Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cattleya loddigesii 'Blue Sky' AM/AOS?

Cattleya loddigesii grows in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. It is fragrant, cool to warm growing and can grow in sunlight. The flowers are long lasting and blooming is in late summer.

The genus Cattleya contains 53 species from tropical South America. They do best in a medium that has good drainage and dry between watering. Give them a sort dryer rest after blooming.

I got this plant about three months ago. It was one of a group of free plants donated to our orchid society to finish clearing a greenhouse. There was no tag in the pot.

Near the pot on the table was a tag for "Cattleya loddigesii 'Blue Sky' AM/AOS" and there were no plants nearby that could be a Cattleya or Laelia. So I picked up the tag and the pot and I am treating them as a pair. The identification is probably correct, but still tentative until it blooms.

I unpotted the plant and inspected the roots. I make it a practice to do that for all new plants unless there is a specific reason not to. I will let a plant in bloom finish, for example.

The top of the plant looked fine but the roots did not. I cleaned and sprayed the plant, then divided it. I put the divisions in limestone chunks and put them in a dry, lower light area of the greenhouse.

Now new growth has started and new roots will follow shortly. I'll keep an eye on them and try to resist the temptation to start watering.

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