Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Backbulb transition to collection plant

Cattleya hybrid backbulb division ready to be potted and put back with the other plants

Cattleya Laurie Lynn Westenberger - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThe trickiest moment in backbulb culture is the transition from being a backbulb division and being potted in a normal medium and returned to the growing area with the other plants. The picture above is the root ball I found on a division I made nine months ago.

Cattleya Laurie Lynn Westenberger - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThe picture on the right is of the division shortly after I made it last September. There were two pseudobulbs in good condition with no live roots of their own. I left the dead roots on to make the plant stable in the pot.

This type of backbulb division, made from a well grown plant as part of re-potting it, is a great candidate for sprouting. There is a lot of energy stored in the pseudobulbs and they often start the sprouting process right away.

I gently opened the root ball and pruned off the original roots. I tried it in the next size up pot and it decided to use that size. I put a layer of foam peanuts in the bottom and filled in with small fir bark. I finished with a good watering to help settle the bark and put it back in the greenhouse.

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