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Acclimating imports

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Alex Shepack, Jan 5, 2022.

  1. Alex Shepack

    Alex Shepack Active Member

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    I'm curious about preferred methods for dealing with new imports. I've used a mish-mash of techniques, but can never really decide if it's working well or if I should try something different.

    At the moment I typically:
    1. Rehydrate for a few minutes in RO/DI water with some KelpMax
    2. Soak in thiomyl
    3. Occasionally I will then do the bacteria mix from Ray's or RootShield
    4. Mount
    5. Put in a sealed (or nearly sealed) container and put that in a darker spot
    I've heard some people recommend just placing on damp sphagnum and putting in a dark spot until you see root growth as well. I know others skip some of the above steps, or add additional ones.

    In general I'm dealing with Pleurothallids, but I tend to do similar procedures with anything I get in.

    Does anyone do something different? What do you recommend?


    Thanks!
     
  2. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

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    My treatment varies depending on the genus I'm trying to acclimate.
    For pleurothallids, bulbophyllums, miniature Dendrobiums I usually soak them in RO water with Kelp and Banrot for an hour or two. After that, I mount or pot them and move to their permanent location. I'll spray them with wiltshield after the leaves have dried out and soak them in a Trichoderma solution when they have to be watered again.
    From my experience, having imports in a sealed container is a way to increase the chance of bacterial and fungal infections. Fungicides and Trichoderma can help, but when I was doing that my mortality rates were higher than now. It is also hard to have any sort of air movement in a sealed container.
    I would never put species that require dry winter rest on wet sphagnum if I receive them when they are resting.
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    My procedure is similar to your, sans the Thiomyl.

    1. Soak in KelpMax + probiotic solution
    2. Pot up normally, watering in with that solution.
    3. Keep shady, warm, and very humid. (I don’t grow cool.)
    4. As watering is needed, use a solution similar to the initial soak.
    5. When I see active growth, move into genpop and my routine regimen.
     
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  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I soak in water with about 1 tbsp of sugar per gallon for 1/2 hour. Let dry. Spray leaves with VaporGard at 1 tsp per cup. Let dry and spray roots with bacteria/microbe mix. Pot or mount. I keep them in the potting shed (55F minimum) for a week or two and then put in with the collection. If there is any chance of pests, I would spray or dip with insecticide after sugar soak.
     
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  5. J E

    J E Jaime Escobedo

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    I do a combination of stuff:
    Soak in RO water with sugar (tablespoon per gallon), kelpmax, hydrogen peroxide for half an hour then i pot/mount the way i want and "quarantine" in a shady, humid corner for a week or so. First watering it gets i give it the probiotic from Ray's mixed with trichoderma (great white).
     
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  6. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    This is a very interesting topic and just like growing orchids, some things work for some people and some things don’t work. I have imported a fair amount from China to Madagascar over the decades, but in the last 5-10 years have had a much higher success rate than ever before.

    For most everything, a KelpMax soak (and probiotic if I have it) followed by placement in a slightly shaded and humid microclimate is all that is needed. I have not found any additional value (in my situation) with sugar water and I don’t use any harsh fungicide/bactericide unless I see some sign of infection.

    Most plants do not have any infection issue, but Masdevallias occasionally will have a significant leaf drop when taking out of the package or shortly thereafter and this will be accompanied by dead roots and some mushiness in the rhizome. I have found this to often be a bacterial rot (not fungal) and found a soak in Phyton 27 will stop the leaf drop overnight…I then wait a few days and then drench with KelpMax to get the roots going again.

    One of the other problem children were larger and sprawling dried out Angraecoids with no roots. After the KelpMax/Probiotic soak, I now pot very loosely in clean NZ Sphagnum in a net pot, keeping as much of the rhizome as I can covered. The whole idea to keep as much humidity in areas where roots may initiate while not letting it get stagnant. As soon as I seen new leaves, I look for roots and then repot or mount. Since I started doing this, I have gone from a 50% mortality rate to zero mortality this past year (2021).

    Another method I have used goes against what I would typically recommend. At the end of one show a vendor gave me what I would call cuttings of large-leafed, long-rhizome, Bulbophyllum species (pahudii, magnum, and other section Beccariana). These were all 2-3 leaves and a foot long rhizome with no roots. Even in a greenhouse with 80% RH, I couldn’t keep the leaves hydrated and they were rapidly failing. So I put a layer of NZ Sphagnum in a plastic tray, laid the plants on it horizontally and then put another layer of Sphagnum on top. This was all soaked with KelpMax and probiotic and then I put a clear humidity dome on top (so not a lot of fresh air). I reapplied and checked for mold/fungus frequently, but after 6 months they had initiated new growth and were ready to be potted or mounted. I only lost 1 out of the 7 plants.
     
  7. Alex Shepack

    Alex Shepack Active Member

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    I appreciate all the responses!

    I've found it really interesting to read everyones different techniques.

    This will be a year of experimentation on my end!