Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cattleya bowringiana coerulea 'Blue Angel' x self

Cattleya bowringiana coerulea 'Blue Angel' x self - Plant photo by Richard Lindberg

Cattleya bowringiana coerulea 'Blue Angel' x self - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThere are some species that I have always had trouble with. Cattleya bowringiana is one. I have hardly been able to get a new growth to maturity. This plant is a good example of what is happening. The new growth starts off fine and seems to want to grow, but after it grows for awhile, it forms what looks like crown rot.

Cattleya bowringiana grows in Belize and Guatemala at low elevations on rocky cliffs. It is cool to warm growing and blooms in the fall. It needs a short rest after blooming.

There is a lot of water around the greenhouse. Do I have to move the plant to a dry area and carefully hand water, making sure never to get a drop on the new growth?

7 comments:

  1. Yes, I agree a dryer area and/or a lighter mix would help. I think the problem largely occurs because the roots are too wet. It rains in the jungle, wetting the new growth, with no problems. Also, I have new growth rotting more often in the winter, even when I'm careful to keep water from collecting in the cups. John

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  2. Hi Richard, I was just speaking with Fred Clarke at the COS in Miami, about this on Sunday. I have had a similar problem with bifoliate cattleyas. I have been very careful about watering, even to the point, of only letting the plant stand in a bowl of water for a few minutes to avoid watering from the top over the new pseudobulb. This is a work in progress. I have been attending more local society meetings looking for some answers from other local growers. Will keep you posted on any progress.

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  3. Good to know, and I will be super careful with these now. It makes me wonder what I don't know about the environment these grow in. They survive in the wild somehow!

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  4. I suspect that moss doesn't dry fast enough and it infects the new growths with rot. The only person I've known to successfully use moss with Cattleyas is Alan Koch. He has a very specific potting method where he leaves almost half the bottom space as a void - chat him up the next time you see him at a show.

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  5. Besides the media and its specific requirments. Keeping the sheaths dry I find, to be a must. As stated above watering at the base can help this. Be careful if you mist and get it in the open sheathing of the new psuedobullb. Ive even slowly pulled it down as it rots/dries and grows the pseudobulb. I have had the same problem with rot on new growth on all my cattleya alliance till i practiced this. I find that if the plant is descending or mounted that the water roles off growth better then potted. This could be an option as well

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  6. Hi,Richard

    I grow my bowringiana outdoors in So.Cal.I recently divided 2 pots last April. I put them in pots with no medium,in low light. I only added rocks, coarse bark after 2 months of growth. Since the growths are not fully opened yet, I cover them with plastic cups when I water them so as not to get water in. Two of the 8 pot divisions I have are now in spike.

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  7. Thanks for the tip. I have too many plants to make that a general practice, but for this species I will make an exception. It is so sensitive.

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