Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rhyncholaeliocattleya Memoria Roselyn Reisman 'Mendenhall'

I have been looking forward to seeing this plant bloom. It is from the Sea God Nursery by way of a local collector. It has some historic value, having been registered in 1967 and I found a nice picture of the flower on the web.

As the buds started to open I was alarmed to see the faded sections on the petals. This is a what is known as a color break and is the result of a virus. I feared for my collection at first, but now I think it has not had a chance to spread.

I have only had the plant since October. It was re-potted as soon as I got it but not divided. It has never been soaked where other plants have shared water. I have not had mealy or aphids.

So the plant is going in the trash. That includes the pot, which I hate to lose. I am going to keep the hanger which can be cleaned and oven roasted. I am sad to lose the plant but I can never take it to show and tell and have no confidence to manage virused plants.


  1. Richard,

    Can't you roast the (clay) pot to kill possible virus?


  2. If it was merely dirty I would do that to make sure everything was dead. However, because it is one pot I am not going to go to the effort. The wire has nothing that is not right on the surface.

  3. If you were to submerge the pot in chlorine bleach and then rinse thoroughly in water would that kill any virus or disease? Could the pot then be reused?

  4. Does the lighter coloring always mean a virus? I do have one plant, no name to it, that looks very close if not identical to yours and it also has this light coloring. Never thought of a virus and otherwise the plant looks healthy. How does the virus spread, by contact, same water?

  5. Well they recommend burning the plant. Both ways to get rid of it are very sad, I don't see the moment coming when I'll have a virused plant. I once thought my cymbidium had virus, but it was only fungi. I felt so so bad of just the thought of burning a plant. Sounds pathetic, but I am sentimental hehehe.

    Love your blog, keep smiling.

  6. Bleach does not do the whole job. It is used as a cleaner of tools but a propane torch is better. Pots need time in the oven to be sure virus is killed.

    In my case, I am going for "easy" since it is only one pot. Normal pot cleaning involves soap, alcohol and water followed by an insecticide and sun drying.

    Good growers will bake all clay pots, but I would be straining the orchid-work-in-the-house balance I have with my wife.