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Flowers not clearing sheath

This is a discussion on Flowers not clearing sheath within the Cattleya Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; I am having a problem with some of my Catts. Right now I have a ...

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  1. #1
    Germinatorman's Avatar
    Germinatorman is offline Senior Member
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    Unhappy Flowers not clearing sheath

    I am having a problem with some of my Catts. Right now I have a C. (L.) tenebrosa and a LC. GoldDigger in bloom with flowers not totally clear of the sheaths or leaf. They burst open before the flower stem reaches a sufficient height to clear the leaf. Aggravating to say the least - the flowers are bunched up and do not open fully. Do you think this might be a cultural thing? They are grown in basement under 400 w. HPS lighting, fed weekly weakly with a balanced fertilizer with temps. in the low to mid 70s. 12 hr. light, 12 hr. dark. Oh, and the GoldDigger did the same thing last year but in prior years bloomed normally. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    I've had this happen as well. I don't have an explanation. One of my catts did this 2 years in a row but this year was perfectly normal. Maybe it knew it was headed for the trash. I didn't change anything about the way I care for them either. I can't answer your lighting questions as I grow in a greenhouse and don't add supplimental lighting.

  3. #3
    Germinatorman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Jeffrey. Maybe there is hope for these guys. I totally subscribe to your thought about the trash. I have had conversations with several of my plants about their future if they did not behave. Sometimes it worked, others met their maker..............it happens.

  4. #4
    smwboxer is offline Senior Member
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    Sometimes they do this. I always keep an eye on any sheaths and once the buds reach a nice size, give them a snip and peel them back.

  5. #5
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    That's what I do--cut the tip off the sheath and peel it back.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smwboxer View Post
    Sometimes they do this. I always keep an eye on any sheaths and once the buds reach a nice size, give them a snip and peel them back.
    I peel back sheaths as well but a couple still produced a very short inflorescense. It's just not a nice flower presentation.

  7. #7
    Germinatorman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guy. My problem is not that the sheath does not open, it is as Jeffrey said, lousy presentation. The sheath opens early enough, the plants just seem to prematurely open as they begin to rise from the sheath. I guess the answer for now is to wait and see........just like with the Cubs, there is always next year....................
    Don

  8. #8
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    It could be nutrition or light deficiency as well.
    Some flower stems get stunted if they do not get enough light or nutrients.

  9. #9
    Germinatorman's Avatar
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    Hey Wetfeet, you know what? I just switched my water and fertilizer routine on the Catts. I was giving them the same R.O. water and Michigan State Fertilizer as the Masd. but recently I switched because I was having contorted flowers on the Catts. Someone else in this forum had suggested that might have caused the contortions. I now use well water with a pH lower'er with a balanced fertilizer. I do not believe it is low light, I maintain enough light to keep the Catt. leaves a pale green and many of them bloom regularly. I am thinking it might be the nutrition. I need to give this new feed a while to see if it works.
    Thanks everyone for your responses - this is a great site and there are a bunch of people willing to share their vast knowledge of this great group of plants.

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