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Cattleya with multiple leads--rest period?

This is a discussion on Cattleya with multiple leads--rest period? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Just the other day I got a Cattleya Arctic Star (a tall bifoliate hybrid) with ...

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  1. #1
    schnozzle is offline Junior Member
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    May 2005

    Default Cattleya with multiple leads--rest period?

    Just the other day I got a Cattleya Arctic Star (a tall bifoliate hybrid) with two new growths on it. The thing is, the growths aren't maturing at the same rate. It looks to me like one will be mature in about a month or so and the other in about two months--I guess they started at different times.

    So, working on the principle that Cattleyas should rest after completing new growths, should I give the plant a rest after the first growth matures or the second? I'm leaning towards waiting until the second is mature, but would that mess with bud formation in the first growth? If it's pertinent, this hybrid has a lot of C. intermedia & C. loddigesii in its recent background..

    Sorry if I'm unclear on this, I haven't owned a large Cattleya before--only encyclias and epidendrums.

  2. #2
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    As long as there is *any* active new growth, the plant isn't resting, so, to make sure all the buds develop properly, keep up the watering and fertilizing.

    Also, I've never seen Catts rest after putting up a new growth but before blooming. Here, they develop pseudobulbs, leaves, sheaths, buds, and blooms in one extensive growth spurt throughout the active growing season, or several growth spurts if they bloom more than once a year. Some will put out new roots just as the new growth is starting, while others only put out new roots after a new growth has bloomed. But when all of that root-growth-bloom activity has stopped for the year (regardless of the season), that's the rest period, not before. Leads developing at different rates just means you'll get to enjoy a blooming season that's spread out over months rather than being condensed altogether into weeks.

  3. #3
    schnozzle is offline Junior Member
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    May 2005


    Excellent, thank you. I had read somewhere that Cattleyas needed a rest period after growth was completed to help bud formation, but the idea of two rest periods did seem strange to me...thanks for clearing that up.

    Yeah, so far I've avoided plants that required rest periods, but that started to seem kind of silly. So now I have a couple.

  4. #4
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    some of the unifoliate species will grow, rest for some time, and then bloom later on. mossiae, for example, grows in the summer, rests in the fall & winter, and blooms in the spring. I think the hybrids are much less pronounced and vary a great deal. Just let the plant dictate management. If you see those root tips start to close over, that's usually a signal for impending dormancy.

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