Ask a Question forum: Chia Lin Orchid?? HELP!!!

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Name: Savannah
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
fireanice_21
Mar 19, 2018 9:24 AM CST
My mother inlaw has had this specific orchid since 2012. (Can't remember the exact variety) Had blooms when it came home from Kauai; hasn't bloomed since. Always in a South window? Well, it looks like this... She brought it to me in hopes it would do something, and I'm worried it's getting worse... Help me NOT kill her precious plant!!
Thank you so much in advance for your time and consideration!

Thumb of 2018-03-19/fireanice_21/69b92f


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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Mar 19, 2018 10:53 AM CST
Visit all of the orchid forums.
But I can tell quite quickly that this is a Cattleya type orchid in dire need of reporting!!!
They should be reported with fresh media every two years, three IF you are lucky. An orchid is an epiphyte, the roots need air to survive. Potting soil will not work. Fir bark and fir bark mixes are available at Home Depot or Lowe's. Pot according to size of root system, not too large of a pot.
Visit the American Orchid Society website @ AOS.org. Across the top are pull down menus. One features culture sheets as downloadable and printable pdf files. Print the one for Cattleyas.
I have 43 years of experience growing orchids and this is the quickest way for you to get good information.
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[Last edited by BigBill - Mar 19, 2018 10:55 AM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 19, 2018 10:58 AM CST
Its Cattleya Chia Lin. The south window is probably the best place for it but its not getting enough moisture. Cattleyas grow best with extremely fast draining medium, and lots of water and sunshine.

It does look like the plant is growing a new stem. That's a good sign. To save it, dump it out of the pot. Really. I suspect you will find there are no roots below what you see on the surface. Find some really sharp pruners or kitchen scissors and cut off all the dead stuff - you only want to save the part of the plant that is green and attached to the healthy roots. Find a pot with lots of holes - Cattleya like to twine themselves into the pot and their roots need plenty of air.

You can repot into some coarse (chunky) orchid bark or put it back into the pot sans bark. If you use bark, don't pack it around the roots, just hold the plant in place and pour the bark.

Either way, it will need daily watering and more humidity. Place the pot on a tray of pebbles that you can keep water in without having the roots sitting in water. Spray it with the kitchen sprayer everyday - you want to wet the foliage and the the roots.

Keep us posted!
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Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Mar 19, 2018 11:08 AM CST
I'm curious as to what type of regular care your mother-in-law's Cattleya has had in the past 6 years? Although I see a couple of viable roots, I see some roots that look as though they are soft and mushy. I doubt that is a bloom spike you are seeing, more than likely another root trying to push out.

I'm curious as to how the orchid is currently potted; it appears to be in a plastic pot sitting inside a ceramic type container. Is the plastic pot one specifically for orchids with lots of holes/slits in the sides? As has been stated, Orchids need good air circulation around their roots to remain healthy. I'd say your plant in dire need of some TLC; cleaning up and trimming of dead roots, as well as repotting (perhaps into the same container) with fresh potting medium.

Here's the culture sheet from the AOS for Cattleya care: http://www.aos.org/orchids/cul...
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Name: Erin Kearney
Kingston, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Violeterin
Mar 19, 2018 3:33 PM CST
All of the above are excellent advice. It will do well after it's been repotted and had the dead stuff cleaned up. As Daisyl has aptly mentioned coarse medium is best, and though I usually mix my own, I recently bought some at the big box store and the bag marked "orchid mix" was absolutely unsuitable. It was a finer potting soil, I suppose might do only for a terrestrial (?). Another store had another brand that was just fine. Grab the bag, it should feel chunky. Orchids like to breathe!
Name: Erin Kearney
Kingston, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Violeterin
Mar 22, 2018 7:39 AM CST
All of the above are excellent advice. It will do well after it's been repotted and had the dead stuff cleaned up. As Daisyl has aptly mentioned coarse medium is best, and though I usually mix my own, I recently bought some at the big box store and the bag marked "orchid mix" was absolutely unsuitable. It was a finer potting soil, I suppose might do only for a terrestrial (?). Another store had another brand that was just fine. Grab the bag, it should feel chunky. Orchids like to breathe!
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Mar 22, 2018 8:00 AM CST
Looking at the pictures, one might consider if it is truly worth cleaning up this plant. If you manage to save a viable piece, please consider that IF it survives and starts growing, it will still take years to see a bloom on this. If this were a truly rare Orchid, I would try to see if I can save it, but Rlc Chia Lin is usually fairly easily available.

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