Blc Help Needed

banjoman(z7 NY)February 27, 2011

I have been growing orchids indoors for several years. I treat them all the same (windowsill with morning sun exposure, top water thoroughly once/week, repot rarely but occasionally as needed). Under my conditions, the Phals thrive and flower, the dendrobiums, oncidiums, Paphs and Miltonia thrive but have flowered less over the years.

What disturbs me is that I seem to have no success with Blc (Cattleya x Brassavola x Laelia) orchids. I have already lost some Blc orchids, and I currently have a Blc Laura Bush and one other that have extremely dried out leaves. My Psychopsis Kahlihi also has extremely dried out leaves. Do I simply need to top flush with water more that once per week, or is there some other approach I need to take. The Psychopsis has sent up 3 great flower shoots, but now refuses to flower (probably too dried out?). Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Jon in Long Island

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Possibly the air in your home is too drying? What are these plants growing in? Only morning sun is not enough for dens & catts. What are your temps?

Plants should not be watered on a schedule but watered when dry.

Can you provide some photos and more information on your growing environment?


    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 1:45PM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

What type of medium are the BLC plants potted in? They like to be watered well and then allowed to dry out again, as Jane says. Water them thoroughly when you do. The saying is that you can't water a plant too much, but you can water too often.

Get yourself a shishkabob skewer, trim it down and put it in the medium. The next time you think the plant needs water, take it out and touch it to the back of your hand or cheek. If it's wet or damp, don't water. If it's dry, water. When in doubt, don't.

Next, as Jane also says, these plants need bright light to succeed. They should be in the sunniest, brightest window you have, without shading here in the northeast. Mine thrive in a south facing window, as close to the glass as I can get them.

Lastly, what are you feeding them, how much and how often?

If you stick with it, you'll get the hang of them. Give them what they need and they'll thrive for you.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 4:41PM
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I've just purchased my first BLC. Is it ok for a BLC cattleya pseudobulb to have vertical wrinkles, or does that mean the plant isn't getting enough water? I've put a shishkabob skewer in the pot, but which is more important, the plumpness of the bulbs or the state of the shishkabob skewer? I keep this Cattleya on a humidity tray in an east window.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:46PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

I do not worry about the vertical wrinkles on "cattleya" pseudobulbs, they may fill out a bit as spring comes on, but they tend to stay. What is more important is that your plant starts to grow a new pseudobulb and that it grows new roots though the timing of the new roots appearing varies according to the ancestors of your Blc.
As for the skewer, keep using it if it makes you happy but if your mix & pot size
and conditions are in balance the mix will dry rapidly to the desired just moist between waterings.
Does your Blc have a name and where do you live in the USA?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 4:26PM
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