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Lycaste Kurt Servos (Lyc. Elizabeth Powell x Lyc. macrophylla)

This is a discussion on Lycaste Kurt Servos (Lyc. Elizabeth Powell x Lyc. macrophylla) within the **NOT IN BLOOM** All Genera forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; I just took a quick shot of this so that I could post it and ...

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  1. #1
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Lycaste Kurt Servos (Lyc. Elizabeth Powell x Lyc. macrophylla)

    I just took a quick shot of this so that I could post it and get some advice. This is absolutely the first Lycaste I've ever had, or really noticed, for that matter. I couldn't resist it because of all the buds - I've counted 13 in all! I've done some research and there's little in OWiz - the cross was registered in 2008, and so far there are no photos and no awards. From the parentage, I know it's primarily Lyc. skinneri and macrophylla - which makes for a cultivation description that runs from one extreme to the other.

    So.... I honestly have no idea how to care for this plant and I'd HATE to lose any buds. It's supposed to be mostly white with a little pink, which the buds seem to indicate. Does anyone have any words of advice?

    I'd appreciate any input at all.

    Maura

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  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    As I only have two Lycaste orchids, I will leave the advice to someone who grows them better than me. I will say how pretty and healthy the orchid appears in your photograph.

    cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    GRMRA-GUA is offline Member
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    Wow, what a beautiful Lycaste, you're really lucky to have got that one with so many buds!

    As you probably know, the Lycaste species of orchids grow from the south of Mexico, to most of Central America, and is my country's national flower.

    I like growing Lycastes, they're not that hard to take care of, well at least the 7 I've got, have bloomed (with not as many buds as yours) with beautiful long lasting waxy flowers, non of the ones I have are aromatic, though.

    I grow them in medium fir bark, charcoal, and perlite mix. Water them every 7-9 days, or depending on how warm the wheather is. I add a little sphagnum moss on top during summer, just to be shure that the media is always humid. I fertilize them every week with a 20-20-20 fertilizer at 1/4 concentration.

    They do well in a place with lots of shade, about 70%, they like the morning and afternoon sun, not midday sun, it will burn the leaves almost immediately. so be careful of that. I keep my growing area between 50-70% of humidity.

    I got this Lycaste in September 2011, it was in a very bad shape. the only mistake that happened, is that it grew almost horizontally, but is still pretty, it has 4 buds coming out.

    It's a Lycaste skinneri var. rosea
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    Then, this one, was worse than the one above, when I got it, her leaves were only 3'' long, very very short, and the pseudobulbs looked as if they hadn't been watered forever. I took this picture last week, the leaves are 6'' long now, and it has new growths coming out, so I'm really excited.
    I was told that this is a Lycaste skinneri var. alba, which is really hard to find down here.
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    Hope the tips I gave you will help you, and will like to see more pictures of you Lycaste when the buds open.

  4. #4
    mauraec's Avatar
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    Thank you so much, Gustavo. As you can see, I'm not getting a whole lot of advice on this plant, so I'm grateful for your input. And it's the national flower of your country - how fabulous! I have left my Lycaste in the pot and medium that it came in - which seems to be medium-grade fir bark, perlite, and maybe charcoal (I haven't dug it up enough to confirm that). It's in my living room grow area, which I keep at around 70 percent humidity - about 75 degrees F during the day and 65 degrees at night. I have had it in bright indirect light, but perhaps a bit too close to the southern exposure window. I'll move it to the right side, so that it gets some morning sun and then all indirect light. I'm especially concerned about watering it properly - does it need more frequent watering when blooming? Do you maintain a balanced fertilizer all year, or do you change when depending on whether they're in active growth, blooming, or dormancy? At what point in the cycle do they lose their leaves?

    So far, mine isn't complaining about the transition from greenhouse to living room - the buds are continuing to grow, so I'm cautiously optimistic. Experience has taught me that some orchids will throw quite a tantrum when their environment is changed, but I'm SO unfamiliar with Lycastes. By the way, a little less than half my Lyc. is skinneri and the other half is macrophylla - are you familiar at all with macrophyllas? I ask because the cultivation tips I have found show that these two species are at opposite ends of the spectrum and I'm not sure how that shakes out in the end.

    Again, thanks so much for your photos and response. I appreciate it tremendously.

    Maura

  5. #5
    GRMRA-GUA is offline Member
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    You are very welcome Maura!

    Hope I'll be able to answer what you need:

    When my Lycastes are ready to flower, I just try to keep the media humid, as they tend to grow thin roots, so if they get too wet, they'll rot. Try not to get water on the buds for a long time, as they may die of bacterial growth.

    As I'm studying a very time consuming career, I'm trying to take a good care of my orchids during my free time, so here's my monthly schedule for most of my plants:

    1st weekend of the month, I use plenty of tap water to get rid of the mineral salt deposits, about 5 liters.
    6 days after, as the root system is able absorb most nutrients, I use 1 liter of the 20-20-20 fertilizer at 1/4 strength.
    7-9 days later, I apply, again 1 liter of the 20-20-20 at 1/2 strength.
    and for very last, as I haven't found anything to stimulate root growth down here in Guatemala, I use a high Phosphorus fertilizer, 10-30-12, as I have read, Phosphorus is needed to grow and keep a healthy root system, at 1/4 strength, 1 liter too.
    and then repeat the cycle.

    Any fertilization should stop when you see that the flower bud is about 2 in long, otherwise they may fall (I have experienced this before with two of them, losing 2 buds), so after the flower buds have reached about 2 in in length, only water it every 7-9 days, trying to keep the humidity high.

    As I only grow the ever-green type of Lycaste ( I haven't been able to find a deciduous kind, because as I mentioned before, Lycastes are my country's national flower, so it's against the law to commercialize any kind of them), so I don't actually have experience in growing the deciduous type.

    Does you Lycaste have the flower buds around the pseudobulb with leaves, or it doesn't? If it does, as I think I'm able to see, I believe it's an ever-green type, so, if you provide a nice environment, with almost no changes in it, it wont go dormant, but if it does go dormant, just leave it on a higher humid area and with even less light, to promote the new growth cycle.

    As if it might be an ever-green type, the leaves will last for about 2-3 years.

    Hope I've helped you a bit.

  6. #6
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    Thank you, Gustavo! You've kept me from inadvertently doing the wrong thing with my Lycaste. I haven't touched it (except to move it further from the sun) since I brought it home about 10 days ago. It's now in pretty humid (70-75%) and bright indirect light conditions. I probably would have fertilized it after I watered it today, but, from your advice, I'll just water it and leave it be until the next watering is due.

    Yes, the buds seem to emanate from the one new pseudobulb (which is the only one with leaves). But they nearly ring the whole pot, and I can't really see if the buds further from the new pb are extended from it or not. I'd guess that they are. The leaves have turned a little yellowish on me, probably because of the couple of days when it got too much sun, but the greenhouse it came from has cattleya to vanda-type bright light, so that may also have something to do with it. I'm watching them very carefully to see whether they start looking worse, but they seem okay so far. If that's the only consequence of my taking it from its usual environment and placing it in my orchid-growing living room, then I will be very happy.

    The buds are opening now - two full blooms and four more just about to start. I saw that Eric posted a Lyc. skinneri, var. alba (gorgeous!), so I guess this is blooming season for them. I'll post more photos very soon.

    Again, thank you so much. You've really helped.
    Last edited by mauraec; January 29th, 2012 at 02:59 PM. Reason: sp

  7. #7
    GRMRA-GUA is offline Member
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    No problem Maura, just let us see your beautiful blooms!!!

    Yes, from Dec. to the end of March is the flowering season for these types of orchids! They really are a very beautiful kind of orchid!

  8. #8
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    Too much jibber- jabber, I want it! LOL.
    Nice job, Can't find a Lycaste here...
    My ONLY near- Lycaste is my pecloric phallie...
    Alex

  9. #9
    GRMRA-GUA is offline Member
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    If the plant would enter the dormant cycle, the tips of the leaves start to become yellow, then this coloration goes downward until the whole leaf turns a bright yellow, then it'll fall. So I guess the yellowish on yours is because of the conditions it had been grown in.

    Remember that a Lycaste should have bright green leaves, sometimes a little yellow tinge is fine.

    Don't forget to post some photos

  10. #10
    eorchids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    I saw that Eric posted a Lyc. skinneri, var. alba (gorgeous!), so I guess this is blooming season for them. I'll post more photos very soon.
    Yes, it's Lycaste's season (skinneri, lasioglossa...). The other I have, Lycaste aromatica, blooms in March.
    When the new PB are mature, I reduce watering and fertilizer, place it in strong light and in a cool place in the GH, until flowering. Mine are grown in sphagnum. I never let them dry. That is what I do but I'm not a pro in Lycaste.
    I can't wait the pictures of your flowers !

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