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How to induce growth on Cattleya aclandiae seedlings

This is a discussion on How to induce growth on Cattleya aclandiae seedlings within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...

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  1. #1
    EMos's Avatar
    EMos is offline Senior Member
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    Eric Mosunallee
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    Question How to induce growth on Cattleya aclandiae seedlings

    I have acquired a flask of C. aclandiae seedlings early last year and I de-flasked it only two months ago as the seedlings looked very small when the flask arrived. After two months I haven't noticed any growth on the seedlings either in terms of roots or leaves.

    Picture of flask before de-flasking
    Name:  aclandiae flask_1010.JPG
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    I have planted the seedlings into a ‘compot’ with a mix of equal parts charcoal, pine bark, and polystyrene. Since then I have lost a few seedlings and the remaining ones are not showing any signs of growth. It’s summer here in Melbourne but temperature has been very mild, ranging from 20 – 25 degrees(70-75F) during day time. The compot is inside with my other orchids on the window sill, and I spray it thoroughly every couple of days and leave the mix to dry a bit before spaying again. I use a mild liquid fertilizer on alternate spraying.

    It’s my first experience with cattleya seedlings from flask and I would like to have some advice on how to induce growth on the seedlings. I would also like to know if anyone has grown C.aclandiae from flask before and whether there is any particularity with growing this cattleya species.

    The first picture is of the compot after de-flasking two months ago, the second picture is the compot after two months.
    Name:  C. aclandiae CP_1010.jpg
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Size:  54.7 KB Name:  C. aclandiae CP_1012.jpg
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    Thanks for your comments and suggestions
    Eric

  2. #2
    Janet's Avatar
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    They look healthy to me. In my experience--which is just a few flasks--the babies do grow very slowly at first. If you check out my blog at IDabbles: orchid cross and look back to the beginning, you will see that i noted very slow growth the first few months also.

    I should take another picture--meant to take one a month but I've been neglectful the last few months.

  3. #3
    EMos's Avatar
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    Thanks Janet, you're giving me some hope, I think I just need some patience Lol
    I've checked your blog and enjoyed reading it, I find it very interesting and helpful. BTW C. Brabantiae is my favourite Cattleya hybrid and it has got C. aclandiae as parent.

  4. #4
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    Eric I agree with Janet although I'm not Cat fan through my experience at least it will take about 2 to 6 months to acclimatise to their surrounding and hardening their leaves. What I can see the 2nd photo the plants more stable and the leaves looked very tough to me and this one actually are ready to produce the new growth..My Cochleanthes hybrids took about 5 to 12 months to produce new growth.Good luck.Zain.

  5. #5
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    I agree that they look great, healthy little guys. One thing you may not see is growth in the root zone. It could be they are building up a strong base on which to grow. Do you know the N-P-K of the fertilizer you are using?

  6. #6
    EMos's Avatar
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    @ Zain,
    Thanks for your comments and sharing your experience, I'm a bit reassured now with the care I'm providing them.
    @ Don,
    The NPK is 23-4-18, and I'm using it at half strength. I hope as you said that they 'are building up a strong base on which to grow'.
    I'll keep monitoring the compot and post new pictures or comments if I notice any changes.

  7. #7
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    Hi Eric, this community pot looks very healthy for two months out of flask. I agree that patience is the key here. After another month or so, you can increase the light just a bit and if possible, increase the temperature too. This might stimulate root growth. I have a friend that breads cattleyas and he puts his seedlings like this on warmer mats to keep them from getting too cold. Since you are in Australia, you are in summer months now, so you probably don't have that worry, but I thought I would share what my friend does with his.

    Good luck!

    cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
    EMos's Avatar
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    Thanks BD for your input and suggestions. Temperature have started to rise here since a couple of weeks and all my orchids are growing actively; there might be a slow but hardly noticeable growth of the seedlings in the 'compot' however, I should be able to confirm this in a few weeks or so.
    I can increase the light level as the seedlings mature by moving them closer to the source of light, but I might need to invest in a small heating/propagating device when winter kicks in if I want some real results or if I want to raise more seedlings in future.

  9. #9
    EMos's Avatar
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    Smile Finally some growth

    Just updating this thread with a couple of new pictures of my Cattleya aclandiae orchid seedlings as I have finally started to observe some growth in the community pot. There is a new leaf developing on one of the seedlings and also new aerial roots from another one. Overall the seedlings are starting to take off which is a very good sign.

    New Leaf development
    Name:  C. aclandiae_CP_1101_annotate.jpg
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    New Roots
    Name:  C. aclandiae_CP_110122.jpg
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  10. #10
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    That is awesome news Eric ! You have a very high success rate. I was not that lucky with my first cattleya flask !

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