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How to improve appearance of a cattleya orchid

This is a discussion on How to improve appearance of a cattleya orchid within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; This plant (C.Walkeriana var Alba Pendentive C. Ruth MCGee) is rather wild and gangly with ...

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  1. #1
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    Default How to improve appearance of a cattleya orchid

    This plant (C.Walkeriana var Alba Pendentive C. Ruth MCGee) is rather wild and gangly with the leaves all akimbo, but the flower is beautiful. What can I do to make it more attractive or controlled. Perhaps repotting?

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    You could repot. Since I am limited in space, and not trying to grow large specimen plants, I often repot, and remove the older bulbs (leaving at least 4). That also gives me the chance to straighten it up a bit, maybe even tying up some bulbs if they are too far astray.

    However, getting it to bloom is really the best way to improve the appearance!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kmac View Post
    However, getting it to bloom is really the best way to improve the appearance!!!
    Ain't that the truth, Kathi! I've not had the luxury of getting rid of excess backbulbs yet, but I'll keep that advice in mind.
    Tony

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    I use rings to keep my Catts. upright and clean looking. You can get them at any orchid supply. Another reason I like them is because it allows the flower to be presented upright.
    Don

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    It's definitely past time to repot this plant. If you want the plant to look organized you will have to do some severe dividing and essentially start over. The most promising place to start would be with the lead with the new growth and new roots. It's hard to tell how many old growths/backbulbs you can get with this division, but try for 3-4 (mature). If I were to speculate on the cultural issues that lead to this appearance, I would say that this plant receives insufficient light, evidenced by the "leggy" growth-some long distances between pseudobulbs and the bent-over leaves.
    Is there a chance that the hybrid is (walkeriana X Ruth Gee) (not McGee)? Ruth Gee is a large white Cattleya; Ruth McGee is not listed in the RHS orchid register.
    Good growing.

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    Agree with Michael, its way beyond repotting time. I repot mine when I see small just tiny green root nodules (1 mm) starting to protrude out of the dry sheath. This way you do not damage the new root tips and the new roots can grow in the new media. Repot a cattleya at the wrong time, and it will set back its growth severly, also it may just sulk away and die. Wait for a few more months to repot.

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    And when you do repot, as Amey has given you the trigger, make sure to soak the pot in luke warm water before attempting to remove the plant from its current pot, that will allow those roots outsid the pot to detach more easily, with less damage to the roots.
    Cattleya, and some other, really tell us when to repot, we do not tell them - or the results are often the sulking and death Amey speaks of.

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    Thanks for all the good info. The plant does get full sun under a screen enclosure untill about 2pm.
    The name must be Gee not McGee as it is a white bloom.

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    Yes, as suggested time to repot and divide this cattleya orchid. That bloom in post 8 is really beautiful.

    cheers,
    BD

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    Another question: How can I avoid repotting in order to get a very large plant with multiple blooms? I realize that I may not be able to do it with this plant but what should I do to train others. Rings were mentioned but are there other things to do also.

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