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Orchids with no root

Q: What is the best way to re-root orchids that have lost their roots for one reason or another? A: A traditional wisdom dictates that plants can be encouraged to root by providing a moist and warm atmosphere while keeping the medium on the dry side. This enables the plant to remain turgid (not wilted) […]

Cattleya buds turn black

  Q: One of my cattleya developed a sheath, whereupon I discovered two buds inside which were completely black. Please comment!   A: This is rather common. You should examine sheaths regularly, and when shadows of the buds appear within, you can cut the top 1/2″ off the sheath. This will allow the buds come […]

New Cattleya growths turn black

    Q: New growths on my Cattleya orchids turn black and die or never grow to full size. The mature growths are wrinkled. I would appreciate any suggestion. A: From your description, several problems can be inferred. The blackening of the new growths on orchids or their failure to mature usually indicates starvation of […]

White residue from watering

  Q: With what can I clean the leaves of my orchids to remove white residue left from watering? A: The white residue is probably calcium from your water supply and best can be avoid by keeping the water off the foliage. If that is not possible you can treat your water to reduce the […]

Add fungicide to water

Q: I water by immersion of the entire pot into water containing weak fertilizer. Can I add a bactericide like Physan 20 to the regular watering? If so, at what concentration? A: I have been doing exactly like what you describe for a couple of years. It is to prevent mold and algae growth inside […]

Whitish mold on bark

Q: Quite a large amount of bark enclosed in a plastic bag for about a year is covered with a whitish mold. Would this be harmful to my orchids. Would a fungicide drench be wise such as Physan 20? A: It looks like your bag of bark was wet when filled, hence the fungus growth. […]

Weak cymbidium leaves

  Q: My cymbidiums need help. The new leaves cannot support themselves. They fold over about halfway along the length of the leaf. This fold turns brown and hard. Some of the leaves have a long split running lengthwise down the center of the leaf. A: From information provided my best guess is that you […]

Wrinkled bulbs

Q: I am growing cattleyas in a window greenhouse. Many leaves and bulbs have started to become wrinkled and creased where they originally were smooth. What causes this? A: Wrinkled leaves and bulbs are a sign of dehydration. The plants are not receiving enough water. This can be because of low humidity in the home, […]

Black spots on orchid flowers

Q: I placed a large flowering cattleya on a shaded, covered patio. Flowers last a long time but developed small black spots all over the blooms. What caused this? A: Petal blight, caused by a Boltrylis fungal species, is common during cool, damp weather where there is inadequate air circulation. Phalaenopsis and Catttleya-like flowers are […]

Wood basket repot

    Q: I have a vigorous bifoliate Cattelya orchid that is outgrowing its wood basket. I am unsure how to repot it because its roots woven through and around the basket, making it impossible to remove without severe root loss. The medium and the basket are still in good shape. Could I just pot […]