Wild Maxi

by Colleen Rochette

Despite my initial concerns, my Maxillaria tenufolia did not get her panties in a bunch last night. Re-potting this gem was a breeze. I gathered her leaves in my hand and yanked her right out of that rotting vanda basket. Kind of reminded me of pulling on a wildly long ponytail.

Maxi was moistened before her transplant and I took a moment to look at her situation. Err, that smell? She had been potted in pure sphagnum moss. It was wet, it was warm and it felt so wrong between my fingers. I jostled it out from between her fine roots. Shake, rinse. Shake, rinse. The sphagnum had shown signs of decay, but I did not have to snip a single root off.

Colleen Rochette Maxallaria Roots 1The earthy appearance and overwhelming moist smell reminded me of a forest floor. I cannot even imagine what a hot greenhouse would smell like after a morning watering?

Colleen Rochette Maxallaria Roots 2Incredibly healthy roots! Each one seemed to have a tiny green jewel-like tip. Happy and active! Despite the roots being so thin, they were very malleable. I was not concerned about causing them any discomfort.

Colleen Rochette Maxallaria Roots 3Bad hair day appearance above the pot. Bad hair day appearance below the pot.

Colleen Rochette Maxallaria SoakingMaxi enjoying a final soak in a solution of Physan 20. Although no roots had rotted or were in need of trimming, a significant amount of green mossy growth had previously occurred. Want to make sure that none of that would be returning while she was in my care.