Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cattleya lawrenceana

Masood Raja reports backbulb propagation success!

Since I repotted quite a few of my plants, I also, when possible, divided the larger plants. That left me with a set of four back bulbs from the following species:

    C. lawrenceana sphag and bag
  • C. eldorado
  • C. intermedia
  • C. lawrenceana
  • C. schroederae

I followed a simple method suggested by Chadwick and Son as well as Richard Lindberg. I placed some sphagnum moss, slightly moist, in a zip lock bag, added my back bulbs, each set in a separate bag of course, with their respective tags, placed the bags in a box and placed it in my closet.

The temperature needs to be above 75 degrees for this to succeed. So far, the C. intermedia and C. lawrenceana have started developing new growths. The other two will also probably succeed, but it has not been long since I “bagged” them. I will report on this further, but for right now I am happy to report that this method seems to be working.

After the growths develop, I will plant these bulbs in the smallest possible pots to encourage root growth. We shall see!

Read more at Masood Raja's blog Cattleya Conversation.


  1. I am trying a similar task, but I have my back bulbs lying on some moist clay pellets. Perhaps I should switch to moss as there does not seem to be any progress. The bulbs are getting pretty dry and loosing green colour. How important is the dark? I have my bulbs in lower light but still near my main area. Perhaps I should reduce light further. Oh, I am attempting this with Lc. Love Not back bulbs. Cheers, Stephen.

  2. Lc Love Not is a Cattleya hybrid and I have had good success with them. One thing that I know is important is that the bottom of the pseudobulbs need to touch something. If they are lying on their side you should prop them up. You may need a stake. Make sure that the clay pellets are just moist, not wet. There needs only to be a hint of nearby water to get the plant to sprout.

  3. Thanks Richard for posting this. I will soon report the progress of my back bulbs with pictures.

  4. How long did it take from the time you bagged them to see new growths? I have some bagged denbrodiums and I have only seen a few small hair-like fibers but no growths They have been in the bag for about a month.

  5. This can vary quite a lot. I have seen sprouts in a month or two and I have seen it take a year. As far as I can see, one very important factor is when the backbulb division was made. If it was during a normal growth period it might start right away. If it was an off season re-pot, it might wait to start. This requires much patience.

    Once you have started one method, don't change the conditions just because it is "too slow".

  6. Hi, thanks for sharing all these experiences with us.

    I just wanted to know if this method ("bagging") would work for a Lycaste? Or do you have any recomendations?

    I got these back bulbs from an uncle, and he said that I should just pot them, but as it's winter, it could be too dry. So what should I do?

  7. You didn't mention which Lycaste. These root very easily. I would go with your uncle's advice. Don't let them dry out. They like even moisture.