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Inducing a bloom?

This is a discussion on Inducing a bloom? within the Cattleya Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Hey all!!! I have a 7-10 year old cattleya that was given to my mother ...

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  1. #1
    Moosecakes is offline Senior Member
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    Default Inducing a bloom?

    Hey all!!!

    I have a 7-10 year old cattleya that was given to my mother by my aunt 7 years ago. My family has never seen a single bloom off of it. For all these years it has been giving roots and new leaves like crazy, but not even a single spike to speak of! It has stayed extremely healthy, just no blooms! Last weekend my mom gave me the plant to take back to school with me, since our science club has a nice greenhouse that i store all my orchids in. Over the weekend it has shot out 4 new roots, perfect, gorgeous, healthy roots. Im DYING to see a bloom out of this cat!!!
    Any tips or tricks you guys have for me?
    Ill snap some pics next time im in there. (probably 2 days from now.)

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    Catts needs very bright light to bloom, some cattleyas withstand direct sun.

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    Your plant seems fat, it need some rest. Reduce fertilizing and watering, this will help to bloom. Standard operating procedure for cattleya allies, plants should face in the east for morning sunlight and if they are don't face in the east, they tend to be fat and plenty of healthy roots. This was my very experience for these plants.

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    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Moving it to a greenhouse with high light should cause it to spike. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn't burn, but make sure it gets very bright light. You will soon have blooms to take back home to your mom.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Moosecakes is offline Senior Member
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    Alright sweet! sounds good.

    If new roots are forming, is that an indication of a bloom starting? Or should i supplement my greenhouse lights with an extra bulb?

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    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    Danny, Putting it into a greenhouse will also give it a temperature drop of at least 20 degrees at night. Orchids NEED THIS DROP in temp. to bloom. I also give my orchids a "bloom booster" fertilizer, when I know that it's time for my orchids to spike. My cattleya orchids usually bloom in the winter/early spring. Hope this helps...Betty :-)

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    Moosecakes is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the post Betty!

    The orchids are now getting settled in to the greenhouse. A psuedobulb on one of the catt divisions is swelling exponentially for the past week or so and shows no sign of stopping. Also, both catts have given new shoots off of the base of the plant. They are shooting out roots like mad too, so at the moment i assume it will be best just to let nature run its course and let the plants enjoy the growing season without trying to make them bloom on my own? Do orchids tend to only bloom after they have stopped sending out new roots and shoots for the season? Or can it occur simultaneously with this genus?

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    I'm just thinking aloud that there could also be a possibility that particular clonal variety of Cattleya might have traits that tend to be finicky on the flowering habit. If you could tell us the name of the cattleya (if it is a hybrid or species) could help us determine the behavior of your plant. Some orchid species (and hybrids for that matter depending on the parentage) need a dry rest period or a slight change or variation in the daytime-nighttime temperatures or lighting intensity/length or even both.

    For example, I remember years back some of our local, seasoned cattleya growers would shorten the day-length (the time where the plant receives light) by covering the plant with dark cloth material so as to shorten it daylength thus inducing the plant to bloom. I understand some cattleya species and some of their hybrids are sensitive to daylength. If I am not mistaken these are some of the floofy white cattleyas (labiate forms ????).

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    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Danny...Normally, with cattleyas, the new growth has got to mature; then in the late Fall, I fertilize with blossom booster ( at 1/4 the regular amount ) every week. Then, if the orchid is getting enough light, fertilizer, plus at least a 20 degree temp. drop at night, it WILL put out flower spikes. I'm looking forward to seeing those cattleya blooms, Danny! Betty :-)

  10. #10
    Moosecakes is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks guys so much for the posts!
    That was very informative Jojo, I had no idea that these guys could get so picky! But with a genus as diverse and vast as Cattleya, it is bound to have a few tough cookies. Unfortunately, my mom received this cattleya as a gift from my aunt almost 10 years ago and it has never bloomed. My aunt had no idea what its ID was and I have never seen a glimpse of a bloom to try to make an educated guess.

    Betty, it is settled then, I will allow the plant to grow and mature for the summer and fall and then maybe december time I will start my bloom booster supplementation. What is the nutrient ratio you like to use for the bloom booster?

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