Exposed roots on Catasetum After Dark 'Black Pearl'
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  #1  
Old 11-29-2020, 06:58 PM
Diane56Victor Diane56Victor is offline
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Exposed roots on Catasetum After Dark 'Black Pearl' Female
Default Exposed roots on Catasetum After Dark 'Black Pearl'

Bought 2 plants April 2020, very small and not without some concern on my part they rapidly went into dormancy.
They started new growths at the start of October.
They are in net pots with a clear outer pot that can hold a little water to create humidity and hopefully entice the roots downward.
Checking them today I noticed one plant has one root with its growing tip exposed.
Is this normal? Should I do anything? Maybe start watering a bit more from the bottom to encourage the root to go downwards?
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:34 PM
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It's absolutely normal Diane. They will just put roots out all over the place. Allow them to just grow in the direction they go.

In places where humidity gets too low, aerials roots can just stop surviving ----- but it's ok, because the rest of the roots in the media will support the plant - no problem at all.

For re-assurance ------ one of my many catasetum type orchids has roots growing upwards or side-ways. This is a very common situation.

Link here

Interestingly ------ mentioned in that thread, it's not even summer yet --- and it's growing a flower spike already.
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:42 PM
Diane56Victor Diane56Victor is offline
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Exposed roots on Catasetum After Dark 'Black Pearl' Female
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Thanks SP.
With lots of internet info saying roots head down looking for moisture I was a bit concerned about this wayward root. There are a couple of others on the same plant I can see without disturbing the media too much, they seem to be behaving the way I expected.

I did read that thread but I was focused on the look of the spike and didn't take note of the exposed roots. Yes that plant does have quite a number of them!

Last edited by Diane56Victor; 11-29-2020 at 07:46 PM..
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:45 PM
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Exposed roots on Catasetum After Dark 'Black Pearl' Female
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Roots of Catasetinae can indeed be somewhat wild. Some will grow down into the pot, others will go where they want. Sometimes grow out of the pot. If the pot is really tight, some may even grow upward (birds nest roots) So whatever they do, is "right". No need to overthink...
One thing to keep in mind... as they start to mature, they're very thirsty. The net pot is great for air flow and the sphagnum should stay moist fairly readily. But as summer heats up, keep an eye on them - as they mature, they don't want to dry out. Once they start getting large, you can't overwater them. You may need to add some weight - just dropping the whole thing - pot and all- into a terracotta pot can help - they can get big rather fast, and become top-heavy.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:06 PM
Diane56Victor Diane56Victor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
One thing to keep in mind... as they start to mature, they're very thirsty. The net pot is great for air flow and the sphagnum should stay moist fairly readily. But as summer heats up, keep an eye on them - as they mature, they don't want to dry out. Once they start getting large, you can't overwater them. You may need to add some weight - just dropping the whole thing - pot and all- into a terracotta pot can help - they can get big rather fast, and become top-heavy.


Thanks Roberta!
The pot is about 90m wide at the top, Im hoping it will be ok for this year and maybe even next year! The p-bulb and the new growth look pretty small in the pot, but I have seen some really big leaps in new growth size when viewing other peoples plants.
Point taken about the terracotta pot, just scored a bargain on those, $1 each so at least I have that sorted.

Last edited by Diane56Victor; 11-29-2020 at 08:09 PM..
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:15 PM
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Most welcome Diane. This season - I put several After Dark plants out into full sun, which are just getting hammered by the sun up here.

In the morning, I just water the pots and get the media quite wet. And then the sun comes out and does its intense thing. By the end of the day, the pot is pretty much dried - including the roots.

And then I just water the pots again the following day. Nothing bad happens to the After Dark ones. They can take a beating from the sun that's for sure.

One of them is actually growing in full scoria ----- which is one of the ones that gets clobbered by the sun - without issue, and is actually quite large too in size. These plants can be tough for sure. Survivors.

But not surprising - after having seen those pics online of catasetum type plants on top of power poles.
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:48 PM
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Hi Diane! Just attaching these pics too taken this morning. Once the sun comes out, it comes blazing down onto the orchid for ages, and also even heats up the wall and everything. Things dry out pretty quick to due to the sun. No issues once the After Dark is sun-hardened.

This After Dark here gets black coloured flowers, but is not an SVO Black Pearl. But I do grow some SVO Black Pearl. Fantastic work and effort by Fred Clarke that's for sure!
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Old 11-30-2020, 07:08 PM
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A lot of plants in the Cymbidium tribe (like Catasetinae) send out upwardly pointing baskets of fine roots. The thinking is this traps fallen leaves and bits of organic matter, which provides more nutrition as it decays. It's very prominent in Grammatophyllum, but often seen in Catasetum and relatives, as well. If you search online you will find photos.
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:58 AM
Diane56Victor Diane56Victor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
A lot of plants in the Cymbidium tribe (like Catasetinae) send out upwardly pointing baskets of fine roots. The thinking is this traps fallen leaves and bits of organic matter, which provides more nutrition as it decays. It's very prominent in Grammatophyllum, but often seen in Catasetum and relatives, as well. If you search online you will find photos.
Thanks ES, a plant that feeds itself. A good survival mechanism given the speed and size they grow.
🤔 Could this mean I need to make the ferts a little stronger? I use Peters CalMag Finisher
(NPK 13- 5- 20 + 7Ca + 2Mg +TE)
probably once a month at the moment at 1gm per litre which is a bit less than the recommended dose but I worry about salts and going by the size these plants are very young.

---------- Post added at 04:58 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:50 AM ----------

Quote:
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Hi Diane! Just attaching these pics too taken this morning. Once the sun comes out, it comes blazing down onto the orchid for ages, and also even heats up the wall and everything. Things dry out pretty quick to due to the sun. No issues once the After Dark is sun-hardened.

This After Dark here gets black coloured flowers, but is not an SVO Black Pearl. But I do grow some SVO Black Pearl. Fantastic work and effort by Fred Clarke that's for sure!
Great plants, mine will be a couple of years before they get to that size I think.
My plants have been inside for some time. I did have them outside but it got so cold this Winter I worried I might lose them as they had been used to Queensland temps before I got them.
I had intended to put them outside when Spring came but the weather has been quite unstable varying from 18C to 35C from day to day!
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:19 AM
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They can definitely use more fertilizer than most of the orchids when they are in their active spring growth. I give my Catasetinae a little top dressing of time release fertilizer in addition to giving them a drink of the regular soup when I do the other orchids.

If night temps are 18C you can safely put them outside - mine go out as soon as night temps are above about 13 deg C/55 deg F. Especially with warmer days, they will benefit from the extra light outside.
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