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  #1  
Unread 07-23-2009, 04:06 PM
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Default Empty blossom pods on cattleya

My Cattleya has blossom pods, but no flowers inside them. What causes this and how do I fix it? I use the fertilizer that is specific for blooms as soon as the pods begin forming. Could it be I am not using it often enough or not making the solution strong enough?
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  #2  
Unread 07-23-2009, 04:27 PM
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First the terminology: I presume you're referring to the structure that forms at the top of the pseudobulb from which flowers emanate. That is the "sheath".

"Blind" sheaths are very common in immature plants, and sometimes occur in plants that are undernourished or had insufficient light levels to buid up their strength.

I will only briefly address the fact that there is no such thing as a "bloom booster" fertilizer, but nutrition should be given adequately and regularly throughout the plant's growth cycle. Waiting for the formation of a sheath to do so is too late.

One other thing I thought of - if you have been feeding it regularly, but with a high-nitrogen fertilizer, that can suppress blooming, as well. Goring to the lower-N formula can reverse that, but again, it needs to be done well before blooming is anticipated.
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Unread 07-23-2009, 05:42 PM
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Thank you Ray, I had thought that switching to the low N formula wasn't supposed to take place until the sheaths began forming. Perhaps I should re-pot it and hope for better luck next year.
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Unread 07-23-2009, 07:36 PM
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I've had that problem in one of my mature catts, almost certainly because it was deprived of bright light (I didn't have a proper space for it at the time).
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Unread 07-23-2009, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scerdena View Post
Thank you Ray, I had thought that switching to the low N formula wasn't supposed to take place until the sheaths began forming. Perhaps I should re-pot it and hope for better luck next year.
Only repot if the medium is breaking down or the plant is outgrowing the pot. The medium doesn't retain all that much.
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  #6  
Unread 07-23-2009, 10:03 PM
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Sometimes - some plants hold sheaths for a very long time - and I have been told (and am hoping that is the case with a couple of mine) that they may even brown and dry up and still produce blooms at a later time - I think it depends on the type of catt
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Unread 07-24-2009, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteRabbit View Post
Sometimes - some plants hold sheaths for a very long time - and I have been told (and am hoping that is the case with a couple of mine) that they may even brown and dry up and still produce blooms at a later time - I think it depends on the type of catt
From experience I know this is true. I have a robust Noid Cattleya that grows in spurts. She'll develop several sheathed pseudobulbs...pause briefly and repeat...and then pause briefly and repeat. As she's generating new growth the sheaths on her first round begin to dry and eventually turn brown and brittle/crisp. Her second set of sheaths follow suit while the third set remains green. All of the sheaths begin to swell with buds in mid-December and begin blooming in January. The blooms produced from dry sheaths are no different in appearance than those produced from green ones.

So far, this is the only Catt in my collection that exhibits this behavior. I have others Cattleyas with dry sheaths that have shown no signs of bud formation. I just leave them alone and hope for the best.
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