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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; After much reading, I think something catt-like would get along best in my environment and ...

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  1. #1
    Kassie's Avatar
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    Post Forgiving Cattleya suggestions

    After much reading, I think something catt-like would get along best in my environment and I'm hoping to make my next purchase with a little more forethought than going ga-ga in a grocery store. Some of the posts I've read here seem to indicate that some cattleyas can be sort of . . .petulant and fussy. Prone to pouting?

    I want my orchids to be happy, but I need something that can forgive a few false starts and beginner gaffs. It's a big alliance and I'm still a little bewildered with so much information. Are there certain genera or crosses that are "easier" than others? I'd happily accept suggestions of specific species or hybrids at this point, my brain is just overwhelmed.

    I grow indoors with access to good light. I have a 3 season room that is hot in summer, too cold for orchids in winter, but humid year-round. With my phals, I tend to err on the side of too little water, so I need something that can tolerate dryness.

    Thanks!

    p.s.--Show of hands: How many of you wax & shave your cattleyas as suggested in the article library? Really??

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    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    hahah Trish, I believe Diane's article on waxing and shaving her cattleyas is tongue in cheek.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    I've had really good luck with Eplc Don Herman 'Gold Rush'. It is an awarded variety that I bought at a big-box store years ago, cheaply, bcs it was in poor shape. It put up with my well-meant but haphazard care, and not only came back to life, but blooms well for me.

    It summers outdoors in TX, with light shade from an oak tree, and gets brought in the house before it freezes in the winter. It now gets fertilized regularly, but didn't for years and still bloomed.

    Kathi

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    OK, BD I totally missed the fine print, really. I've read some pretty strange things about orchid care in the past couple months. I wasn't sure how to take the whole grooming thing. I did find Diane's reference to "appropriate product" especially confusing--orchid people usually exhibit more brand loyalty.

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    As far as the cattleya alliance goes, any cattleya intermedia ( I prefer the fragrant ones ), cattleya landate ( most are fragrant ) or the smaller slc's. which come in different colors, but most are NOT fragrant...Only my humble opinion; hope it helps. Betty :-)

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    Personally, Trish, I would advise avoiding species for starters. Hybrids tend to be less tempermental than the species. IMO catts are often more 'abuse' tolerant than many of the other orchid genera.

    I would suggest trying minicatts -- but then I am very biased in that regard as minicatts are pretty much the only catts I do (excepting a very light sprinkling of compact catts). In addition to taking up less space (which is a must in my case as I live in an apt), many minicatts require less light than the standards and will bloom more than once a year if grown well whereas many of the standard size catts only bloom once per year. The only down side is that few minicatts have any fragrance.

    With regards to finding minicatts -- should you choose to go that route -- many online vendors sell them. If you belong to an orchid society, you may find one being auctioned or raffled off by that society. This would enable you to talk to the grower for more input as to care before buying it. You will also occasionally find them offered on Orchid Bids by forum members.

    Do you have any specific ones in mind?

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    Actually, I like primary hybrids ( only if they are fragrant! ) the best...they seem to have a LOT of vigor! Betty :-)

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    Trish, I would recommend to go first for unifoliate hybrids (Cattleyas with one leaf per pseudobulb). These have bigger, plumper pseudobulbs with a lot of water storage, so during your experiments, they will take care of themselves until you have fine tuned your skills and learned of their needs. Bifoliates (2, sometimes 3 leaves per pseudobulbs) have smaller reservoirs and according to my observation are more susceptible to rots.

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    with the natural light of Iowa I would not expect that you will get any Catt to bloom more than one time a year. I have grown Catts, in cedar basket.s within my home, in the past and have been successful. I used a tension rod and hung them in front of a western window. I would dip them in a bucket of water when it was time to water. I did summer them outdoors though and run a humidifier n the winter when the central heating dropped my humidity level

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    Quote Originally Posted by pavel View Post


    Do you have any specific ones in mind?
    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? I drool over the coerulea colors, but for now color is not my primary concern. I had read that unifolates are more tolerant, thanks for confirming that Halloamey.

    My local orchid society seems to be in hibernation--the website hasn't been updated in 3 years and no one answers emails. 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.

    Ron--This house has great unobstructed south windows and I also have lighting that I can use, if necessary. Do orchids like full spectrum light? It makes tomato seedlings grow huge. We already use a humidifier in the room where my orchids will winter. I would love to summer outside if I can figure out how to thwart the earwigs.

    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.

    Thank you all for the help. I would love more suggestions!
    Trish

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