Rootless orchids and backbulbs

greenthumb_5(6a-7b)June 8, 2012

How do I encourage root growth and more pseudobulbs from the leafless and rootless backbulbs and rootless and pseudobulbless cattleya orchid divisions and they are my friends and she came to me to ask me for help and they were divisions of what was left alive of the orchid.

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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

At the base of the Cattleya pseudobulb there are a couple of growth eyes. These are more likely to be alive on the fully leafed newer pseudobulbs and are often dead on the older growths.
All you can do is pot the bits and pieces up in very small pots or tubes, give them good conditions and see what happens.
The road back will take years and you have to ask yourself if it is worth the effort.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 3:29AM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

"rootless and pseudobulbless cattleya orchid divisions"

Talk about what you mean by "pseudobulbless" please.

As for leafless and rootless, less care is more. A Catt will sprout if it is propped up and the bottom is touching a surface. I use rock chunks with an occasional water splash. But really, just sitting in a pot they will sprout. When the roots are more than an inch, pot it in you preferred medium.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Important aspect to recognize is that without rots, they cannot absorb water. Watering them is useless and only leads to rotting some. I put them in a box, keep them in full shade and inspect them now and then to see if there is initiation. Only after initiation do I pot or mount them and then begin to water and fed them. If and when they initiate, the new plantlet will make roots. Poting them in seedling bark or mounting them with a little Sphagnum Moss works well.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:44PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

I read the OP as chopped up bits of a Cattleya. A flowering size division would consist of 4 or 5 pseudobulbs. Back-cuts made up of mainly leafless pseudobulbs would need more time. Hence my remarks about whether the process is worth the effort.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 11:18PM
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When I meant pseudobulbless because the species is not named and it has a long leaf with a thin pseudobulb which looks like a twig. But thank you for your suggestions so i'll try them. But still I feel like I need help with the rootless pieces of orchids like I have an encylica division which is part of what I have to try to save so can anyone tell me what is the best method to bring roots and pseudobulb growth and the care until to that point like lighting. Also even a medium and etc. I'll accept any reccommendations since I really want to get them out of the house. They look horrible like wrinkled up and live at the same time. Also can any one tell me how to bring a backbulb to life and it is still green and plumped out but it is rootless and leafless.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 11:31PM
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Also the backbulb is pseudobulbless since it is not making any.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 12:46PM
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You cannot make a backbulb or back division initiate. Put them in a safe place and wait. They'll either initiate or shrivel up and go to orchid heaven. Your main contribution at this point is not to be kind to them by watering them which will rot them.

A back division of a Cattleya which HAS roots can be potted and watered, anything without roots should be kept dry until roots form.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 4:16PM
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