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Zygopetalum repotting question

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Seattle Steve, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Seattle Steve

    Seattle Steve Member

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    I have a zygopetalum that is growing in a straight line with it reaching the limits of a 7 inch pot. Now that new growth is occuring, I would like to know how I should repot it. Can I divide it and put the back bulbs in another pot and start a new plant? Should it be tightly potted? It dropped its leaves when I repotted a couple of years ago and hasn't bloomed since. Now I am growing it under lights inside all year. Temps are typically 75 during the day and 62 at night with 60% humidity.

    I would included pictures, but this site gives me an error message only stating that there was an error in loading the image. Odd, since it is a jpeg file and I compressed it to only 2 mb Open to suggestions on both issues.
     
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Try resizing the image so that the longest side is 800 pixels. I don't know what you mean by compressing it. Did you save it for the web in an imagine application?
     
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  3. Seattle Steve

    Seattle Steve Member

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    Thanks Marni. My file sizes are typically around 21mb, and I had compressed it with Fastone viewer down to 2mb. After your note, I resized them maintaining the same aspect ratio. I have photoshop and lightroom, but for a very nice viewer that does quick and easy editing with RAW files without a converter, it is a great program and its free! Zygopetlum full view OF.jpg Zygopetalum new growth forming OF.jpg Zygopetlum full view OF.jpg
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would say your plant is overpotted for the size of the plant and the new growth isn't going over the pot and if the medium is not degraded it could stay in the same pot. That said, I would repot it. You could divide it but I would be more apt to try to flex the back end of the plant around so it is a U shape with the oldest psb is closer to the new bulb. It may stress the rhizome enough to stimulate one of the backbulbs to sprout from an eye. Then put it into a smaller pot. I think it needs any reserve in those backbulbs to maintain itself. I would check to see the condition of the roots and cut off any dead ones with a sterile cutting tool.
     
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  5. Seattle Steve

    Seattle Steve Member

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    I wasn't aware that there would be that much flexibility. I would assume it will require some wire or something to maintain it in that position. What potting medium mix would you use? Usually don' t use sphagmum, but have seen that recommended for zygopetalums.
     
  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If the plant is warm you may be able to flex it, if not you have a division. I grow them in fine bark mix and occasionally in a light terrestrial mix but I grow them in a net pot or plastic. That works for me, but your conditions may be different.
     
  7. ZWUM

    ZWUM Bulbophiliac Staff Member

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    I agree with Marni, it appears over potted and it would probably benefit from a repot. Also by the looks of the plant you may be under watering it. You want to see larger growths year after year. Yours appear to be smaller based on the size of the pbulbs. You could adjust your cultural conditions, perhaps more water and/or fertilizer and a bit more light (the leaves look a little on the dark side) that should help! Good luck.
     
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  8. Seattle Steve

    Seattle Steve Member

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    I have now repotted it. The roots had not significantly expanded into the prior medium, but overall looked fine. Not many dead or rotted segments. I have been overly cautious with watering and finding my way back to more watering due to some rot problems with other plants. The leaves on it are just now turning greener and had been very yellow with lots of spots on them. Compared to a grower's plants that are healthy appearing, I would say mine is on the mend. I have increased air flow to the growing area and everyone looks happier. As far as light goes, all my plants are under lights indoors all year. Presently I have been using MSU formula fertilizer on the weak side every week, except the fourth week , just water. Obviously this plant has been stressed, but I didn't want it to rot, but more water looks like the ticket. My phals are in great shape, so if that is the barometer for light intensity, then that is what this plant is getting also.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  9. Carkin

    Carkin Active Member

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    Can we see a picture of it now that it's repotted? I am new to Zygo's, so I am still learning. :)
     
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  10. Seattle Steve

    Seattle Steve Member

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    I'm certainly now expert. It still looks like a large pot, but it is much smaller. This is the smallest pot I could squeeze the plant and the roots into. I have bloomed it prior for a few years, but it dropped most of the leaves a year ago and I had repotted it then. The mix is what I saw from various growers online. Time will tell if I have it right, but I think it will be fine. The new growth looks good and the roots were healthy. Last year I didn't have much time to watch it as closely. Air movement is good for it.

    Good luck in your learning. We are all learning. Anyone who denies it is kidding themselves.
     

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  11. Seattle Steve

    Seattle Steve Member

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    That would be "no" expert. Sorry, I just now saw the typo.
     
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  12. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The pot size does look more appropriate, but I'm wondering why you are using terra cotta when your others are in plastic? It is going to dry a lot faster than the others around it. It doesn't need to dry between waterings completely.. It is a terrestrial orchid and I let mine go to moist but not dry before watering again.
     
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  13. Carkin

    Carkin Active Member

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    Looks good! I repotted mine shortly after getting it and I think that was too much of a shock because both the spikes it was working on stopped growing and dried up. :( At least it is putting out a new growth so hopefully it will bloom for me one day. Thank you for sharing your photos and info!
     
  14. Seattle Steve

    Seattle Steve Member

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    I did not realize that it was a terrestrial. Dummy me, I assumed it was an epiphyte as most sites stated to let it be "almost dry in the center" before watering again. I have been swamped with work and did not have a plastic pot in the proper size. I had purchased some "orchid pots" at a nursery some time ago and they have vertical slots for drainage on the side in addition to the bottom. I figured that would work fine. Being in the Northwest, I assumed everything stays too soggy and was concerned about overwatering and rot or fungus growth. I think I must have some improper perceptions about how much to water. I have now found a similar sized plastic pot and repotted it. Thanks for the help again.
     
  15. cnslr81

    cnslr81 New Member

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    Looks good! I have a zygopetalum that is huge and in a pot that I would normally think is small but it is doing well. I don't cut the leaves off, except to trim the height.
     

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  16. Seattle Steve

    Seattle Steve Member

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    I notice that your leaves on this plant are uniformly green, no spots. I was told that if the plants get too much light, they will get the spots, but that they needed that much light to flower. After looking at yours, I would say that both of those statements are false due to the nice flowers and no spots.