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  #1  
Unread 12-03-2008, 06:42 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Estonia, Tallinn
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Default How to make a Cattleya to bloom?

About 1 year ago I took over the job of taking care of a cattleya that my husband had bought 6 years ago (and had neglected it). I repotted it (first time it was repotted) and started giving it proper care.
After repotting the Cattleya started growing new strong roots. This summer it grew 3 new leaves and there is a little now that shows that another leaf is ready to grow. 3 old leaves died after the new ones had grown.
Right now it has 4 leaves and a strong root system. Now I am hoping to make it bloom next so I could finally identify the plant.

What does a Cattleya need to start to bloom? Is it too early to make it bloom??? Does Cattleya need special care in the winter??

I hope that someone can help me with those questions
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  #2  
Unread 12-03-2008, 08:28 AM
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Cattleya bloom at different times of the year, I have 50 or so catts. so I have blooms almost all of the year, I do nothing special, I water once a week now and in hot weather proably about twice a week, I use a time release fert now and a high nitrogen fert in spring and summer, I pot in bark, I divide when needed, growing out of pot or such, I have a green house and try to provide enough light so the leaves are light greenish. I try to not let them get below 50% or over 90 % , I keep a fan gently circulating the air in the greenhouse.
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  #3  
Unread 12-03-2008, 09:07 AM
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Catts need a lot of light to bloom (which is why I don't have any catts). Being in Estonia, it would be good if you could put it outside in the sun during the warmer months (get it used to the sun progressively) and the rest of the time if would be good if you could place it behind a south facing window.
Catts like to dry out between waterings. You can use orchid food at each watering, and flush out the pot with plain water every 4 waterings or so.
If it was badly neglected, it may need some time to recover and and bloom again. Hopefully you will se blooms soon!
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  #4  
Unread 12-04-2008, 11:13 AM
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Hmmmm...
It seems I should use more orchid food. Right now I feed it once every 2 weeks.
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  #5  
Unread 12-04-2008, 11:30 AM
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A good balanced "diet" is all you need. I think Cammile gets more the the root of your question. Light. Gradually introduce it to higher light levels. Watch the leaf color as Virgil said.

A Cattleya getting good light and no fertilizer will throw out a few blooms. Of course fertilizer will help, but a well fertilized Cat that receives inadequate light may never bloom at all.
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