?
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2021, 05:06 PM
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Good question about the anti-transpirant. I'm just thinking for healthy plants - including orchids - an anti-transpirant can slow down water loss from the leaves and the plant - such as if moving a bare-root plant from some nursery to home when driving home. Why bare-rooted? Not sure hehe.

Also, for deflasking ----- just allows the seedlings to stabilise. But when I deflask, I just use a humidity tub and slowly open up more gaps in the tub over some number of days. I do have anti-transpirant ------- but never used it before.

For already dehydrated plants ------ the anti-transpirant could maybe stop water from getting into the plant.


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  #6  
Old 01-29-2021, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthPark View Post

For already dehydrated plants ------ the anti-transpirate could maybe stop water from getting into the plant.
That's the reason for the point of making sure that none of it gets on the roots.(that's why the brush, very controlled, as opposed to spray which is harder to keep off the roots) Water doesn't get into the plant from its leaves, it gets there from the roots, so you certainly don't want anything interfering with the ability of the roots to absorb water. The point of the exercise is to slow down the loss of water from the leaves - which is how it departs from plants.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2021, 07:20 PM
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True Roberta. Totally agree regarding the roots - not getting it on the roots.

Another thing I was thinking about was that anti-transpirant stops what the plants normally do when growing - as in transpiration.

Maybe a humidity tub with nice temperatures can help here. Although - it's an interesting topic regarding anti-transpirant here too.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2021, 07:28 PM
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The point of the anti-transpirant is to slow down the process on a plant that is dehydrated. There is an equilibrium between the humidity in the air and the water within the leaf. In high humidity (like where you live) plants aren't going to lose water fast. For most of us, if we have a plant that has lost a lot of water (long time in shipping, small plant, bare root for instance) we need to do something to shift that equilibrium a bit. Putting in a plastic bag (sphag and bag) is one way, but tends to give inadquate air circulation and lead to rot. The concept here is simply to slow down the loss of water from the leaves until the roots can absorb enough to shift the balance back into the proper range. The anti-tranpirant doesn't plug up the leaf completely, just slows the water loss. To rescue a dessicated plant you need to do something so that water goes into the plant faster than it goes out.
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2021, 07:48 PM
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True Roberta. Assuming the roots are still mostly working ------ the anti-transpirant approach could be beneficial here. From the looks of the pics in the opening post ----- the orchids appear to still be hanging on. As in the situation doesn't appear to be on the really slim chance side, which is nice.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2021, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROSIEonFIRE View Post
I am so sad.
In the Fall I moved to Buffalo from a city several hours away for graduate school. However we ended up being completely online by November. I went back to my hometown to vote at the end of October thinking I'd be back in Buffalo in a week and then we got the news our program was going totally online so I decided not to go. I finally went back to get some stuff now that I'm partially vaccinated and my roommate had let all of my plants die!

My orchids were all doing SO WELL. Now all the roots look like little brown twigs and the leaves look like fruit leathers do you guys think they might come back? I'm hopeful that they will!
Heck yeah! Start doing whatever you were doing before, when they looked great. Put some KelpMax on if you have that opportunity. Do it once, then again a couple weeks later, then once a month thereafter. I think they will be fine, once back into TLC mode.
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