Brought my first two babies home today.

cocoabeachloraxJuly 11, 2010

Happy day. They are adorable small Cattleyas (as recommended here, thank you).

I have repotted them to slightly larger 'baskets' (the wooden ones. Based on what I had read here I expected them to be potted in all the wrong ways with potentially soggy roots, but they were in a nice mix of styrofoam on the bottom, what appeared to be some charcoal, and lots of nice bark.

So I supplemented the bottom of the new basket with a very thin (as in a millimeter or two) layer of sphagnum mass followed by an orchid bark mix I purchased already bagged (pre soaked for about an hour).

They took to the new baskets easily without the need for additional staking or tying down and look much better with a little more room to grow. Both have lots of healthy looking roots and plenty of sturdy gorgeous leaves.

I initially intended to hang them from the canopy of sea grapes in my back yard but since they are in bloom right now I have them hanging from my covered lanai. They get bright extremely indirect light all afternoon. I hesitate to put them in the canopy straight away because at the nursery they didn't appear to be getting direct light, they were under shade cloth. Not sure if that is prudent and I'm open to education on that matter.

As far as watering, we're still in drought conditions here so I will need to supplement them when they do get out into the canopy, how many times a week would you water them ? I've read 2 x per week with orchid food mixed into the water with occasional flushes of pure water. Advice on how often to flush ?

Also, at what temperature would you recommend they be brought into the house from the great outdoors. We had a few awfully cold nights here last winter so I'm sure they cannot be left in the canopy all year ?

Thank you so very much.

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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

What sort of temperature do you get on an awfully cold night? The low so far this winter here is something around 0C and the "Cattleyas" are fine. Far better to have cool night followed by mostly sunny days than higher night temps and following gloomy days.

They must have sun filtered by shade-cloth depth appropriate for the latitude and time of year. Bright indirect light might not be strong enough.

The micro-climate of your growing situation is unique and you have to get to know the optimum places to place your babies.

Do your babies have names?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 4:06PM
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cocoabeachlorax

I apologize for not responding sooner. Somehow I think I replied to the "preview" page then failed to hit accept. Just returned to see if there were any replies and realized I never responded, how rude of me ! ;)

The coldest temperatures we had were maybe a half dozen nights at about 28 degrees reaching into the sunny 60s during the day. We are coastal and the sun is fairly strong here.

I will move them to brighter light under the sea grape canopy once their blooms are finished. I just can't bear to send them out there (out of near sight) right now.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 8:37PM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)

No words of advice about your Catts, but your mention of sea grape canopy, coastal, and lanai are music to the ears of this land-locked Minnesotan.

It sounds like you've done some homework that will make your babies happy.

Congratulations, White Cat

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 3:57PM
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cocoabeachlorax

White Cat: It's beautiful but I long for snow (just a little).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 9:52PM
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