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Getting Cattleyas to BLOOM for me!

This is a discussion on Getting Cattleyas to BLOOM for me! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi, I was given quite a few cattleyas about four/five years ago - in v ...

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  1. #1
    Lin Goncalves is offline Senior Member
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    Default Getting Cattleyas to BLOOM for me!

    Hi, I was given quite a few cattleyas about four/five years ago - in v poor condition and have battled with them. Had to throw some out...last year they were at last all looking great and I got flower sheaths forming...great excitement - then they just withered and shrunk up and I got no blooms. This year I have loads of new very healthy growth, more sheaths (more great excitement) and they have all just withered up and died off....they should be about to bloom here now...but I fear I will pass another year with nothing to show off.
    I have seen these plants when they were all ORIGINALLY bought when they WERE IN BLOOM, but the lady buying them neglected them after purchase and then gave them all to me, so I KNOW that they are not 'sterile' when it comes to flowers. What am I doing wrong here? They are in a shade house/outdoors and we have ideal conditions, no draught....not too cold (it's summer here right now with rain)....any hints and tips would be much appreciated. I can add pics of the very healthy looking plants.....one has it's roots climbing out of the pot...is this too much water? Not enough? Happy to post pics/close-up pics of leaves/withered sheaths etc.....I know that I have some nice stock here, but I am getting older and would like to see some blooms before I die!!!!!! PS They have also been fed once a week with BEST BLOOM PLUS for orchids....can give you the nutrient breakdown if required. They have also had a few doses of monthly Epsom Salts......

  2. #2
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
    Chris in Hamilton is online now Senior Member
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    Hi Lin. Don't know what species or crosses you have but can you define 'shade house' or better yet provide a picture of that?

  3. #3
    Lin Goncalves is offline Senior Member
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    OK, it's open, just with a 70% black shade cloth cover - I will get photo's first thing in the morning so that you have a better idea of where I am.....I have no fancy equipment to measure humidity or even temp - but our average day time temps at the moment are 19 deg C up to 26 deg C and night time is now 17/18 deg C. There are just a couple of labels left on these plants, will let you know which they are, but then are about 5 or 6 with no labels, so I'm anxious to get a bloom in order to ID them!!!! Thanks for your interest, will get some pictures up tomorrow. Big time difference between us.

  4. #4
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
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    Temperature and humidity shouldn't be a problem, very similar to South America & in particular Brazil. At least more similar than Canada! The general consensus does seem to be lack of light. 70% shading is a lot for catt's. Most only need shading for a few hours at midday. That change should always be made gradually over a couple of weeks. Pictures would still be good.
    Last edited by Chris in Hamilton; March 2nd, 2016 at 12:43 PM.

  5. #5
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    I had a few cattleyas that did not bloom with me for years and reason turned out to be lack of sufficient light. I grow them now in almost full sun and they are very happy and rewarding. may be this input will help you

  6. #6
    JDT's Avatar
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    I would agree with Sriram, sounds like they need more light. Any pictures would help us help you.

  7. #7
    Catt Mandu's Avatar
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    More light may give them the 'push' they need. Since they are already making sheaths, you are likely VERY close, so they could also bloom with no changes in culture.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  8. #8
    Lin Goncalves is offline Senior Member
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    Name:  DSC02360.jpg
Views: 119
Size:  264.0 KB This is a general view of the growing area...
    Name:  DSC02361.jpg
Views: 120
Size:  142.7 KB Close-up of one of the 'aborted' sheaths
    Name:  DSC02362.jpg
Views: 113
Size:  140.1 KB Last remaining name tag of this collection
    Name:  DSC02363.jpg
Views: 116
Size:  176.9 KB These are small, but probably looking promising?

    These are my first 4 pics, and yes, thinking about it, it's highly likely they need more light....

  9. #9
    Lin Goncalves is offline Senior Member
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    Name:  DSC02364.jpg
Views: 130
Size:  154.0 KB MAYBE promising?
    Name:  DSC02365.jpg
Views: 103
Size:  134.7 KB Now these I have no problem with.....as you can see....
    Name:  DSC02366.jpg
Views: 118
Size:  216.5 KB Roots coming to the surface? Normal? Too much water?
    Name:  DSC02367.jpg
Views: 127
Size:  158.4 KB Not looking too promising.....

  10. #10
    Lin Goncalves is offline Senior Member
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    Name:  DSC02368.jpg
Views: 123
Size:  266.3 KB Another general view - you can see the shade cloth....
    Name:  DSC02369.jpg
Views: 119
Size:  255.2 KB Shade cloth covering....
    Name:  DSC02370.jpg
Views: 118
Size:  211.9 KB Another general view...
    Name:  DSC02371.jpg
Views: 116
Size:  199.5 KB One of my Vanda's - looking good - also probably could do with more light!!!!

    That's it - your comments so far have been great and have more than likely hit the nail on the head!!!! So, I shall slowly introduce them to more light but I guess I have missed another year of beautiful blooms?

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