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cattleyas with sheaths but no buds?

This is a discussion on cattleyas with sheaths but no buds? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have a pair of cattleyas that have developed sheaths but show no signs of ...

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  1. #1
    schnozzle is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default cattleyas with sheaths but no buds?

    I have a pair of cattleyas that have developed sheaths but show no signs of having any buds inside.

    -one is a large mature cattleya hybrid that was shipped to me with two growths in sheath--the larger of the two new growths did go ahead and bloom, but the second growth doesn't look like it has any buds developing inside the sheath.

    -the second is a Cattleya labiata seedling which is still pretty small. I didn't expect it to come close to blooming for a while yet (I think it's 4 years old at this point) but, lo and behold, a new growth developed a sheath--but again, it doesn't show any signs of actually blooming.

    These plants are grown outside in Los Angeles under shade cloth. They're the only 'proper' cattleyas I have, but the Encyclias and brassavola nodosa hybrids I grow them with grow and bloom like crazy, so I think they're getting enough light, water, and food.

    So what might cause sheath formation but no buds? I wonder if it's possible that they're not getting enough of a drop in temperature at night? It's pretty hot here during the summer. Or could something else be going on? I'd say the C. labiata seedling is just too young, but if that's the case then why is the mature Cattleyanot blooming from the second growth?

  2. #2
    Diane's Avatar
    Diane is offline Can't Re-Member
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    Catts and Paphs
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    Jun 2005
    Surprise, AZ
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    Hi! There is another thread around right now with the same issue being discussed. I am used to having some of my Catts put out a sheath and not bloom, especially young ones. But several of us have seen quite a few budless sheaths this year. But - patience... sometimes they just like to frustrate us. I grow mine outdoors in partial shade in Thousand Oaks, and have many sheaths and two budding right now....

  3. #3
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Louis J. Aszod
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    Feb 2003
    Clarksville, Arkansas
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    There are unfortunately no hard and fast rules about this. Too many times, these guys will produce new growth, develop a sheath, then just fail to develop buds inside them. I tend to think it's a "not enough light" issue for that particular plant, but again, that's a complete generalization.

    There are several things you can try though. Move the plant to different location where it'll get some variation in light intensity and duration--preferably an increase. Let the plant dry off a little more between waterings. Change your fertilizing schedule.

    The idea is to provide just a little bit of stress and shock--many times, that alone is enough to initiate budding on reluctant plants.

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