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This is a discussion on Help! Got my first Cattleya orchids...what to do? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Jenn, what is the name of the plant? It looks a lot like a mini ...
Jenn, what is the name of the plant? It looks a lot like a mini catt I have called Lc Cariad's Mini-Quinee 'Angel Kiss. The Minis, at least, are quite a bit smaller, and would only grow to be about 8 inches tall, so one in a 2 inch pot wouldn't be too far away from blooming, actually.
Good luck and hopefully your son will see it bloom before he drives!
sphag is something you just have to ge tthe hang of, and there is no perfect way. it is trial and error i'm afraid. i have had good luck and al ittle bad luck, and i can tell you, the bad luck was a direct result of overwatering. the moss should be damp, not saturated like a sponge you pull out of water that is full and will gush water when squeezed. it should be more like the sponge after being wringed out. i have a ton of small phals that i water just a little on the top and let it soak in to spread the mositure through the moss. this seems to work. or you can set ithem in a tray with some water and let them soak it in, but make sure to check and see how much they absorb. i have some that i bought in sphag 4 years ago, and they are fine now, and bloom. however, they are phals and not cats, but i think maybe similar watering would work for cat seedlings. damp, not wet. anything less than sphag will be really high maintenance and need to be watered daily. nice orchid selection by the way, those flowers are beautiful. i want to try a seedling of something, and will do sphag once i pick something. btw i water my phals wedesdays and sundays. just a little, and let it soak in, check it ina nahour to make sure it spread through and if not a little bit more.
Now if I buy anything from a box store I have learned to immediately get it out of its sphag and examine the roots the minute I get it home. Sometimes the roots are half-rotten ALREADY. I usually have to use a knife to separate the sphag from the side of the pot because it's become so packed in that it's actually "glued" itself to the sides of the pot (and the roots too)! So I always repot into bark right away.
I did, however, buy my mom an orchid recently, and I potted in in sphag for her, because it's easier for a beginner to tell when sphag is dry versus bark. But I packed the sphag in loosely to allow for air circulation, rather than packing it super-tight like it comes from the box store. My mom gives it a soaking every couple of days, because she has it in a spot where there's a lot of air movement, and it's in a clay pot so it dries out rather quickly (I tried to make it as difficult for her to over-water it as possible). This appears to be working well for her.
So perhaps I should refine my statement to "I'm not fond of how mass-marketers of orchids use sphag, but when used properly, it's just fine." LOL
As for high-maintenance seedlings, I have some dendrobium seedlings in bark, and also some phal seedlings in bark, and some vanda seedlings in LECA pellets, and they are all quite happy in their habitats. I do water them frequently, but I don't consider them too "high maintenance." After all, they're little and cute, so they're fun to fuss over.
Thanks again for the tips! I will try the "damp but not saturated" method with my new catts and see how it works. After all, they came from a legit orchid grower, not a box store, so perhaps they're actually potted properly in sphag and not suffocating! I can see green roots when I look down in, so at least that's a good sign!
I'll post pics as soon as they do something interesting. Now that I've learned they're minis and might be farther along than I think, I'm looking forward to some beautiful blooms!
Thanks again, and have a great day!
Me personally I think Seedlings are awsome ....its like taking care of a Newborn baby n watching them grow and praying they stay strong and healthy is amazing....I just brought some seedlings of Oncidiums and so far i been misting they everyday with a weak solution of distilled water and SUPER THRIVE and boy are my babies growing
And I love my seedlings too. I have a bunch of them...all either free gifts with online orders or purchased through an online "seedling sale." I mean, two seedlings for $1.99?! Who could resist that? So I have two Dendrobium seedlings that are very happy, and two Mokara seedlings that are trying to catch up and overtake their several-years-older neighbors (who are sort of just sulking about), and 2 Phal Bellina seedlings that have both been to the brink of death and back (they had a stay with a relative while we were on vacation and the relative was a very, ah, ENTHUSIASTIC waterer...)
And now of course I have my Catt seedlings...but I'm not exactly sure that they're actually seedlings, seeing how they are minis and might actually be close to blooming size. I checked and saw others of the same variety blooming in 3" pots, and they didn't look too much bigger than mine. So I'm wondering if I should give them full adult sunlight or keep them at the "kiddie table."
Anyhoo...off to add that SuperThrive. And I agree...there's something thrilling about raising seedlings. Plus, you know, they're so darn cute and little...so they're fun to fuss over.... he hee....
Ooh, that is a beautiful cattleya! Those seedlings of yours will be stunning!
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yes grow babies grow........wow I admire your vigor to grow a orchid from a seedling....I don't think im that advanced yet....... but on another happy note.... my boyfriend traveled 2 and a half hours one way today, to an orchid nursery...and I got my first Miltoniopsis! SO I have 4 total now, and not much more room for any others im afraid.... Great choice on your cattleya......... As for my Catt.... I hope I did what I needed to in order for it to blossom and thrive, not sure how long it is going to take til I see some nice activity. I hope I didnt harm it in anyway....we'll see!
You can probably transition your mini to receiving the high light you would give adult plants. I have mine in an east facing window that gets direct sunlight from sun rise until about 11am and it is perfectly happy. Mine is just about to outgrow its 2 inch pot and has yet to bloom, but I'm told by the grower that it is very near blooming size (if not this season, next year), so I have my fingers crossed for blooms soon - for mine and for yours!
My sun-loving vandas get moved from a full-sun East window to a full-sun West window every afternoon so they can soak up all the sun they can get, but apparently that's too much for sun-loving seedlings (except, apparently, for my vanda seedlings...they love all the sun).
It sounds like I should let my new Catt seedlings have the morning sun, but perhaps I'll spare them from the super-intense afternoon sun that my vandas love. Good plan. Thanks for the tips!
And in other news, I'm getting them out of the sphag today...it just takes too long to dry out in my conditions and my instincts are telling me to get them out. I've learned to follow my gut when it comes to these things, so I'm going to pot them up in fine bark. All my other orchids are quite happy in bark and bark/LECA pellets, so these guys should be, too. And I'm more used to working with it.
I really appreciate your input, Nicole! Thanks!