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shrinking pseudobulbs??

This is a discussion on shrinking pseudobulbs?? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; My cattleya "24 Karat Lea" is still blooming and looked very healthy till this past ...

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  1. #1
    nagal1 is offline Member
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    Cool shrinking pseudobulbs??

    My cattleya "24 Karat Lea" is still blooming and looked very healthy till this past couple of days. I noticed the psuedobulbs look a bit wrinkly and also the sheaths around are looking balckened in places. Underneath everything is green if I pull the papery part off. This is a plant I asked earlier if I should repot as it seems too small for the pot. (Can't find that thread and haven't the time to look right now as I have a party I'm cooking for).I think it may just need more watering but how can I be sure? The pot is so small I can barely poke my finger in anywhere to test when the medium is dry. I've been watering twice a week. I'll post a pic tomorrow. The blooms are extremely fragrant and I hope it is not sick. Any advice welcome.

  2. #2
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    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    I noticed that older growths get really wrinkly and thats normal.

    With smaller pots you would have to water more often than with big pots.... If you are watering enough and the bulbs are shrinking a lot (As wrinkly as a prune), then most likely there's something wrong with the roots. I would check the root system then. Typically a small pots are preferred, as long as the new growths are not hanging out of the pots. They don't take up as much room this way and the media doesn't stay soggy for a long time, especially for sphag moss. Smaller pots help prevent over watering, which is usually worse than underwatering. Overwatering can cause root rot, which will cause shrivelled prune-like pseudobulbs.

    I find Cattleyas don't mind big pots with open bark mix and clay pots. Its harder to overwater with clay pots and open bark mix. My mom tends to make me pot them in larger pots than they should be, she doesn't like tiny pots because thats the way she's been growing them since her first plant. They don't tip over this way and look more like a normal houseplant in clay pots. My mom's plants are over potted but it works for her. I can't convince her to use the smaller pot, oh well.

    Sheaths do get blackened, but don't worry about them I tear them off when they are dead. I think its mold that makes them turn black when they get wet. Tearing them off will allow photosynthesis to occur on the pseudobulbs, and I think they look nicer that way. In nature the winds and rain would clear away those sheaths from the plant. Sheaths are only useful when the growths are still young and need the added protection.

    What media are they potted in? Show us some pics
    Last edited by smartie2000; December 16th, 2006 at 02:47 PM.

  3. #3
    smartie2000's Avatar
    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    ....
    I took a look at my mom's blooming cattleya and its pseudobulbs are more wrinkly than the last time I saw it. Maybe my mom forgot to water? Anyways, pseudobulbs do get slightly wrinkly sometimes and it is completely normal. This cattleya is perfectly healthy and reliable bloomer, most reliable than all the cattleyas we have. Maybe it is natural for it to shrink a little in bloom.

  4. #4
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    I don't have a mature catt that doesn't have wrinkled p-bulbs. They wrinkle as new growth draws on them for support. It's normal as long as the wrinkling isn't too severe. If you can find some pictures of catts in the wild, their bulbs are quite wrinkled, as they have survived periods of drought.

  5. #5
    smartie2000's Avatar
    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    My mom has pseudobulbs that have ridges. I don't know if I can describe that as wrinkled now that I think about my wording. I've got quite a few wrinkled pseudobulbs, but they were horrible rootless plants I bought online I think I should repot my rootless purchases with more sphag moss to retain moisture soon.

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