Orchid Wise

From the Orchid Wise Shade House…..Cymbidium Bulb Rot

Every now and then we talk a walk through the Orchid Wise Shade House to see what has been flowering or what else of interest might be happening. The Orchid Wise shade house is overflowing with all sorts! From species and primary hybrids to modern show bench hybrids and everything in between. You just never know what you’ll find!

Today’s Cymbidium orchid focus is: Cymbidium orchid Bulb Rot

Not everyone is perfect at growing all the time, and there will always be a plant that succumbs to something. So walking through the shade house today I was a little dismayed to find this……

I’ve found a Cym. Atlantic Carat in the shade house with a bulb that is rotting, and I was really worried I had a case of Cymbidium bulb rot….

We’ve had quite a damp winter in Adelaide this year (2023). Only an average amount of rain but a lot of days and nights of drizzle and light rain.

This has created long periods of damp, high humidity and cool to cold temperatures with little opportunity to dry out.

There’s not a lot you can do about that, unless you can cover the shade house or put your Cymbidium orchids under some other shelter. Or if you have a very free draining mix in your pots, but sometimes that’s not enough……

Always inspect your plants regularly

This bulb is obviously struggling, and I can tell you right now, there is no saving it. It’s already gone……

To the touch, when squeezed, it is getting very soft and it’s clearly rotting away. No amount of love will resurrect it.

I’m pretty sure it’s just the fact that it’s been too wet, however this could have created an environment for fungus and bacteria to take hold.

Read a short guide on bulb rot here.

Knocking the pot off shows that this is one of my older pots, with not enough air space in the mix. Too much broken down fine material that is holding way too much water. This is supported by the look of the roots, mostly shrivelled and brown.

Not a good look, and no real surprise that I’ve lost the bulb……

So What Can You Do?

Well, what I have done is cut the rotting bulb off the plant and discarded it, along with a small root prune of the unhealthy roots.

I’ve then repotted it in a new batch of very course potting medium to ensure the drainage is super good, and hopefully dries out much quicker. This will hopefully ensure the wet conditions don’t return. I have also separated the plant just in case there is some sort of fungus or bacteria at play.

Turning the plant around and looking at the other bulbs has revealed a surprise, and a saving grace.

A lovely big fat healthy green bulb with three new shoots beginning to grow. As well as a few new healthy thick white roots.

This is a great bonus for this plant, and will hopefully mean I have some new spikes coming in the next couple of seasons!

Some good feeding over the spring and summer and a close eye kept on this one should guarantee a good recovery.

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