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Curly/floppy Cattleya leaves?

This is a discussion on Curly/floppy Cattleya leaves? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I've noticed in a lot of pictures of blooming Cattleya pictures a lot of leaves ...

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  1. #1
    sand_tiger86's Avatar
    sand_tiger86 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Curly/floppy Cattleya leaves?

    I've noticed in a lot of pictures of blooming Cattleya pictures a lot of leaves are floppy and/or curly looking. I have 3 Catts and all of the growths on them are extremely firm and stand straight to attention. Is this bad? I haven't had any of mine for even a year yet so it's too soon to tell if my culture is wrong, but should the leaves be very erect and firm like mine?

  2. #2
    serama's Avatar
    serama is offline Senior Member
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    Hmmm ... I can't say I've noticed floppy or curly leaves on blooming cattleyas before myself.

    If they have a unifoliate background, then they should have a single, big, erect, firm and turgid leaf per pseudobulb. If they come from a bifoliate background then there should be two leaves per pseudobulb, which should lay more or less horizontally and point away from each other rather than upwards. These leaves are generally smaller compared to the pseudobulbs, which in turn tend to be thinner and less clavate (thickened in the middle)and often longer than those from the unifoliate group.

    I've just been to the greenhouse to check and I think I see now what you might be refering to. The leaves of the bifoliate group are a little bit ... curled? ... along their length compared to the straight leaves of the unifoliate group. If all your plants have unifoliate background then they should indeed be straight and there's nothing you have to worry about.

  3. #3
    sand_tiger86's Avatar
    sand_tiger86 is offline Senior Member
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    Thank you! The strange thing is, all of my catts are hybrids that produce uni and bifoliate growths. I guess they just decided which one they want? lol The root systems are amazing and the leaves are very firm (to the point that you could snap them and hear a sound if you were to do so). I guess they're doing what they're supposed to.

  4. #4
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    In my experience the worst of the floppy/wavy leaves and just sloppy growth habit come from hybrid Catts with C. (Soph.) coccinea and C. (L.) pumila and their close relatives somewhere in the background. Also, warm night temps and lower light tend to enhance the floppy/sloppy growth.

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