Welcome to OrchidsForum.com. We are a friendly online community for Orchid Growers all over the world. If you haven't joined yet we invite you to register and join our community. Hope to see you on our forums!

Rootbound and more

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by Swampy Bob, Apr 15, 2023.

  1. Swampy Bob

    Swampy Bob New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    6
    As I said in my intro posting, I am taking over the care of some very neglected orchids and have never worked with them before. For years they have been hand watered occasionally but mostly surviving off rainwater, with nothing else done to care for them.
    They are extremely rootbound, one (labeled 'C') looks like it is completely dead, and there looks like there could be fungal issues in the root system. The last couple of years have been extremely wet, with record flooding and mould breaking out everywhere.

    The orchids in the smaller hanging baskets produced hanging flowers from the bottom of the pot, amongst the roots, that had a very strong musky-vanilla/candy fragrance that filled the whole house. I don't know what type/species etc they are but I would really like to keep and propagate them if possible.
    The larger orchid in the pot is a Sydney rock orchid. Recently had a bad mealy bug infestation but doesn't appear damaged from it. It does however have large black blotches on some leaves (sunburn?), if someone knows what this is and how to treat/prevent it I'd appreciate any help.

    My understanding is that they need to be divided, re-potted and any fungal issues fixed. Is this correct?
    After watching some videos on YouTube, there doesn't seem to be too much involved and the whole process seems to be:
    - Remove all old growing medium
    - Break up into clumps with min. 3-5 (false?)bulb thingys
    - Prune dead roots, cutting only dead root and leaving a small nub of dead material on living root
    - Repot with orchid potting mix

    Videos I watched were:




    A few questions though:

    - Most videos have orchids being potted in regular-style pots rather than hanging baskets. With my smaller orchids growing hanging flowers from the bottom, I'm assuming I should keep them in the baskets with coco fibre lining. Is this correct or will they flower ok in a regular-style pot?

    - After trimming the dead roots, how should I treat any fungal issues? Can I just use any off-the-self fungicidal or are orchids particularly sensitive to one treatment method vs another?

    - The orchids currently get mostly shaded/filtered sunlight most of the day. I know they don't like too much sun, but what lighting is best for recovery after re-potting?

    - Also, if anyone has any information regarding the identity of the smaller orchids, I would appreciate any info. Type, species, etc. Anything that might help me better look after them.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any help :)

    IMG20230416092710-2.jpg IMG20230416092729-2.jpg IMG20230416092511.jpg IMG20230416092653.jpg IMG20230416104849.jpg IMG20230416092910.jpg
     
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,836
    Likes Received:
    3,629
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    For plants that bloom downward, a hanging basket or a mount is best. For plant with pendant spikes outside the container, a hanging basket or a regular pot that hangs works well.

    Orchids are sensitive to some oil carriers in products. You want to look for something that specifically lists orchids on the label. Or perhaps someone on the forum from Australia cam give some brand names.

    There are some orchids that like quite bright light. Most prefer something less that bright. It will vary with the genus/species.

    D, E & B look like Stanhopea. C looks like it might also be one, but you should unpot it and see if any of the pseudobulbs are still firm. If so, clean the good part up and repot it. If the pseudobulbs are dry and hollow, toss it.

    The 3rd image looks to me like a Dendrobium.

    'The close up of the wire basket may be a weed or an orchid struggling to survive. You would have to take it apart and see where the growth is coming from.
     
  3. Swampy Bob

    Swampy Bob New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    6
    Thanks for your reply Marni.
    I had to go into town today, so I swung by a nursery and they helped me with a fungicidal that they use on their orchids.

    Sounds like their current lighting is ideal, along with their baskets with some fresh lining.

    I looked up Stanhopea and after some looking around, I believe they are Stanhopea tigrina. They have very recognisable flowers and are extremely fragrant. Thanks for pointing this out.

    My father always called this a Sydney Rock Orchid and it looks like its name is
    Dendrobium speciosum, so you are correct there too.

    I read that the Stanhopea tigrina are best repotted after flower(late summer-autumn) or early spring, so with it being late autumn I think the timing should be ok to do it now.
    I haven't read up on the Dendrobium yet though and am not sure what sized pot it should go into. It will need to be split into at least 2 pots I'm thinking.
     
  4. Swampy Bob

    Swampy Bob New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    6
    Just an update.
    I watched this video before starting re-potting and I think there are some good tips in it:



    Plant C was toast and I had to toss it.
    There were heaps of dead roots in the remaining plants and I was reluctant to to cutting them off wholesale since there were healthy roots mixed in that could be damaged. So I cut away as much as I could but still left a lot of dead roots attached when I re-potted the plants. Is this ok? Will the dead roots just breakdown?
    IMG20230424121034.jpg
    Some of the leaves have black spots on them. Is this sunburn or something else? How should this be addressed?
    IMG20230424134424.jpg
    I was able to divide one plant, which is good since I had to toss plant C.
    One of the bags of the orchid potting mix had some sort of fungus growing through the mix and I was reluctant to use it, so I was unable to re-pot all of the plants.
    I still have one S. Tigrina, the Dendrochilum/Coelogyne and the Dendrobium speciosum to re-pot once I get some more potting mix.
    Other than one hanger basket being a little on the small side, I think the re-potting went ok.
    IMG20230424130319.jpg IMG20230424130709.jpg IMG20230424134442_01.jpg IMG20230424135854.jpg IMG20230424135944.jpg
     
  5. Roberta

    Roberta Active Member

    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Coastal southern California
    Those spots on Stanhopea leaves are no big deal. They do just get ugly leaves. Check on the undersides of the leaves to be sure you don't have a spider mite infestation, but I would not consider those spots at all concerning. Spider mites tend to like hot and dry. You have "hot" but not "dry" so less likely.
     
  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,836
    Likes Received:
    3,629
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    You probably have snow mold in the potting medium. You want to get rid of it before using it. A common solution here is to soak the medium in water with Physan. There are less expensive substitutes through veterinary supply companies.
     
  7. Swampy Bob

    Swampy Bob New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    6
    Hi all
    I've been busy and haven't been able to post in a while.
    Those Stanhopea's are doing very well after being repotted. Theres been heaps of root growth, they all flowered this summer and theres finally some new leaves, bulbs and canes forming.
    I did end up throwing the bad potting mix out and ended up making my own.
    Heres some pics of the Stanhopea's blooming:
    IMG_20240101_112303.jpg IMG_20240101_112626.jpg
     
    Roberta and Marni like this.
  8. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,836
    Likes Received:
    3,629
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Congratulations and thanks for the follow up!