dead roots on orchids

cherryirene(Z7)August 24, 2007

I just bought a bunch of really cheap orchids on Ebay. The roots on most were shriveled up. With misting , will they eventually regrow roots? I have grown very few orchids so I don't know their habits.

I wrote the vendor who hasn't responded just yet. The foliage looks fine

. CG

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cjwatson(Z8 FL)

Often they will depending on what kind of orchids they are. You can get better advice if we know what kind they are. Are they all the same type? Do they have tags? Are they mature plants, or seedlings?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 11:06AM
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pamelaw(z6 NE Ok)

Oh this can't be Royal Orchid Club ?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 11:18AM
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Hi Cj
They are mostly seedling cattleyas. The mature vanda roots look better. The roots looked like the plants have been sitting in a box for months.
Hi Pamela. Uh oh- yes they were from the Royal Orchid Club with exorbitant shipping charges.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 3:09PM
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I made a Royal Orchid Club purchase earlier this year of a mixed bag of Catts, a Dendrobium & 2 Phals hybrids, all bare root. After opening them "mostly dessicated looking very nearly dead root" would have been more apt a description. It can be tougher to tell what is a non-viable root on the Catts but the Phals were self explanatory even for me. I had read an earlier post about bare root plants here on this forum and soaked them all for a good hour in clean H2O and KLN before potting up. In spite of the horrifying initial appearance I should hasten to add that from March until now they have all survived and a few are doing slightly better than survival. This includes one particular Catt hybrid that arrived with very dessicated leaves & PB's that I very nearly pulled the plug on during the first few weeks of life support. As of today it looks generally bad and nearly leafless but has re-established it's root system and there or 2 new leads starting on the rhizome. More a credit to how amazing these plants are than any skill on my end. Virtually all the plants had to be nursed along while they re-established root systems. It was toughest on the Phals. Unfortunately I was foolishly optimistic and purchased a bellinia hybrid that remains in a sulk, but has at least grown some roots. The Den has re-established roots but has yet to send up any new growth.

I resorted to a sphag & bag type hospital for the worst off. The Catts generally proved to be very resilient & tough and I probably unwittingly timed my purchase so as to catch them as new growth was starting so they were going to be growing new roots anyway. It seems to me that along with the recent bout of Royal Orchid Club bashing there was an earlier thread I remember that talked about timing of purchases that are bare root, and it may have been in reference to this vendor as well.

In any event, I put a great deal more time and energy into these plants to keep them going than I have from any other plant purchases. I did get one other Cym hybrid from a different vendor that arrived bare root and it is struggling as well. Maybe it is just me and a general lack of skill with bare root plants, but in the future if I buy any bare root plants you can bet it will be timed to match the start of new growth on the plant. In my situation given the size of my typical order (smallish) I cannot say that I see much of an advantage to bare root purchases given my experience even factoring in the savings on shipping costs.

If you are inclined toward seedlings and looking for bargains you will be hard pressed to find as good a deal on happy thriving potted seedlings than those available from Ellen at Olympic Orchids. I have several shelves of plants from Olympic - and an order on the way. While most of her plants are established seedlings I have a couple of Miltonopsis that arrived in spike. I placed several orders very early this year and she watches the weather very closely refusing to ship if there was any risk of cold damage during the plants travels. During one particularly long and very cold period here and across the Midwest she ended up boarding a fair order for me and sent me a little note that 2 plants has started new leaves during the wait. I have not tried the Orchid finders service yet (there was yet another thread here about Olympic Orchids and Orchid finders a while ago which is how I became hooked) Then there is the freebies added to new orders and orders of over 5 plants. Since I just placed an order I can tell you that between species and hybrids there are better than 20 Cats to choose from priced b/w 4 & 10 bucks. I ordered 8 plants for 54.00 without shipping. ( I have not been back to Royal Orchid club since.

If you are unfamiliar with the sphag and bag rescue strategy you can use the search function for Sphag and Bag, or try this link for the basics. Also there was a great thread recently on Phal rehabbing using a slightly different strategy.

Here is a link that might be useful: FAQ on Rotted Roots

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 3:27PM
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I knew it! Don't buy from Royal Orchid Club. The cattleya I bought was dry and desiccated. It took forever for them to deliver it. It looked like it was packed in a dry box for a month. The plant was completely limp. I soaked it in water, but it never plumped up. All the roots were apparently dead. I sphag/bagged it but it ended up rotting. The plant was suppose to be blooming size, but it was at least two years from that. What a waste of time and money. Please read other horror stories on the Forum that specifically talks about Royal Orchid Club.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 12:35AM
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same thing here. Receive 4 tiny dry plants and they are almost died. Packed in 7.5"x5"x0.75" box. take 3 week for them to ship. and same as "All the roots were apparently dead. ". I am very very disappoint.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 11:38AM
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