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Cattleya evolution

This is a discussion on Cattleya evolution within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi all, Sorry for the somewhat confusing title, I just didn't know what to call ...

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  1. #1
    Phyrex's Avatar
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    Default Cattleya evolution

    Hi all,

    Sorry for the somewhat confusing title, I just didn't know what to call it. I've recently purchased my first cattleyas and one of them had its spike cut to just above the sheath be the store. Now the spike is completely black and the blackening is moving all the way in the sheath; as far as I can tell all the way until the leaf. The sheath has started to yellow from the bottom up. The part where the sheath, leaf and spike meet in the crown of the leaf seems to be a bit fluffy (inside the sheath).

    Is this the normal way for cattleyas to get rid of the sheath, and if so should I help it or prepare it in any way? Btw there is no new p-bulb growing yet.

    Thanks.

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    clintdawley is offline Wrapped in metal..wrapped in ivy...
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    Yep. The sheath or 'Sarong' yellow then blackens or browns on a mature cattleya p-bulb. You can gently peel this off to reveal the nice, green fat p-bulb below.

    As far as the spike...for cattleyas it's a once blooming show. Just cut off the sheath and wait for new growth.

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    Are we talking about the same thing? I am talking about the sheath growing above the p-bulb from the leaf crown?

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    Ok. That's the blooming sheath. Leave it. Sheaths at the "top" of the p-bulb can remain for up to a year before blooming. They can turn brown and "papery" and still bloom in the next season.

    You mention "blackness". That worries me. The buds may be rotting in the sheath. Is there a way you can post a picture to avoid any more misunderstandings?

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    Okay, maybe below my name it says "senior member"...but obviously there are still many things to learn....pout...including that little comment above that it could take a YEAR!!!???? for that little sheath thing to give me a flower?? Geesh....what a bummer....does that apply to Vanda's too? I bought one in spike about three months ago and so far the spike has grown Maybe an inch (...uh huh...maybe....) I quit looking at it too often in an effort to get it to bloom....now this explains things if above is right....
    Connie

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    Here are a few pictures that hopefully clear things up a bit
    Sorry for the quality it's quite difficult to make a picture inside a sheath.
    Btw the third picture has made the sheath look more yellow than it really is. The fourth picture is much better in terms of colour.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

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    JMHO, I would peel off the sheath (or trim it) and cut the spike closer to the leaf to help it stay drier. But it looks pretty normal to me. Give the leaf crown a spritz of fungicide maybe. There are others here much more learned than I, though, so hopefully they will chime in. Good luck!

    Tami

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    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    I agree with Tmai.

    I would cut away that sheath to prevent any possible water buildup - and eventually fungal infestation.
    Closed, unbloomed sheaths should be left alone as long as they appear healthy.
    But after they bloom, they just become fungus magnets.

    I have rarely seen a spent flower sheath stay intact like that.

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    When you say cut away do I just cut it off as close as possible to the leaf?
    When would it fall off by itself or wouldn't it?

    Thanks very much.

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    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phyrex View Post
    When you say cut away do I just cut it off as close as possible to the leaf?
    When would it fall off by itself or wouldn't it?

    Thanks very much.
    Typically, it would have dried up and fallen off by now. I'm not sure why that is still fresh and in one piece like that. Perhaps that particular kind of cattleya is like that.

    Cut it as close as possible to the leaf junction, or just peel it apart so that water does not collect at the leaf junction.

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