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catt seedlings

This is a discussion on catt seedlings within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hmmm. I wonder if the wet/dry would happen if I water twice a week. Perhaps ...

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  1. #11
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Hmmm. I wonder if the wet/dry would happen if I water twice a week. Perhaps every 5 days or so would be better. Of course that means I can't water them weekly which I like to do with certain orchids in the summer and s/h all year. Oh well! But you are right....since I am not overwatering, the yellow leaves MUST be too much sun?

  2. #12
    Heather is offline Banned
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    I've always heard, with catts - if in doubt, wait a day.

  3. #13
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    momokev is offline Senior Member
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    I'm not an expert by any means, and can only tell you what works for me. I have my really small seedlings that just came out of a compot a couple of weeks ago about a foot back from the eatern window. I water them every morning. They are starting new roots and new growths. When I didn't water them every day, the roots got too dry and some of the 30 died. My older seedlings, which are the size I think you have, are in front of them in the window. The biggest are in the front. I water them every 3 days, and trust me, in a 2 inch pot, that bark is dry.

    Mature catts DO like it dry. I have several I only water weekly, and all of them are in clay. I don't believe yellow leaves are from too much sun, I think it's too little water. Check your pots and see how dry they are. Listen to your orchids, not to us.

    Lisa

  4. #14
    Aerides is offline Senior Member
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    Default Orchid language

    I think listening to your orchids is a good idea too. But when you're just beginning, or even after growing for awhile, it is sometimes difficult to understand the language our orchids speak to us. So we sometimes ask for a translator (I just love analogies!). I'm still trying to understand what they say.

    Anyway, I have to disagree with Lisa on this. The first sign that a cattleya is too dry would be shrunken pseudobulbs, then wrinkled, flabby leaves. Yellowing leaves would be more of an indication of heat stress or as mentioned before, overlighting. (I also dearly love a good debate - no offense!)

    John

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    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Since everyone's response makes sense to me, I get very confused! I end up waffling more than a politician.

  6. #16
    Aerides is offline Senior Member
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    I know you want to do the right thing for your plants. Feeling confident about your culture doesn't come for a long time for most of us. So just take a deep breath and give it your best shot. Mistakes and failures may not be as fun as the successes, but are opportunities to learn, if we can get past the frustration.

    One way to determine drying time is to fill the same type of pot with the same type of mix, water it, and see how long it takes to dry. That will give you an idea.

    John

  7. #17
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, orchid growing is a bit like golf on the frustration meter. Luckily I gave that up a few years ago.

    Thanks, John that sounds like a good suggestion.

  8. #18
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Yes, but you are still a *SOX* fan...


  9. #19
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    Actually, John, I don't care for debate and don't plan to engage in one with you.

    Cinderella, yellow leaves on a catt IS a sign of stress. What kind of stress is the question. I did think of something at work tonight and I feel silly not to have thought of this before. How's your roots? If your catt has root woes, yellow leaves are very possible. If you have a so-so (or worse) root system, you won't get good water uptake to the plant.

    And the first signs that I've seen on a catt with too much light is a red hue to the leaves and PB's. I've even seen the root tips turn red! It will fade ( just like a sun burn) when the amt of light is lowered.

    There is a man named Keith at my orchid society meetings who grows catts that are to die for! Catts are all he grows and I consider him an expert. I'll ask his oppinion when I see him on Sunday and PM you what he says.

    Don't worry, I nursed back a catt seedling that my mother in law would leave sitting in saucers of water, like the rest of her house plants. When she gave it to me, it was severely root rotted and it's growing like a weed for me. We'll fix your little baby!

    Lisa

  10. #20
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    I agree with John--catt seedlings will often appreciate much lower light. East may be perfect for mid-range seedlings, or those that have "taken off" so to speak, but might be too strong for the younger seedlings. Moving them back a foot or two won't hurt, IMO.

    Catt seedlings that have a sparse or shallow root system pose another problem. The top of the media where the roots are may literally dry out every day. For these plants (and I have a walkeriana backbulb in this category right now), I like to water with the rest of the plants of that pot size, and then mist heavily every day. It seems to me that if you water too much into the pot, the media will just break down sooner, when the roots start to grow down into the interior of the pot, they'll find an environment that is much too wet and anoxic for their tastes.

    Red pseudobulbs & root tips aren't necessarily a bad thing. These anthocyanins are produced to protect plants from the sun (so I've heard), and indicate that the plant is getting good light. For the handful of catts that I have, I like to see some red pigmentation, because those that produce the pigment will likely not bloom if the light levels are not sufficient for them to produce it.

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