Orchids forum: Cattleya Amethystoglossa

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jclee
Jun 15, 2013 10:46 PM CST
I hope I am correct here, starting a new subject.
I need some advice.
Bought a Catt. Amethystoglossa (huge) and it has about 6 new pb as well as several old ones with good leaves. The creamy roots are all crowded on top of the pot, winding themselves around and around the rim of the pot, tightly. When I unpotted it, the roots on top looked like a matted cap and under these roots, the middle of the cap was mushy roots. I cleaned them away and am now left with the roots that are tightly wound around the base of the pbs .

I hope I am explaining this clearly.
How do I repot? Just put all the good roots matted cap(roots) and all, into a new basket and put media on top covering the mat of roots or elevate them to the original height and add the media beneath?
Why are there no new green root tips, but it has several new shoots? Isn't this the time to repot (spring) ?
If I repot now will it just decline and die like others have done on me? Repotting just seems to kill some of them.
Any advice appreciated.
I live in Miami, Zone 10.
Thanks
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 16, 2013 11:00 AM CST
Some pictures of your plant, unpotted c/w roots would be really helpful. Since you are in Miami, I hope your orchid lives outdoors?

Also, what kind of medium was in the pot when you removed the plant? Did you hose off all the old, rotted medium? Dusting the cuts where the rotted roots were cut off with cinnamon is a good idea. Cinnamon is both a mild fungicide and anti-bacterial.

Sometimes a mass of rotted roots under the crown can mean the plant was being kept too wet. If there was a clump of moss under there, that happens a lot.

The fact that it has new growths, and healthy creamy roots up top is a good sign. Re-potting generally gives orchids a new lease on life. It's what you do with them afterwards that will determine its survival. A cool, shady spot where it won't get too much water is a good idea for a month or so after re-potting. In Miami that would mean under an overhang, so it won't get drenched with rain and you can control its water.

Pictures! We need pictures, please!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

jclee
Jun 16, 2013 1:04 PM CST
I am attaching a pic of what this plants looks like, but instead, imagine the roots under the pb tightly wound up forming a thick canopy-the area underneath w/o roots, just strings from old roots I cut away.

There are new shoots on my plant about six or so, but no new roots with green tips indicating active growth. Isn't it Spring/Summer? Shouldn't there be roots growing along with the new pbs?

My real question is how to repot? Shd I leave the matted roots on top and just add new media to the top, or should I put the media under the roots, or does it really matter how I repot. The reason I am asking this is this. I heard that roots that are exposed do not like to be put under media. They like the air. Am I correc?t When am I going to see new roots?

jclee
Jun 16, 2013 1:05 PM CST
Sorry pics didn't work.
Am going to try again. I am not good at this..

Thumb of 2013-06-16/jclee/c80754

jclee
Jun 16, 2013 1:09 PM CST
The area on top has the thick mat of roots and the area below is empty in my plant. This pic has a better root system, looser, and you are able to spread them out over the media; whereas mine are tightly woven together and the water sits on top before it slowly seeps through.
Sorry to be such a pain with my many posts, but I am very good aqt uploading pics.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Jun 16, 2013 3:17 PM CST

Moderator

You cut all mushy roots off, good. Now you said
How do I repot? Just put all the good roots matted cap(roots) and all, into a new basket and put media on top covering the mat of roots or elevate them to the original height and add the media beneath?

Sounds good to me.
Ideally one repots Cattleyas when the new pseudobulbs just starting to put out new roots. You have a bunch of new growths, that's good! New roots from those will follow soon. And they will surely grow right into the new medium. At this point one must take care not to injure them, or they are lost for good.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Jun 16, 2013 3:25 PM CST
This is just my opinion you understand, but I would divide the plant. When repotting a large one, particularly with growth/roots that were never maintained, dividing will allow you to manage the size of the pots/baskets and allow your plants room to get some air, which should benefit the viable roots you have. This will also allow you to more easily separate the roots and undo the matting. There is probably no medium left below this mat of roots because it has all disintegrated over time. The viable roots were simply using the dead roots as its growing medium! I agree you should keep the plant(s) in a shaded area (perhaps one with a couple of hours of early morning sunlight), one where you can control the moisture, and where the plant(s) will get good air movement. Good luck. Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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jclee
Jun 16, 2013 6:27 PM CST
OK. Thanks, so I am going to divide and put the matted cap of one piece on top of the media. Then I am going to put media on top of the matter roots of the other piece and whichever one does best, we will see. Let them compete. The media comprises of bark, charcoal, aliflor and perlite.
I think Dr Dawg is correct. Those matted roots that were just sitting on top were just using the dead ones below as media, which I find strange. In that case it seems that we really don't have to worry much about repotting since these roots will just make a house for themselves and make do with what they have. The roots in the wild probably just rot away and new ones just grow somewhere else.
Thanks everyone.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 16, 2013 7:21 PM CST
Absolutely true that orchids growing in the wild will survive and 'make do'. But they won't grow huge and bloom for years and years like our pampered potted ones.

That sounds like the right medium to use, and it will be interesting to see which part of the plant does best. I'm betting on the one that has the roots buried. It will poke new roots out the top if it wants to. Some of mine have a lot of roots outside the pot, and some have them all inside. It took me a while to get used to seeing those bare roots hanging out there, but the plants are epiphytes designed to collect nutrient and water from the air, so those roots do great.

Don't forget the cinnamon! I hose down the roots just before putting the plant in the new pot, dust the wet roots with cinnamon and then pot it up.
Thumb of 2013-06-17/dyzzypyxxy/53a323 Thumb of 2013-06-17/dyzzypyxxy/f88a74
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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