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My first Cattleyas; dowiana & tokyo magic

This is a discussion on My first Cattleyas; dowiana & tokyo magic within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have just returned home with my first two cattleyas. After the troubles with my ...

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  1. #1
    Phyrex's Avatar
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    Default My first Cattleyas; dowiana & tokyo magic

    I have just returned home with my first two cattleyas.

    After the troubles with my phal I wanted to make sure I'd nurse that one back to life again before purchasing any new orchids, but I think that some distraction works better than only having to look after a single plant. Plus I just couldn't pass up this bargain. This was the first time that I saw anything else than phals at the local store and it was only $7 for a mature cattleya dowiana because it was just out of bloom; where do I pay? The store had the same one for $40 with only a couple of flowers but I rather try to keep cheaper one alive before spending more money on once that are in bloom.

    My wife found the other one (tokyo magic) and insisted we get something that's in bloom too so we have something to look at.

    On picture 3 you can see the two new growing things, I assume they are pseudobulbs?

    I also got my first orchid book (Complete Guide to Orchids by Ortho). If anyone has any good book tips please let me know.

    Pic 1: dowiana
    Pic 2-4: tokyo magic

    Phyrex

    PS I should probably mark this date on the calendar as the day of the start of my orchid obsession.
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  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phyrex
    PS I should probably mark this date on the calendar as the day of the start of my orchid obsession.
    And so, it begins.

    Cheers,
    BD

    BTW - I know these are new, but they look to be potted in sphagnum and appear to be very wet in photo 3. Cattleyas like to dry out between waterings. You might be careful about giving it water until it drys out a bit. Take a toothpick or a match stick and stick down into the sphag as deep as you can to see if it is dry before you water. You could also do the weight test to know when to water. Pick up the pot and feel how heavy it is now while it is wet and freshly watered. Then in a few days, pick it up again. When it is dry, it will have a very different weight. I love the yellow, orange and red bloom.

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    Palito is offline Junior Member
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    ITA with BD.
    cattleya dowiana has a reputation of being temperamental and not a beginners plant in colder latitudes. watch out for rot.

  4. #4
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    Good luck with the catts - like BD said, watch the medium for wetness. And try to give them as much light as possible.

  5. #5
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    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Those are healthy looking plants.
    I agree with BD and the rest of the gang when it comes to the potting media and watering.

    The young pseudobulb on that C. dowiana appears to be bound too tightly though. Usually you would want some slack to accommodate the growing bulb. If that pseudobulb continues to plump up, the garden wires could cause some constriction rings which would be unsightly. It could even injure the pseudobulb.

    Pay close attention to that garden wire wrapped at the base of the flower sheath. You dont want that to constrict or injure the flower buds inside.

  6. #6
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    The inflorescence had already been cut by the store and is now a strange red/brown color. Does the new inflorescence come from here again or does it have to grow a new leaf/pseudobulb from the bottom? (Yes I know that little about cattleyas).

    How can I make it grow nice and straight in a line instead of having the leaves grow horizontal? Do I just stake them all together like they are dancing in a circle?
    Also the roots are going round and round at the top of the pot (see picture 1), does this mean it's time to repot?
    Is it possible to have 2 pseudobulbs growing at once? See picture 3 where you can see the two new things on the front left and on the back right (next to the completely grey PB).

    Phyrex
    Last edited by Phyrex; July 20th, 2007 at 02:48 AM.

  7. #7
    clintdawley's Avatar
    clintdawley is offline Wrapped in metal..wrapped in ivy...
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    Yeah, don't wrap the sheaths like John said. That will only lead to disappointment.

    I have a seedling dowiana that I got a couple of years ago. It likes temps from 60-90 F and doesn't like to get that wet in the winter--let the p-bulbs start to shrivel slightly before you water again from like October-March or so until a new growth begins. (Hopefully mine will bloom next year.)

    Good luck! Nice finds!

  8. #8
    Shaydra is offline Senior Member
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    Nice buys!

    Yes, you can have more than one p-bulb growing at once. (Usually, the more growth means more potential places for blooms to come out!)

    The new flower spikes will come from new growth, not the old ones, so you can cut the old/dead spikes down close to the leaf if you'd like.

    As far as making the leaves/p-bulbs grow straight up... I'm still working on that. You can help to direct them upward by gentle staking with the new growth and having the light come from directly above (so they reach toward the light). Also, turning the pot every few days seems to help with mine. As far as the old growth goes... For me, once it's laying down, it seems to pretty much stay there.

    Make sure they get enough water, but watch out for that sphag. I've had bad luck with sphag on catts. As BDt said, they like to dry out between watering. (I've found out from my own mistakes this usually means dry out completely and stay that way for a day or so in most cases.)

    I love your blooms on your Tokyo Magic! So pretty!! If you're worried about rot with the sphag, you can repot while in bloom, just be careful not to knock things around too much or you might shorten the life on the bloom.

  9. #9
    Phyrex's Avatar
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    Default Update

    Thanks all for the advice. It's really appreciated.

    tokyo magic
    Since the sphag of the tokyo magic was soaking wet I decided not to wait until the bloom is over but to repot right away. Picture 1 shows you how the roots look; and as suspected not too healthy.
    I don't understand why they get like that in the stores. They use nice quality sphag but pack it in as tight as possible. It's even difficult to remove it from the pot. Anyway, I removed several of the mushy roots and put it back in the pot with only bark. I don't know much about orchids, but what I do know is that sphag is not for me.
    Picture 2 is the repotted one and picture 3 is just another picture of the bloom since the picture in the original post was a bit out of focus and the yellow seemed faded. How do I find out which one the oldest p-bulb is since it seems to be growing in circles? I guess I would like to know how to identify a shrinking p-bulb before watering it.

    btw the fragrance I've been enjoying all day is just amazing. Does anyone know what it (tokyo magic) smells like since I am really bad at identifying scents? It's quite sweet and powerful.

    dowiana
    Picture 4 is the dowiana that I want to move into bark too and get rid of the sphag. My question for you is should I split it up since the bloom is over now anyway and there are no new growths, or should I just replace the sphag with bark and let it sit for another blooming? If I do repot how to I do this for this guy it's growing any which way it can..?

    Phyrex
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    Default C. dowiana

    The dowiana looks good as it is, really. This is a touchy plant and does not appreciate being repotted until new roots are being produced from the lead pseudobulb. My advice would be to pick as much of the spag out as you can. You can gently lift the plant out of the pot, being careful not to distub the bark mix too much and pick out the spag. Place the plant back in the pot and wait until new root growth is evident--being careful not to overwater. Let the pseudobulbs be your guide--when they start to shrivel water the plant but then let it dry out.

    Many fine old awarded clones of C. dowiana have been lost over the years in cultivation due to being too wet and too cold in the winter.

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