cattleya reblooming question

inderooMay 29, 2012

Hello everyone! I've owned a Waianae Leopard cattleya for 3-4 years now, and when I first purchased it, it had about 6 flowers in bloom. The second and now third time it's rebloomed, only one lone flower has appeared. In the spring & summer I keep it outside so it gets plenty of light and temp fluctuations, and during the colder months it's inside in a west facing window. I water it once every 10 days or so, and will randomly fertilize (when I remember..). It has no problem at all putting out new pseudobulbs either. Is there anything at all I can do to make the beautiful bunch of blooms appear again?

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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

There is no easy answer to this question. Your orchid is actually Blc. Waianae Leopard. Some "Cattleyas" flower in Autumn, Some flower in Winter and others Flower in Spring.
Where is outside? They needs hours of sunlight filtered by shade-cloth appropriate to your climate zone to grow and mature the new pseudobulbs in summer.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 4:00PM
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If a healthy Cattleya is growing new bulbs but not blooming it's probably a function of not enough light. To determine the well being of the plant compare size and length of pbulbs and size of leaves. Each year should be as big or bigger than the previous year. If this is not so there is a more serious problem. How are the roots? Further more, as the years go by it should begin to make 2 or more new growths each time instead of just one other new one.

The other thing is to threaten it. Move it close to the trash can. Moving it to a different location may be a good idea even without the garbage can.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 4:27PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Something I've noted over the years is the importance of regular fertilization. "Weakly weekly" makes a huge difference . gary

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 5:25AM
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I have it in front of my house, which also faces west. It gets pretty much full sunlight between 1-5 pm (more or less), and I don't use anything to filter the sunlight.
The roots of the plant have always looked healthy to me when I'd re-pot it. I will have to say though, of the pbulbs that have grown, none look quite as large as the one that had the bunch of flowers when I bought it. I'm going to try to attach a picture of the plant, and you can tell me what you think? The pbulb that had the bunch is the 4th from the right, the tall one with only 1 leaf.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Bulb #4 illustrates what the plant is capable off under optimum conditions. Something is holding it back. It looks healthy but is missing something. Repott, change fertilizer, move to a different spot. Notice that each of the subsequent pbulbs is getting longer so the plant is returning to optimum. It will probably bloom all by itself one of these years.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:14AM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

The plant looks very healthy, but the pot looks too big. Many orchids bloom better with small pots, often to the point that the pot looks top heavy. Is this the original pot it came in, or did you repot? Also, I'm assuming that the pot has plenty of drainage.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:34PM
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It's not the original pot, and it has lots and lots of drainage. I've got it in a potting mix of fir bark, charcoal, and coarse perlite. The plant has always seemed happy in that mix, and it's been in the pot for going on 1 year now. I thought you repotted cattleya's in a pot they can grow into?? :-/

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 4:46PM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

I thought you repotted cattleya's in a pot they can grow into??

They will do better crowded. This is based on roots not the top of the plant. Ideal would be where the roots comfortably fill the whole pot and the new growth is near the middle of the pot.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 5:00PM
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The leaves look dark green to me. It appears the plant isn't receiving enough light to bloom. Maybe its the photo, but the leaves look dark green.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 11:15PM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

The general recommendation is the pot should just hold the roots and a bit more.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 3:12PM
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I also agree that the pot size is too big. The reason it's not growing well is you're not watering enough in summer. If it's outside and it's above 90F, it should be watered at least 2X a week. Fertilize at half strength every other watering


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:47PM
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I have a Hawaiian Leopard which has this in it's background, so let me tell you my experience.

When in growth cycle, it produces bifoliate p-bulbs and when it's going to flower it makes a unifoliate p-bulb. I have mine in a very crowded pot but I really don't think that is your problem unless it's wobbly in the pot and not secure. I put mine outside in almost full sun in summer(very high up in a redbud tree). In winter I have been known to put it right up next to a south facing window but I also have gotten some good blooms from it under my lights in the basement. I use a 65 watt Compact Fl. bulb. This thing is huge. I have it in a brooder lamp. I just really think your issue is light. When my plant is outside I can get a couple of spikes with 5 buds each, in winter I get 1 spike with maybe 2-3 blooms. I agree with Jane, but then again I usually agree with Jane. ginnibug

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:15AM
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When all of the pseudobulbs are shriveled except for the newest, it's not getting watered enough. Orchids need to be a certain level of health before they will bloom. It is very difficult to overwater plants when they are outside in summer.

So, I would both increase summer watering and light.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 7:30PM
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