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Forgiving Cattleya suggestions

This is a discussion on Forgiving Cattleya suggestions within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Originally Posted by Ron-NY with the natural light of Iowa I would not expect that ...

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  1. #11
    pavel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron-NY View Post
    with the natural light of Iowa I would not expect that you will get any Catt to bloom more than one time a year.
    While I could be wrong, I would expect that Iowa gets better light throughout the winter than I do here in MI. Winter light had come up in discussion with a friend of mine from my old OS. Her son was in university at that time. She mentioned that her son had learned in one of his science classes that the lower peninsula of Michigan (more specifically the lower half of the LP if memory serves) actually gets less sunshine per year on average than most of the country. Just the way the weather patterns are. So IF that is true (and I fully admit that I have not gone back to research) then Trish could possibly have better natural year round lighting than me. Having said that, I do have minicatts that have bloomed 3x a year with no supplemental lighting. Also when I had my Slc Jewelbox 'Dark Waters' (a compact catt) -- which bloomed every February -- it too only received natural lighting. They reside in an unobstructed SW window. Therefore, I'd still have to say that while one should not count on catts blooming with only natural light throughout the year, it can indeed be done even for us northerners.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kassie View Post
    pavel, The ones I've been gravitating to seem to be mostly potinaras, Ctna's, and Lc's. Compact definitely would be a plus. I saw one Lc that was advertised as a mini, but I thought Laelias were bigger?
    Trish
    IME those are generally quite easy though there are some exceptions even in those groups. One caveat with Ctnas, some of them have a high percent of Broughtonia in their parentage. As a result, IME, some of the ones that fall in that category require EXTREMELY high light. The one that immediately leaps to mind is a Ctna Maui Maid 'December Bride' x 'Lea' that I once owned. The only times I got really excellant blooming were those times I put it outside for the summer in full sun. Despite light intensity that would have scorched most catts, even with this treatment my Maui Maid's leaves remained dark green. Some of the other ctnas are not such light hogs.

    Okay subject of mini's ......... if you do choose to go with minicatts, something you will often have to ask a vendor is how tall the plant will grow. A minicatt should really be no taller than 6 inches (not counting spike) at maturity. Compact catts should be no taller than 9 inches. After that you're looking at medium and standard sized catts. Unfortunately, some vendors call anything that is less than 9 or 10 inches tall a "minicatt" -- hence the need to inquire if height is seriously an issue (which for me is generally the case).

    Ignoring the rupicolous (thriving in rocky areas) laelias some of which are really really mini, Laelia anceps is probably on e of the most commonly grown here in the US. The vegatative growth would qualify as a compact catt. Unfortunately in my book the 3-4 ft long flower spike puts it out of contention for space in my collection. I don't know enough about other Laelia species to comment on their mature sizes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kassie View Post
    The uber-high-end local nursery that I thought might have the best selection only had a few severely overpriced oncidiums and some other NOIDs (and a choice! between faded dusty bags of miracle gro orchid mix or shultz's--lol). So I will probably be shopping on line.
    There are some pretty good online vendors. If you find out when any orchid shows occur (an internet search will do the trick) in Iowa, you can also get orchids then. I generally get my orchids at such shows rather than online. One of the nice things with a show, if you can find out what vendors are attending, you can check out their websites for plants & supplies you want and then preorder. They will bring them to the show. Saves you paying for postage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kassie View Post
    Betty, how do I tell if they are primary hybrids? I'm much better at deciphering Arabian horse pedigrees than orchid ones. I'm guessing pot.'s and ctna's are not primary since they seem to combine many genera.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kassie View Post
    Trish


    If it is an unnamed cross then it is easy. You'll see something like "C. millerii x L. anceps". Because each of the parents is a species (each parent's name being given with proper scientific nomenclature), this would be a primary hybrid. If instead you see a cross with "regular" names like "Slc. Firelighter x Pot. Hoku Gem" or even "Slc. Firelighter x L. millerii" you know you don't have a primary hybrid because in each case at least one of the parents was not a species.

    Now it is very common for vendors to list a catt only by a "regular" name. Such names are generally given when a cross gets awarded by an official body of orchid judges. For example the cross -- and correct me if I have this one wrong folks -- (B. nodosa x L. milleri) was named Bl. Richard Mueller after that cross was judged to be an outstanding cross. So a vendor that carries this plant may very well only have on their site/catelog or tag (if at a show) the plant listed as "Bl. Richard Mueller ". If the parentage is not listed then you can try asking the vendor, searching online, or see if anyone will look it up for you on one of the orchid registries.

    Hope that made sense.


  2. #12
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    I'm really grateful for your info, pavel! According to NOAA, my area averages 61% sunshine, (higher than houston, birmingham, pennsacola AND hilo hawaii ) whereas michigan ranges from 46% to 51% .

    Any opinions on Sc. Batemanniana?

  3. #13
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    If you don't mind a larger catt, look for an Irene Finney cross. Tend to be strong plants for me in central Iowa and set buds under flouresent lights. A nice mini I have is mini purple 'Blue Hawaii' ,another is Love Knot 'Carmela's Blue'. I took my favorite catt out of my south window this last winter and put it under lights...not a happy camper! Lc Frank Lloyd Wright 'May Day' is sulking! No blooms this past winter, so it goes back in the south window this fall instead of the basement.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindiras View Post
    If A nice mini I have is mini purple 'Blue Hawaii' ,

    .
    LOL Cindi, how did you know I was carrying this one in a shopping basket last night? I'd been watching it for a while.

    Unfortunately, "a little more forethought" went right out the window while I strolled around this online store. Before I decided to get just a few more orchids, I never had this much problem with impulse control. My 'Blue Hawaii' is coming with a lovely looking odotonglossum and I couldn't help drooling over several other onc's. I'm hopeless.

  5. #15
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    Not that i know anything about catt care, i find it amazing you guys can buy catts etc in grocery stores and box store (btw, wats a box store?) In new zealand its mostly phals, paphs, and the occasional zygo or oncidium.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiorchids View Post
    Not that i know anything about catt care, i find it amazing you guys can buy catts etc in grocery stores and box store (btw, wats a box store?) In new zealand its mostly phals, paphs, and the occasional zygo or oncidium.
    Home improvement and garden center stores. Larger home building stores that carry a select few plants, but are not considered greenhouses.

    Cheers,
    BD

  7. #17
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    What I saw last time I was at my local "big box store" is pretty typical of what they usually have.
    In bloom, all with no ID: A bunch of dends in pots, and a bunch of phals, drowning in glass cubes full of water & spag (often they are in pots, but almost always either drowning or bone dry).
    Not in bloom: a bunch of catt hybrids, each in a small pot with dry bark mix, inside a net bag, inside a baggie. The blurb on the baggie says something like "yellow cattleya type orchid". But, the pots often have tags with real names stuck down in them if you can manage to view it thru the packaging, and I have bought several of those over the years & they've done well.

    The big box near me has paphs only occasionally...probably a good thing, due to the heat & light they'd likely be subjected to just getting to the car!!

    Kathi

  8. #18
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    Yay i now know what a box store is! im in with the lingo now. =) lol.
    Yea at our local 'box' stores, they sell the occasional onc. flexuosum, zygo mackayii, and various phals -like kathis experience-either drowning or drying. Sad really. i wish i could buy a catt at the local mitre 10.

  9. #19
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    Question My first species??

    Found another lovely compact primary hybrid--Bl. Seagull's Yellowbug-- from a vendor who mostly sells catt. species. He recommended several compact growers. Does anyone have strong opinions about:

    C. acklandiae
    C. araguaiensis
    C. forbesii
    Brassavola nodosa ?

    Does every orchid collector start out this way? You do OK with 2 or 3 and decide to get a few more and suddenly there's a couple dozen storming through your front door?

  10. #20
    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    Kassie, You, like the rest of us will learn by DOING. If you give them what they want (culture ) they will do well. Species tend to be a little more difficult to keep happy. I have found primary hybrids to be easy & rewarding. I do, however, grow both. Just my personal opinion. Betty :-)

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