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  • 4 Post By cucubirds
  • 1 Post By Cjcorner

Cattleya help

This is a discussion on Cattleya help within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I'm wondering if someone can explain the trick to keeping the pbulbs plump without overwatering. ...

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  1. #1
    dshawn is offline Senior Member
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    Default Cattleya help

    I'm wondering if someone can explain the trick to keeping the pbulbs plump without overwatering. I have a blooming size Toshie Aokie that has new, healthy roots but the pbulbs look pretty pathetic. I'm using a wooden stake to check for dampness and I also have potted in good size bark. I also have a problem with sunburn. I've gone back and forth with not enough or too much sun. Do all the catts differ in how much sun they need to flower? One plant is fine and the next gets sunburned. I grow these on a patio under an umbrella,when needed. I'd love to have a blooming plant with beautiful leaves too. How do you do that???

  2. #2
    cucubirds is offline Senior Member
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    Just my 2 cents.

    I think you keep them under direct afternoon sunlight. First of all, older pbulb might not plump up again.

    Although cattleya are known for light loving orchids , still vary the amount sunlight they can take from species to species, one plant to one plant especially under afternoon direct sunlight. Thus why, there are upper & lower light level for this genus for successful growing. Seasonal sunlight changes also have to be taken into consideration. Summer sunlight is much stronger and you may need protection & keep humidity high.. Generally, afternoon directly sunlight is strong for them.

    I would assume your potting mix still is not degraded. If degraded, repot in fresh medium. Don't use too big pot. Just comfortably enough the root ball to fit in.

    Also little or no roots when the plant was actively growing could be a reason. In such case, the plant cannot absorb water due to root loss/less roots no matter how you water it.

    One tip for watering plant in bark mix is soak the entire plant in a small tub for about half an hour /one hour. This will help bark medium thoroughly saturated.

    Sometimes, it needs time to acclimatize the place where you put your plant. If suddenly expose to strong sunlight, it may easily get sunburn & shocked. You can keep under shade cloth/net to prevent this.

    During plant growth phase, you may need to water more often also. Don't wait till too dry during this phase, it may result in stunt growth.

    Another point I think is humidity. Keeping plants together will increase humidity. How many cattleya you are keeping together? Having foliage plant or watering/wetting the floor will also increase humidity. Plants tend to plump too.

    In my humble opinion, keep your plant under direct sunlight with shade net while maintaining high humidity.

    Keeping them under optimal sunlight couple with adequate watering will definitely give you beautiful leave & blooms.

    Happy growing.

  3. #3
    tucker85's Avatar
    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    Some dehydrated pseudobulbs at the back of a cattleya may never plump up again, no matter what you do. With cattleyas you judge proper hydration by the newest pseudobulbs. If those are plump, don't worry about the older ones. Good cattleya culture can support roots that will stay healthy for many years and allow the plant to have a larger number of plump, healthy pseudobulbs.

  4. #4
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    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    And I agree with the above...just had to add that after blooming, often a cattleya looks like it's dying. Once the flowering is over, stick to a normal watering regimen...don't be tempted to over water. Stick to the normal watering routine...although if your roots are healthy you may water every 3 or 4 days instead of every 4 to 5 and see if that helps...but be careful because too much will rot roots and make the plant even sicker. One of my tricks is to add a tablespoon of normal honey to 3 liters of warm water, with no fertilizer, about once a week until the plant begins to recover (usually about four to six weeks). When I buy new plants, their soak upon arrival always includes honey. It is a basic sugar that can be absorbed easily. I have also heard of a molasses that is for plants that works well also. Good luck...and don't worry, some of the best blooming cattleya only look pretty when the new pbulbs are growing.

  5. #5
    dshawn is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks again. I'm rethinking my watering regime. When repotting I found out my plant really didn't have that much of a root system. I'm thinking it wasn't getting properly hydrated and was stressed. Now because of the information I've received I'll know what to look for. It has new, healthy roots now so I'll water more carefully. Our weather has changed now so I won't have to be as diligent with the shade cloth. Whew! I'm glad I retired.

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