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Encyclia Alata won't bloom

This is a discussion on Encyclia Alata won't bloom within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I must be over fertilizing this guy, because I tend to get two new P-bulbs ...

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  1. #11
    Dallasgarden's Avatar
    Dallasgarden is offline Senior Member
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    I must be over fertilizing this guy, because I tend to get two new P-bulbs each year...it's half way through a new one right now. So, I should stop fertilizing when a bulb gets nice and plump and just wait, right?

  2. #12
    citywildcat's Avatar
    citywildcat is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Ron-NY, I'm going to be getting a few Encyclia's. I grow exclusively in a mini greenhouse in an east/ southwest exposure, 24/7 fan, R.H. not < 70%. There's no way I can make a 60 or 65° temperature (inside or outside of that mini greenhouse/certainly not "outside" OUTSIDE, since I live in Michigan) unless I put it in the pantry at night (dark & cool) and then bring it back out in the mini greenhouse during the day. When I say "mini greenhouse", I mean like a small closet (i'm currently blooming Sobralia callosa, Cadetia taylorii, Phalaenopsis _________ Wmt. Hamlyn's Glory, other odds n' ends.). AND MY DOOMED TO FAILURE IF I CAN'T MEET THAT 60 OR 65° NIGHT TEMPERATURE? (Hey my Phalaenopsis was in the pantry every night for about a year and a half...due to cats, until I came up with a mini greenhouse idea (check it out)Name:  image.jpg
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    That's the Phalaenopsis that actually STAYED in the pantry most of it's early life until I got the mini greenhouse, because of my cats. It's so wide, it takes up almost half of a shelf and I've repotted it twice. The roots are as thick as a pencil. Like many "advisors" on here say, don't pay TOO much attention to them. I have a Sobralia callosa I rarely water or look at with no expectations (it's bloomed twice since February). For those of you who are tempted with windowsill growing, just get a CAT....that will prevent you from adopting that habit, LOL.

  3. #13
    Missanna is offline Cattleya lover
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    I would have to agree on the temperature drop, but the temperature drop you need may be needed earlier than you think. Say your plant starts a growth in April. By early September or so, that lead should be maturing, but if the temperatures are still very warm, the plant may think it is ok to keep growing, so instead of resting and flowering after completing the growth, it sends out another growth immediately after the first one. Also- I didn't see if you are growing under lights. I think that Alata comes from Florida and so the photoperiod may be the triggering factor. Anyway, it's a good idea to look up the species, find weather trends in that area as well as the photoperiod and dinural range. Your night temps may be cool enough also, but if your day temps are only (for example) 5-10 degrees warmer, your dinural range may not be as much as it needs to be. So maybe you will find what is different between your conditions and the conditions in its naive habitat and realize what needs to be changed.

    Ok, I just looked it up and the site says it grows from Mexico to Costa Rica from 0-1000 meters above sea levels. This tells us that the plant is probably a warm growing species (the site says warm to hot). It also says it blooms from spring to fall (so summerish). Usually these places have more water in the summer (which is the best time for growing), so it's possible that this one species needs a drier spring rest. Anyway, when it starts to finish this curent growth, start to water it a bit less and see if you can get it to rest. Don't let the temperatures at night get below 65 and keep days around 8-82. I've got an eldorado that is a "hot" grower and day temps range from 80-85, but nights don't go below 70. Also- since Mexico and is pretty far from the equator, this plant is going to be a "long day" plant. It's possible that it is not getting long enough days or that it is "off" on it's growing schedule and is growing it should be resting. This happens to me a lot when I get plants grown in natural light and then subject them to my artificially long days under lights. It's no problem for the maxima and mossiae because they just do their thing and bloom 6 months off in fall and spring, respectively. And sometimes they bloom twice a year for me. I will try to do more research for you and see if I can figure out what may be causing this. ALSO- do you have any other encyclias that are similar in flower and growth shape?

  4. #14
    Missanna is offline Cattleya lover
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    Ok, I did a bit more research and found out that sometimes triggering of flowering is not actually due to the day/night temperature drop, but actually a drop in SEASONAL temperature. (This masks sense because my phals never drop 15 degrees and it never gets below about 67 on that grow shelf, but they do get seasonal temperature changes and they bloom for me). Anyway, I asked what other encyclicas you have because I thought if you have other ones from similar areas in the wild that have similar requirements, but were in different areas of the growing area, you could put the non bloomer next to the one(s) that do bloom and maybe that would help (if you didn't already). Or maybe you would notice that one gets more light on the side of its neighbor or something. Anyway, I had an Alata x Phoenicia that grew super lush but wouldn't bloom either. I figured it was a light issue and couldn't give it any more because my lights only put out so much, so I don't have it anymore.

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