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Thread: meet my hot mess cattleya!

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default meet my hot mess cattleya!

    Hi, everyone! This is my cattleya. I purchased it a week ago from a big box retailer--they always have beautiful phals, catts, and oncidiums. I have been successfully keeping phals alive for a few months (except 2 to root rot--I learned from that), so I thought I'd get bold and buy a catt.

    As you can see, it is huge, growing way out of the pot. It seems to like me--I expected to see nothing out of that sheath, and indeed there was nothing the day I bought it. The day after, 2 buds emerged, and have grown drastically within a week.

    I want to repot it ASAP, because there is moss/greenish areas on the medium, and everything is very much packed in. It came that way--I am NOT an overwaterer. But first, I think I have to divide it and let it start more new root growth. I also don't want to upset it, since it looks very anxious to open those two buds. I just want to get the timing right, here--am I on the right track with what I plan to do?

    And can someone explain the major hack job that someone seems to have performed on it? Why does it look like some pseudobulbs and a lot of roots have been cut off? Granted, those roots look dead (dried and crispy), but still...?

    Well...I'm TRYING to get the pictures to upload. I followed the directions, but it doesn't seem to want to work. I don't understand why it is so complicated to just upload something from my own computer. No way of knowing whether it worked...

  2. #2
    Real Name
    Bruce Brown
    My Grow Area
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleyas & Slippers
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Member's Country Flag


    If uploading from your computer, resize the image so that it is not larger than 700 px x 700 px by 72 DPI. Then it will be accepted by the forum software.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011


    Thank you! So, here we go again. I have resized the images. One is a closeup of the roots and the plant's lead pseudobulb (on one side) growing out of the pot. You can see where a couple pseudobulbs have been hacked off. One is a closeup from above of the new buds popping out of the sheath the day after I bought it. One is a closeup of the two buds a week later. By the way, the leaf on that lead pseudobulb under the buds is folded/wrinkled, and I don't know why. It looks like this will work now.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  4. #4
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    whatever will bloom
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Member's Country Flag


    I wish the BBSs by me would have cheap overgrown catts! Heck, I would even appreciate the named catts n a bag that many of you seem to find. Anyway........

    Pel, I would guess that the roots on the lead pb were already long and were getting in the way when the grower was packing the shipment tray to the BBS and so cut them off for his convenience. A shame as it looks like the roots were healthy. I would not divide or repot at this time -- too much chance of snapping off the buds.

    If you're worried about the media in the pot, you could -- for the time being -- remove the pot but don't otherwise fool with the plant. If the media is old or too damp for you conditions, this will allow it to dry faster and get more oxygen to the roots without greatly stressing the plant while it is in bud/blooming. This plant is definitely big enough to divide once it's done blooming if that is what you would like to do. Alternatively you could find a larger pot to repot the whole thing in once blooming is done.

    If you choose to repot, then once it finishes blooming, give it a good soak so the roots are more pliable and remove all the old media and pot up in whatever media works best for you.

    If you choose to divide, probably the easiest way would be to follow the steps mentioned above then using a sharp sterile knife or razorblade (personally I recommend disposable razorblades which can then be sterilized in an oven for reuse unless you have a propane torch handy)
    to divide the plant making sure the division has 3 healthy pbs.

    Alternatively, if the media in the pot seems fine and you're feeling lazy, you could also fill a second pot with media and position it so the lead pb is in the pot. As the roots of the pb grow, they will grow down into the new pot. Once that pb forms another new lead or two that has a chance to grow and fatten up, cut that original pb (the one currently in bud) free from the mother plant. This provides a division with little to no shock to set its growth back.

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