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By DeadlyCarnivore
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Posts:  391
Joined:  Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:17 am
#384128
Hello, I found an Oncidium at the raylees here in my town and need some care tips. I am repotting it and need to know if these are dead roots. Some are coming off and leaving stringy roots behind, but most of them are not coming off. I dont really see any green or white growth, the green that you do see in the picture looks like moss or algae. Most of it looks yellow or brown, I cant tell if that is the roots themselves or the peat/bark mixture that it was in.

Can I trim most of the roots off and leave some to keep it rooted into the new soil I am going to use? Should I leave it as is? Image

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By rara_avis
Posts:  19
Joined:  Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:12 am
#384200
Cut off anything dark brown/black and mushy (if you squish it it should flatten/mush easily) with scissors cleaned with 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes. If it’s yellow/light brown or even dark brown but feels firm to the touch, leave it be. Some potting media can stain roots to look darker.

Try not to disturb the healthy roots and get what you can, it’s ok if it isn’t perfect! If you can, wet the roots and sort of wiggle them apart get some of the dead roots from inside but don’t push beyond what the orchid can handle. Then, spray the roots down with 3% hydrogen peroxide to disinfect and prevent bacteria on the open cuts. Repot in washed coconut/perlite/lava rock mix or whatever orchid media of choice and use a pot that goes out 1-2 inches around the orchid (not necessarily bigger than it’s current pot, just a pot with enough room for it to develop a few new pseudobulbs over the next couple years in) with drainage holes in the bottom and ideally the sides too.

Enjoy your new plant! I’m new-ish to orchids myself but have read multiple AOS books on the topic and this is what I did with my own Oncidum that’s doing fabulously now.


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By DeadlyCarnivore
Location: 
Posts:  391
Joined:  Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:17 am
#384206
rara_avis wrote:Cut off anything dark brown/black and mushy (if you squish it it should flatten/mush easily) with scissors cleaned with 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes. If it’s yellow/light brown or even dark brown but feels firm to the touch, leave it be. Some potting media can stain roots to look darker.

Try not to disturb the healthy roots and get what you can, it’s ok if it isn’t perfect! If you can, wet the roots and sort of wiggle them apart get some of the dead roots from inside but don’t push beyond what the orchid can handle. Then, spray the roots down with 3% hydrogen peroxide to disinfect and prevent bacteria on the open cuts. Repot in washed coconut/perlite/lava rock mix or whatever orchid media of choice and use a pot that goes out 1-2 inches around the orchid (not necessarily bigger than it’s current pot, just a pot with enough room for it to develop a few new pseudobulbs over the next couple years in) with drainage holes in the bottom and ideally the sides too.

Enjoy your new plant! I’m new-ish to orchids myself but have read multiple AOS books on the topic and this is what I did with my own Oncidum that’s doing fabulously now.


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Thank you!

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By DragonsEye
Posts:  368
Joined:  Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:22 pm
#384209
As Rara said ... if they are squishy, they're dead. Remove those. Otherwise, keep them. Incase you haven't had an onc before ....

Light should be bright but no hot direct afternoon sun. In cp terms, a bit more than pings but definitely less than most dews.

Media: Don't use peat. Sphag can be used IF you aren't in a very humid rainy climate. (For example, FLorida.) Otherwise use a small to medium grade bark with pieces being 1/4-1/2 inch "square". Phal bark is too large. (General rule of thumb: the finer/thinner the roots, the smaller the bark pieces should be. Of course there are some exceptions out there.)
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