orchid taught lesson

shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10bJanuary 14, 2014

A few years ago an orchid grower from Equador came to our orchid society. He was preceded by a several very large boxes. I bought a bunch. Most lived and bloomed. One, epidendrin purum, a species is still in transition from the jungle to south florida and my microcline. This plant, when mature, is very large with a potential of hundreds of blooms. It came with 5 or 6 canes that had been chopped to about 1.5 ft. Immediately it responded to feed and care and started new growth. Maybe 8 or 10 new canes. But after trying to make it they gave up. But in a month a new crop of baby canes tried and failed again. And 1 more failure. Then the canes have taken hold are getting big and it looks like it is on the way.

My theory. Like a young fruit tree may develop fruit but only to drop the fruit. As if they know better. Too young to bear. A very large orchid needs a large root system. So each attempt to start canes also started roots and finally the root structure was big enough to support the canes and ended the failures. My guess.

This post was edited by shavedmonkey on Tue, Jan 14, 14 at 18:41

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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Sometimes you just need a minor move in plant situation or watering routine to make a difference. Your orchid might be misnamed, might be purum.
Love this Jungle stuff!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 5:30PM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

a technical issue. No help on spell check.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 6:42PM
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Interesting theory.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 6:55PM
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SM, to give you food for thought: you analogized it to fruit. Thats a false equivalency because you are dealing with shoots here, not fertilized ovaries.

But you aren't far off. You are more accurately describing the root to shoot ratio: a plant cant support more leaves than it has roots to nourish them. And it can't have more roots than it has leaves to nourish them.

The hole in your theory lies with this point: Invariably when root area is reduced, older shoots/leaves are the ones to go. New growth is not aborted, its just smaller. Thats one of the main ways bonsai growers reduce the size of their plant's leaves.

Your situation is the reverse: The plant was hacked back (shoot area reduced), so root area should have naturally reduced proportionately as well. Next should therefore be shoots of proportionate size to the root ball. But what happened in your case was new growth aborted left and right.

To me, this says its more a question of stress recovery and hormones settling than size of the root ball. Remember, root ball size is more often correlated to blooming ability, not ability to produce new growths to survive. It might just be that this particular species might be a little less hardy. Or just this particular clone of this species is a weaker grower than others of its species (since each seed grown clone is unique).

Or roots continued to grow, its was just the older ones.

Or you just got a very weird case that defies explanation and is not likely to happen again in the future. Who knows?

But in any case, I'm glad its doing better for you.

This post was edited by terpguy on Tue, Jan 14, 14 at 20:27

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 8:17PM
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Don't know about such things, just wanted to say it is a beautiful plant.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 9:22AM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

Thanks Shirley. If I can grow this to maturity then the beauty will really come. http://orchid.unibas.ch/phpMyHerbarium/2064404/1/Epidendrum/purum/Lindley_John/specimen.php is a link for a picture.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 12:53PM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

terp, not a false equivalency. Other than in your eyes. Due to not being mature, for whatever reason, plants seem to know to keep things in sequence to survive. Irrelevant whether it is roots, flowers, or ovaries. Plants balk at out of sequence.

I seriously doubt your theory on hormones settling.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 1:06PM
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You're free to believe whatever you want, grounded in science or not. Like I said I'm just glad it's doing better for you.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 2:56PM
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