|Rlc (Port Royal Sound 'Big Red' X Chia Lin 'Shinsu #1')|
I've found that severe underwatering is just as capable of killing off orchid roots as overwatering. A dehydrated orchid will put out new growths, but then lose them before they have a chance to fully mature. In the picture above, you can see two nubs of pseudobulbs, which lack a leaf at the tip. The leaves had rotted off when I neglected to water the orchid during a critical period of growth.
|Two new growths at base of cattleya orchid|
Looking closer at the base of the orchid, I can spot what looks like two new growth starts. They look a little like purple onions. I am hoping, that with more diligent care, I can nurse these two growths into maturity.
Normally, it seems that in a struggling orchid, new growths must develop first, and then they can put out a set of new roots. Old pseudobulbs can provide water storage and nutrients to support the orchid, but do not generally produce active growth. I am curious whether I could trigger some more growth activity. I purchased a small amount of rooting hormone, to test out whether it can help spur better recovery for the orchid.
|Orchid covered in rooting powder|
Now, the onus is on me to remember to water the orchid every 3 days, so that it never experiences extended periods of dryness. I'll check back in a few weeks to see whether the rooting hormone had any effect. In the meantime, with two new growth starts, diligence in watering should be all that I really need to assure survival.