Maxillaria Tenuifolia - will it survive?
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  #1  
Old 06-18-2021, 11:51 AM
Bronxraff Bronxraff is offline
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Maxillaria Tenuifolia - will it survive?
Default Maxillaria Tenuifolia - will it survive?

HI, as a follow up to my previous orchid thread, my orchid has now been put back into a pot. It has alot of rooting that I don't recall it having before but since I pulled it out of the ground, it is quite a large root. Should I leave as is and just continue to water, provide light, etc?
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2021, 12:09 PM
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Yes, do that. Keep it moist now. Once it starts growing water it every day. It needs even more water than other orchids. Many people stand Maxillarias that are growing in dishes of water.
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Old 06-18-2021, 01:54 PM
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I recommend inverting a clear plastic bag over the plant and pot to trap the humidity. Don’t seal it, but keep the plant warm and shady.

While it is growing new roots, it has a limited capacity to take up moisture, so the higher RH can slow desiccation.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:32 PM
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Hi Bronx,
you've been given the standard care procedures and the plant does need high humidity because it is severely dehydrated but it really depends how the plant is treated on whether it will survive or not.

Yours looks in the state my worst Tenuifolia's have looked. They can be saved but because the leaf sheaths have all dried up to the point they have I can fairly safely assume the roots are all too dried up to be functional anymore. What happens if you water a Tenuifolia in such a state too much then the roots will all start rotting in the pot and the plant will wither away. I've seen it happen and your instinct will be to water it lots but it hasn't got any functional roots to absorb much water and since the roots are dead they are prime gorwing material for rot and fungus.

I personally would even remove some of those sheaths as no new roots will be able to break through them, they are too hard and solid by now and tenuifolia roots are very delicate. Phals can break through leaves and A tenuifolia can break through a live flexible leaf too but not several layers of dried leaves like that plant has. If you start peeling a layer away you will see what I mean, there will probably be 5 layers of leaves all dried up together like an onion.
Be aware though that new growths will appear between these dried sheaths so it is easy to rip a new growth off when removing a sheath which is why a lot of people advise against doing it but this tenuifolia will not be able to grow. That's just my 2 cents on the matter. If you do, only peel one layer at a time and check for any growth before trying to remove another.

I know it goes against the general care mentra of stick in a bag or water it loads to rehydrate it, leave it be but it just isn't as simple as that.

It isn't really complicated either, it does need to rehydrate but the tricky part is how to rehydrate it without it completely rotting to pieces from having too much dead plant material in a highly humid environment which is what it needs to regrow roots.

The simplest way is to keep it unpotted and spray it every day, then let it dry. But this needs to be consistent, you cannot forget to spray it. It can go for a few days but if you skip watering, well that is how it has ended up looking like it has.

Once it has regrown roots it can then be potted up again as it does like to drink a lot. But this plant with no roots (based on my judgement) will take a long time before it will be in a position to be able to absorb the amount it likes.

Will I get any appreciation for this post? No it will be pointed out I have no clue what I'm talking about, I can't possibly know if the roots are dead or not and I am contradicting the advice that every youtube video recommends to do for an ailing orchid but like said I've seen Tenuifolia's not make it in that condition. I've also seen some do make it and I saw this one and I want it to make it. Has it taken a lot of time to writ this? Yep and like said I will most likely get criticised for my efforts but that's fine. Everyone can make up their own minds.

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Old 06-18-2021, 10:40 PM
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My experience with the Maxillarias that have the habit of growing pseudobulbs on top of each other is to NOT remove sheaths... The roots extend from the pseudobulbs all the way down to the base of the plant that is rooted in medium. In fact, the growths can become pendant, with an amazingly small "footprint". So damaging those sheaths can kill the plant, they protect those roots. Give it a chance to grow before doing anything to it.

This is a friend's plant, an indication of what it can do if just left alone. June 2019 Max tenuifolia
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:39 AM
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Before I understood them I was given a rootless cutting of Maxillaria tenuifolia. I put it in a loose bark/perlite mix and watered it "carefully", meaning letting it get dry or almost dry before watering again.

Over a period of about a year, it never grew, and dried out bit by bit until it was almost dead.

Then I read here on Orchid Board comments about growing the plant. I put a dish of water under it, and the cutting began growing.
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