Thursday, November 3, 2011

Under Pot, Under Water

Cattleya percivaliana marmoreadaI have been learning about growing Cattleya in sphagnum moss and unglazed clay pots over the last couple of years. I am a long way from being an expert on the subject, but that won't stop me from doing a skill session about growing using this method.

Cattleya percivaliana marmoreada - Plant photo by Richard LindbergLuckily I have Steve Christoffersen as a mentor and he has tried to keep me on track. He has had many years of experience growing in sphagnum and clay. He broke it down in terms even I could understand. Put the plant in a pot that barely holds the roots and when I think it is time to water, wait longer to do it.

Rhyncholaeliocattleya Haw Yuan Gold - Plant photo by Richard LindbergIn looking through my pots for examples of good work I discovered this sprouted backbulb division Rhyncholaeliocattleya Haw Yuan Gold. This plant is potted in sphagnum over peanuts in a 4 1/2-inch clay pot. There are three pseudobulbs (two are the original backbulbs) and it stands 10 inches above the pot. I think we can all agree that it is over potted.

I see that I am not quite ready to snatch the pebble from Steve's hand. I will try to rescue this by careful watering. It is too late in the growing season to repot.


  1. I think this great method would work for many chids. Very recent phal killer, I moved them into smallest unglazed clay pots with sphag, and now when I think it's time to water - I wait for one more day. It works :).
    Still feel uneasy about catts in sphag though and quickly move them to chc on arrival, but maybe will experiment with couple when spring comes.

  2. I know what you mean. It took me a long time to make the move. It took Steve's encouragement and seeing his greenhouse full of valuable plants potted that way to get me there.