Cattleya walkeriana just arrived, COLD, in wet moss

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I got an ebay deal on this Cattleya walkeriana “Manhattan Blue.” Retail therapy, spur of moment. It just arrived, in this wet snowstorm, on my Chicago porch. It only sat there for 30 seconds before I grabbed it but I don’t know the conditions it’s been in. Leaves feel very cold, but solid. Was shipped in WET moss, in that flimsy rubbery commercial pot, where it seems to have been for some time as the roots run along the vessel’s sides. I have yanked it out of that pot; no way can a Cattleya do wet moss in my conditions. What else should I do? Just dry it out and hope for the best? The roots do look good, just super wet. It had two new leads coming off the last growth, leaf edges have a distinct thin pale pinstripe. Thoughts and suggestions please... the plant does look nice and robust but I’m not sure what to do next. It’s quarantining in room temperature, out of that pot, for now. Thank you
 

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lanthier

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Can you virus test it? I see no immediate reason to do so, but any catt that makes its way into my collection gets tested immediately. Assuming it is fine, I let it acclimate in its native potting media for a least a few weeks. Catts in moss are a recipe for disaster unless you are extremely disciplined about about watering. I transfer mine into bark mix and your plant looks like it will be ready soon judging by the new growths.
 

Phred

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Nice looking Manhattan Blue. It looks good at this point. IMHO Cattleya should never be shipped wet like that. I would remove the moss and treat it with an antifungal and let it dry out. I'd stick it in a coffee filter paper in a pot with no medium for 2 or 3 weeks. That way the roots won't stick to the new pot. Water every 4-5 days. When you see some new root starting to grow take the paper out and add a little medium in the bottom of the pot around the roots. Give it some more time and repeat until completely potted. (I've done this with a few dozen walkers when received this time of the year)
 
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In the spirit of exchanging ideas: I think I would have waited to let the plant adjust to new conditions and show signs of adjusting (i.e., growth) before forcing a new medium (or lack thereof) on it. It seems to be doing quite nicely indeed in the sphagnum. Since walkeriana takes quite bright light, and because their pot-size tends to be comparatively small (for cattleyas), walkerianas are not uncommonly planted in sphagnum. FWIW.
 

tnyr5

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If it makes you feel any better, Orchid Zone once shipped me (in Pennsylvania) a $350 roth wrapped in soaking wet sphagnum in a box with no insulation or heat pack in February when the night temps were 11degrees. It's still alive.
 

lanthier

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If it makes you feel any better, Orchid Zone once shipped me (in Pennsylvania) a $350 roth wrapped in soaking wet sphagnum in a box with no insulation or heat pack in February when the night temps were 11degrees. It's still alive.

OMG Tony!!!! That is TERRIBLE!
 

Phred

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BTW... it is not unusual for walkers to lose new growths so if it happens it doesnt necessarily mean you did anything wrong.

Hey ButcherT
Do you grow in the house or greenhouse? If you’re in the house you shouldn't take a chance with leaving that walker in moss. With walkers it’s all about getting the roots to dry quickly after watering and moss will take at least a couple days to dry out and, therefore, so will the roots. If the roots rot on the old growths they generally don’t produce new ones without real difficulty. If you have old growths without roots they place a demand for water on the newer growths and it will take longer to get your plant establish.
1E9ADC60-13C1-487E-BE21-427ED09EB119.jpeg Last year I got a bunch of small walkers from Brazil. They were potted in tree fern and they were not producing new growths or roots. I unpotted them and put them bare rot in clay pots. Once they started to grow I opted them up.
 

Tom-DE

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BT, I don't think you need to worry about anything here. Just pot it up and keep it on the dry side for a little while...with good luck, you might see new growths, new roots, perhaps a flower spike. The newly emerging growths look great.
 

marcher85

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My rule number 1 for bifoliate cattleyas is to repot them when the new growth starts to show roots. I recommend to take it out of the original pot and place it in a bigger pot or plate without any media just the moss it has, so it can dry faster. The good signal is that this plant has two new growth, at least one of them will thrive and shoot out roots, maybe in a couple of weeks. it is more probably the root die if you disturbe them now. Place the plant in a spot with good light and start the dry wet cycle like your other cattleyas but maybe less frequent until the plant has new roots to repot it. B3047629-6856-4546-B22E-D341F08010AF.jpeg
 
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marcher85

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My rule number 1 for bifoliate cattleyas is to repot when the new growth starts to show roots. I recommend to take out of the original pot and place it in a bigger pot or plate without any media just the moss it has so it can dry faster. The good signal is that this planta has two new growth at least one of them will thrive and shoot out roots maybe in a couple of weeks. it is mor probably the root die if you disturbe then now. place the plant in an spot with good light and start the dry wet cycle like your other cattleyas but maybe less frequency until the plant has new roots to repot it. View attachment 25216
I forgot to say that the planta looks healthy
 

PeteM

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Nice looking Manhattan Blue. It looks good at this point. IMHO Cattleya should never be shipped wet like that. I would remove the moss and treat it with an antifungal and let it dry out. I'd stick it in a coffee filter paper in a pot with no medium for 2 or 3 weeks. That way the roots won't stick to the new pot. Water every 4-5 days. When you see some new root starting to grow take the paper out and add a little medium in the bottom of the pot around the roots. Give it some more time and repeat until completely potted. (I've done this with a few dozen walkers when received this time of the year)
Genius. If I were in this situation.. I would follow this advice. I should do this for other cattleya orchids as well.

Also.. never order orchids in the dead of winter, during a pandemic when the mail system is still shuttering ( I’m still getting Christmas cards) I’ve had a few close calls myself with live plants.. so far only one philodendron casualty.. It’s not worth the stress on you or the orchid.
 

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BTW... it is not unusual for walkers to lose new growths so if it happens it doesnt necessarily mean you did anything wrong.

Hey ButcherT
Do you grow in the house or greenhouse? If you’re in the house you shouldn't take a chance with leaving that walker in moss. With walkers it’s all about getting the roots to dry quickly after watering and moss will take at least a couple days to dry out and, therefore, so will the roots. If the roots rot on the old growths they generally don’t produce new ones without real difficulty. If you have old growths without roots they place a demand for water on the newer growths and it will take longer to get your plant establish.
View attachment 25213 Last year I got a bunch of small walkers from Brazil. They were potted in tree fern and they were not producing new growths or roots. I unpotted them and put them bare rot in clay pots. Once they started to grow I opted them up.
Phred, when they are staged in the pots like this. Do you mist the roots daily or have another method to keep the roots happy and growing? Thanks for posting.
 

Phred

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Phred, when they are staged in the pots like this. Do you mist the roots daily or have another method to keep the roots happy and growing? Thanks for posting.
In my situation I water every 4 days but I soak them good.
 

Phred

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And do you drench them with a sprayer/ hose directly on the filter or do you actually pick them up and soak them in a bowl? Love this vanda culture.
I water everything over the sink with a sprayer. I spray the whole plant. I put my finger over the drain hole and fill the put up then drain.
 

Katahdin

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Last year I got a bunch of small walkers from Brazil.

What company did you get those from, and how expensive / hard is the importation process? They look fantastic. I love walkerianas, but selection and prices from USA based companies is poor at the moment.
 

Phred

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What company did you get those from, and how expensive / hard is the importation process? They look fantastic. I love walkerianas, but selection and prices from USA based companies is poor at the moment.
Hi Katahdin
I got them from:
They ship to the USA for certain big shows and them mail your order to you.
 

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