When/ how do cattleya orchids grow flower spikes?
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  #1  
Old 12-21-2009, 11:27 PM
mossmac mossmac is offline
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When/ how do cattleya orchids grow flower spikes?
Default When/ how do cattleya orchids grow flower spikes?

Hi there,

I have three flowering size cattleya orchids and I was wondering how and when they grow flower spikes, as I am new to cattleya orchids. My cattleyas are :

Blc Sylvia Fry Supreme x Horace 'Maxima'
Cattleya Pali Polkadot 'Paunani'
Blc Greenwich Elmhurst


All three cattleyas are currently growing a new 'cane' with leaves. Do the flower spikes always develop from the new 'canes'? If so, how long is it after the 'cane' has matured do the flower spikes start to grow? I keep looking at all the canes in the hope that a flower spike/ sheath is starting to grow from the end of one of them, but no luck, yet. I am pretty sure that my light conditions are good as the leaves on all my cattleyas are a mid to light green. When a new 'cane' starts growing, does that mean none of the other 'older' canes will develop flowers?

I was also wondering what time of year cattleyas tend to flower (it is summer here now).

I would be really grateful for any answers to these (basic!) questions!

Mossmac
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2009, 01:12 AM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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It's not your lighting.

Probably not the right time of year.

I'm speaking in general terms here, so this will not necessarily apply to all Cattleyas (species and hybrids)...

Usually, you'll start seeing them put out sheaths right around spring through fall, depending on what you've got.

Yes, the spikes will be on the new shoots. The growths will get big, put out a single new leaf (if it's a unifoliate Cattleya) or put out a new leaf then another leaf shortly thereafter (occasionally the two leaves come out together - obviously referring to bifoliate Cattleyas here). The leaves will become larger with time until they "harden". Shortly after the leaves get as large as they can be, The pseudobulbs enlarge. New roots may also grow out at this time. When they are ready to emerge, the sheath will come out of the base of the single leaf (unifoliate) or in between the two leaves (bifoliate). The spike will come out of the sheath.

The entire process of growing a new sheath to going into full bloom can take up to a month or two.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 12-22-2009 at 01:14 AM..
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2009, 01:43 AM
Baz in Oz Baz in Oz is offline
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When/ how do cattleya orchids grow flower spikes?
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Mossmac, Koog pretty well summed it up but having said that, I believe ALL orchids are female and therefore are unpredictable, temperamental and perverse and will please themselves when and if they flower.
I am not familiar with your three plants but I do have a Cattleya horace maxima that flowers for me in July/August in SEQ.

Baz
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  #4  
Old 12-22-2009, 04:43 AM
mossmac mossmac is offline
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When/ how do cattleya orchids grow flower spikes?
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Thank you so much for your replies. They have cleared up a lot of unanswered questions I had, prior to posting my message! All of the three cattleyas I have seem to be 'bifoliate'. The Blc Sylvia Fry Supreme x Horace Maxima has very tall 'canes' (around 40 cm tall) and the newest one has now grown as tall and its leaves are opening out. I really hope it will eventually flower for me (when the 'cane' reaches maturity). I don't think that can be too far away as the new 'cane' has grown two fat looking roots, both of which are around an inch long so far. So I shall keep checking for any emerging flower sheath!
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2009, 05:02 AM
Jerry Delaney Jerry Delaney is offline
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As "King" mentioned, it is difficult to make a short statement as to when Cattleya orchids will flower. For example, there are a large number of species that will mature growths during spring thru fall and form sheaths that will actually dry and turn brown. They set in this condition through the winter and then flower the next spring. Others may flower as soon as the new growth matures and the sheath is still quite green. Hybrids between these groups may flower at a time typical for one of the parents or at a time kind of intermediate between the two groups. Many things may influence the actual time of flowering such as, night length, temperature, light intensity, nutrition etc. I agree that if your leaf color is light green that the problem is most likely not light intensity and it may be that the plants are just not old enough to flower. Patience may be the best "medicine" right now. My best guess for the hybrids you listed would be that they will flower in the spring or early summer (and some may flower a second time in the fall). Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2009, 05:53 AM
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orchidsamore orchidsamore is offline
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When/ how do cattleya orchids grow flower spikes? Male
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Here in Florida I have had Greenwich Elmhurst bloom in July and August

Pali Poka Dot Aug Thur Sept

C maxima usually blooms in January but I have never seen the hybrid.

I have to disagree with the generalizations made here. Cattleya bloom every month of the year but each variety usually blooms at the same time. Several bloom twice or more a year but again at about the same times each year.

The time can vary a couple of months. For example, Blc George King used to bloom every year in Jan to Feb. Last year everywhere in Florida, myself and other growers all bloomed ours in October. This year they started in Oct and and still (not the same plant) producing flowers in Dec.

Other parts of the county will have blooming move a couple of months depending on the length of the day and the brightness of their sun. Southern hemisphere will shift 6 months.

I have a list of about 2000 orchids and the month they have bloomed in Florida. I will be posting them soon on my web site as a rough guide to blooming times. I will announce it here when it is ready.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2009, 07:25 AM
Jerry Delaney Jerry Delaney is offline
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Quote:
have to disagree with the generalizations made here. Cattleya bloom every month of the year but each variety usually blooms at the same time. Several bloom twice or more a year but again at about the same times each year.
Hi Jerry. I am not sure just what you are disagreeing with since we all are saying more or less the same thing. I agree that a certain orchid tends to bloom at the same time of the year, but as you point out that sometimes is not the case. Sometimes "mother nature" takes care of changing the time and sometimes growers deliberately change conditions to shift the blooming time. Much of the cut flower trade depended upon the ability to put off the blooming of C. labiata (and it's hybrids) in order to have flowers at xmas and into spring. I think it's great that you will publish the blooming time of your plants there in Florida but I am not sure how accurate that will be for growers in other parts of the world.
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2009, 04:31 PM
Orchid126 Orchid126 is offline
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When/ how do cattleya orchids grow flower spikes?
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Just to clarify the orchid lingo, dendrobiums have canes while the cattleya family (which is what you have) has pseudobulbs. A leaf or leaves grow out of the tip of the bulbs. Some orchids have sheaths that produce blooms right away, others have sheaths that sit there for months before they bloom and often the sheath dries up and looks dead, which is not the case at all. Some sheaths produce buds, while other plants produce buds without a sheath. Orchids are totally unpredictable, which makes them so fascinating.
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2010, 01:23 PM
Joyce Joyce is offline
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When/ how do cattleya orchids grow flower spikes?
Default When do they bloom???

I have two cattleya's, both double leafed. I got them as babies and Jewel Box "Dark Water" finally bloomed, but only on the newest psedudo bulb. If I read correctly, this is to be expected. But I only got two flowers on it. I have no idea what will come each year. Two blooms on the end of the newest bulb???

I also have Siam Jade Avo Am Cst C. Penny Kurodax epc Vienna Woods. (did I do that right?). It has not bloomed yet. Same age as above orchid.

The Cattleya's are far more beautiful and complex than the Phalys. I was just hoping for more flowers. Like the spikes on Cymbidiums. Most proficient plants.

I live in NorCal above San Francisco. Hot in summers and just above freezing in winter. I grow them all indoors. It's an obsession I'm afraid. (I thought golf was enough...)

I am new (under 10 years) and have two Cattleyas, two Cymbidiums and two Phalys.

I notice in nurserys and food markets they always have a supply of orchids in bloom, so obviously they can do it on demand? Or do they bloom on cycle no matter what you do?

Please advise regarding care and feeding of these three types. There must be some "tricks of the trade" that I am missing.

Thank you..

Joyce K.
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  #10  
Old 04-29-2010, 02:43 PM
johnblagg johnblagg is offline
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When/ how do cattleya orchids grow flower spikes? Male
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I would bet that phals can be "timed" since they are regular supermkt chids.....but IDK for sure
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