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  #1  
Old 02-22-2019, 11:58 AM
cluelessmidwesterner cluelessmidwesterner is offline
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Cattleya watering now that we have new growth Female
Default Cattleya watering now that we have new growth

Spring is around the corner, although here in the upper Midwest Old Man winter isn't showing signs of leaving, and I have new roots and/or growths starting on my three Intergeneric Cattleyas.

I presently am watering their pots only once a week and when they are basically bone dry. (The house is at 30-35% RH even with humidifiers running on both stories of the house.) Should I and if so when should I increase waterings? If someone also could give me a ball park guessestimate on the frequency of increasing it would be great. Two of them are potted in bark mix (one in a plastic, one in terracotta pot) and one just in Leca (plastic pot).
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:15 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Hey clueless midwesterner! This is a great question! I have some new growths coming in too and I didn't even think twice about this....

I knew fertilizer would be raised right? But I just figured you would keep watering "just as dry" for adult Catts and to just watch them a little closer because if during winter this normally took ten days or a week...whatever, well now, it might only take 5 days because they are using more water, the days are becoming longer, and there will be more light...So just keep an eye out for them to dry quicker.

I don't know...I guess I just figured if they dry quicker, they are telling me that they now are using more water and so they need me to step it up at that point! I have stopped worrying a lot with my Catts however and just started "listening" a lot more carefully! That's my new growing strategy! I'll let you know how it goes!

But! I am NO expert and really would love to hear what others say! I figured if I responded maybe we could get this post back to the top of the list and noticed so we can both get some advice! Great question!!

---------- Post added at 11:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:11 AM ----------

P.S. I REALLY thought YOU were posting and going to tell/remind us what to do now that it is spring! So disappointing!! 😉

Also side note, clueless midwesterner, how is your Catt doing that is in LECA? I have been very curious about trying this but I have a few concerns...would love to here your experiences! I am guessing you are talking not s/h but just traditional growing with LECA as the medium right?!
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:48 PM
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SaraJean SaraJean is offline
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Cattleya watering now that we have new growth Female
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How long is your pot taking to dry and how long are you leaving it dry between waterings?
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:26 PM
cluelessmidwesterner cluelessmidwesterner is offline
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Cattleya watering now that we have new growth Female
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All of these I only have had for a couple of months and were bag babies.

The first is in a 4" w x6" l x 4"d clear plastic quart food container with hold drilled bottom/sides*. It is in bark mix and dries in three to four days. The mix is dry for three to four days. It has pushed out about half a dozen air roots and has a quarter inch a pbulb beginning to grow. It gets watered once a week

Second is in 4" terracotta pot with half filled with pottery shards for drainage. This one is also in a bark mix and it takes about four days to dry. Again the mix is dry for three to four days. No nodes swelling but a couple of roots have started from the last largest pbulb. It gets watered once a week.

The last last is in a one cup round clear food container with holes drill in the sides and bottom*. The leca dries faster than the other two but I am keeping it in a small Betta tank with some sphag moss next to the pot to increase the humidity around this rescue. The tank is sitting on a seedling mat to provide some warmth around the root zone. Again I have thus far only watered it once every seven days. This one has two nodes greening up and swelling but no new roots that I can see.

emmajs: Yes the rescue Cattleya hybrid that is in leca as a media but is not in s/h. Thus far this hybrid is doing fine in the leca. I've owned it for little over a month and its the one that has had the most marked turn around. Between the humidity "tank", the root zone being kept warm and now the lengthening day really was the reasons that contributed to its quick turn around

*converted food containers with holes drilled in them are Redneck chic, don't 'cha know. Actually with it being the "off-season" for growing supplies here when I potted them up so I had to improvise.
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:35 PM
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New growth with new roots is a sign to water and fertilize. Don't let new roots be dry for more than a day or so with lower humidity, or they may die. I think it's time to resume regular watering. Don't let them stay dry for 3-4 days after going dry. Water as soon as the bark is dry.

If it's still moist inside the bark, use a spray bottle for just one or two spritzes on the new roots, every day, so they don't stay dry for too long.

Give as much light as you can short of burning.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:01 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Oh very good to know ES about at least spritzing those new roots even if the inside of the pot isn't dry! I have been doing this with my seedlings...thanks to your advice on not letting them dry. The top of their little pots dry nearly immediately or within a few hours but deeper inside stays hydrated for a few days so I always go and spritz the top in between "official" waterings to help the babies stay more "evenly moist".

For some reason, I didn't think about the adult plants needing or wanting this too! I guess because all orchids have air roots so I just thought they ought to be ok if they are just in the air still....I know doesn't make a ton of sense now that I am thinking about! I'll have to spritz them!

And midwesterner! Very good to hear about the orchid doing well in LECA....I have considered trying to plant some Catts in just LECA this spring but...

I know in s/h, people struggle with the "dry line"...or the LECA's top layer drying out...I also know that when this happens, some have struggled with the root tips dying back because the LECA has a tendency to leech the moisture from the roots. So, if that occurs in s/h, when the LECA has a constant reservoir, it worries me that with traditional growing, you would have to water daily to keep the LECA from pulling moisture from the new root tips.

This is the one thing that has kept me from repotting into straight LECA although I have plenty of LECA handy so it would be economical to do so! Thats why I am always very interested in the success of anyone who does have a plant in straight LECA!
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:38 PM
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When I grew Catts in my low-humidity house the new roots would die back unless I spritzed them at least daily. When I moved everything into a more humid sunroom, around 50% minimum and frequently much higher, I found the roots were fine out exposed in the air.
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:39 PM
Kilmiquix Kilmiquix is offline
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I have a couple of little catts that are putting out new roots. They are in a bark mix in a wood basket outside. When watered in the morning, they are bone dry the next morning. Is it ok to water them daily?
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:25 PM
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Probably. Is the medium dry throughout?
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:37 PM
Kilmiquix Kilmiquix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
Probably. Is the medium dry throughout?
Yes. They are in pretty small baskets. There's not a whole lot there to maintain moisture. Should I add some sphagnum? I water frequently, so I tend to avoid it for everything except a little bit in the phals.

ALL of my baskets and pots are bone dry within 30 hours of a soaking. I guess the lovely breeze we've had for the last several weeks has been drying everything out.

I will start by watering every other day and misting on the off days. I enjoy working with the plants, so it gives me something to do with them...
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