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  #1  
Old 10-29-2019, 01:55 PM
401Orchids 401Orchids is offline
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Cattleya Dowiana in bloom Male
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Hello everyone, I am new to this board but joined so I can share some of the orchids I find quite exceptional in my past five years of growing. I grow about 250 orchids of all sorts but mostly species Cattleyas! (Indoors under lights and in windows in New England)

Here is a C. Dowiana I imported last may from Orquídeas Del Valle (preorder for orchid show last may). I have never seen this plant in bloom in person before! This plant is my second attempt to grow this species. In my experience it absolutely hates water when it is not in the mood. By some miracle the plant grew an entire new root system, new lead, and flowered on it, all within six months after import!! I spoke with the grower later about the infection and she was surprised it was already blooming again and diagnosed the problem and helped me cure it. (I believe the extended daylight of my LED grow light helped it to bloom again so soon, but I waited until the root system was established again only about two months after I got the plant.) It was last in bloom in May, right before it came to me. (I had day and night temps of 80 and 90 degrees fahrenheit respectively about about 40-50% humidity)

This plant did have a fungal infection starting on its new lead which I battled until the orchid finally fought it off completely and closed the wound after several leaf cuttings. I believe I was watering too often although it also did not return after I treated with physan 20 (1/2 dilution). With that, and less frequent watering, it has not returned.

Anyone please share past experiences with C. Dowiana! I killed my first one (acquired in January, too cold, plant got the 'dowiana rot'. Was too late to save it.) Anyway the first and the second were 100% worth it because it was a learning process! Almost every experienced nursery grower grower I have talked with about this orchid have killed or lost entire batches of this species for no specific reason other than it is picky and really hates the cold.

Attached are pictures of it before the infection was cured, when it first opened, and how it looks today about ten days after opening. The yellow coloration really intensified every day and impressed me overall. Did not expect it to be as bright and pure of a yellow.It is a large plant over foot tall itself with 6 pseudobulbs/one direction of growth.
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Cattleya Dowiana in bloom-img_7057-jpg   Cattleya Dowiana in bloom-img_7082-jpg   Cattleya Dowiana in bloom-img_7121-jpg  

Last edited by 401Orchids; 10-29-2019 at 03:36 PM..
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2019, 04:57 PM
Diane56Victor Diane56Victor is offline
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I don't know enough about infections to comment.

But I do know enough to say that bloom is magnificent!
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2019, 09:37 PM
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Wow, that is a beautiful flower. This species has a reputation for being difficult (I have given up) I know that it doesn't produce roots until the fall (meaning that's the time to pot it) which is completely counter-intuitive and in general it is really picky about its life-cycle. (It has that effect on its progeny like Blc Toshie Aoki too) So you it looks like you have met the challenge! Congratulations!
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Old 10-30-2019, 08:43 AM
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401 - Add Inocucor Garden Solution monthly to your watering regime and you'll put the majority of rots in the rear view window. It's a formulation containing multiple, cooperating consortia of beneficial bacteria and fungi that kill and consume pathogens, secrete antibiotics that preclude future infections and stimulate growth, to boot.
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2019, 03:52 PM
bogdan bogdan is offline
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Fabulous!
The Orquivalle catts are some of the biggest that I've seen, even the mossiae, which for me is a medium sized cattleya, coming from them was quite big. Nice plants overall, if only a bit slow to adapt. I would cut more from that leaf and dust it with cinnamon.

I like your setup. Are those T5 LEDs? Mine grow on shelves too. Approximately 10 dowianas (who counts them when they're so beautiful, right?) in different stages and so far they seem very eager to grow and root as soon or even before the lead is finished. The constant light does help them grow faster.

Congrats!

Last edited by bogdan; 10-30-2019 at 03:56 PM..
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:26 PM
401Orchids 401Orchids is offline
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Roberta- It's strange growth habit and super sensitivity is definitely something I had to research and speak with a lot of growers with until I could really understand simply how not to kill one! This was to not give it even a drop of water or pot it until it had healthy new roots long and established enough to absorb it. I went with less experienced advice on my first one, against my intuition, potted it with no roots and kept it slightly damp and it was dead in less than two weeks.

I'm guessing since my current live dowiana was grown in Columbia, either the seasons were flipped or it just bloomed very early compared to our latitudinal location, closer to its original home in nature. Either way I just happened to pot it up at the perfect time by chance and it was willing to adapt over the summer. I received it right after its youngest(huge) PB was maturing and drying its sheath, then sent out a massive flush of roots right after as the new eye was just beginning to swell - and surprisingly it grew extremely quickly! Six months from zero roots to already sending out a bloom on a mature bulb.

I already grow a lot of orchids that need repottings in unseasonal times such as some other odd cattleyas so that isn't a huge concern of mine as I grow in mostly inorganic which requires non-invasive up-potting. Of course though I potted this one specifically more dry and airy, not in semi hydro, in a clear pot to monitor the roots, and water it on it's completely own schedule out of 200+ orchids of mine . I fully recommend not to fully give up on this beauty!

Part of what makes this orchid in particular so intriguing to me are the many differences it has in comparison to other species. The growth habit, flowering time, lack of alba or other common color forms, the lip (of course), yellow color and the fragrance. Its slightly shorter bloom length just ensures you enjoy it more when it happens to be IMO.

Ray- Thank you for the advice, I will have to give that a try especially with winter coming up.

Bogdan - Plant is all healed now! I posted that just to show what it had been fighting for a couple months. It was concerning because every time I cut and used cinnamon, it returned. (maybe 3-4 attempts over three months carefully monitored) It was not until I treated with physan 20(1/2 dilution), gave less frequent water, waited a couple of days, did a final cut with cinnamon and then finally no return.

As for my grow setup, in the background you can see two 2x4ft T5 6 bulb fixtures. They have fluorescent bulbs in them currently. I grow many small plants, young plants, cattleya seedlings etc. under there. The lower light and younger plants do well there. However my mature cattleyas and similar reside in a 2x4 grow tent with a 1200w LED that I swapped out a month ago with a 600w (which the C. dowiana grew under most of the time before blooming). I also have some plants in windows like most of us. Overall I definitely get better and less stunted growth with the LED lights in comparison to the fluorescent. They go dim after a year and get less adequate results so I will probably make the switch next time they need replacement.
Do you grow your C. dowianas under LED lights also? I find the results quite worth it. I'm curious how long you have been growing and re-flowering some of them under your care!
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:27 PM
bogdan bogdan is offline
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Quote:
BogdanAs for my grow setup, in the background you can see two 2x4ft T5 6 bulb fixtures. They have fluorescent bulbs in them currently. I grow many small plants, young plants, cattleya seedlings etc. under there. The lower light and younger plants do well there. However my mature cattleyas and similar reside in a 2x4 grow tent with a 1200w LED that I swapped out a month ago with a 600w (which the C. dowiana grew under most of the time before blooming). I also have some plants in windows like most of us. Overall I definitely get better and less stunted growth with the LED lights in comparison to the fluorescent. They go dim after a year and get less adequate results so I will probably make the switch next time they need replacement.
Do you grow your C. dowianas under LED lights also? I find the results quite worth it. I'm curious how long you have been growing and re-flowering some of them under your care!
Sorry, I just now returned from holiday, that is why I am answering so late.
It's great that after all the rot and worries she is back with a bang (the bloom)!
Mine are in different stages, to be honest I have only a mature one that should *fringer crossed* bloom on the next pseudobulb, it just finished growing a mature-looking one but no sheath. There are some rosita type that have two more years to maturity, those are the "crown jewels" of my collection, even though they weren't the expensive ones. I just think about them as valuable and they truly keep up the pace.
I grow under LED-tubes and until now I managed to bloom C. labiata, warneri, quadricolor, maxima, mendelii (a bad one not even worth mentioning),trianae, lueddemanniana, schroederae, purpurata, x Luminosa (1/2 dowiana), even a Rhyncholaelia Aristocrat (3 sheaths at the moment) and a lot of hybrids. The other unifoliate species are there but still not mature enough.
This is their fourth year under LEDs and they don't look like giving up.

Last edited by bogdan; 11-29-2019 at 04:31 PM..
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:45 PM
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Through my experience growing C. nobilior, another species very prone to rot if watered at the wrong time, I believe that semi-hydroponic culture could be an answer to the touchiness of dowiana. I currently have a couple dowiana that are approaching blooming size. My var rosita produced its first sheath on its latest growth, so hopefully it won't be too long! The only real difference between how I treat dowiana and most other Cattleya is light intensity. While outdoors here in PA it sits in as sunny a spot as I can give it alongside C. aclandiae, trianae, and my Vanda. Indoors under LEDs they're within a foot of some seriously intense lights.
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Last edited by Subrosa; 11-29-2019 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:32 PM
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The pattern is mesmerising. Very nice flower indeed. Highly captivating!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 401Orchids View Post
I believe I was watering too often although it also did not return after I treated with physan 20 (1/2 dilution). With that, and less frequent watering, it has not returned.
Have you got good air movement (air circulation) in the growing area? Good air movement and growing media (sometimes matched to a watering schedule) and comfortable growing temperature usually sorts things out.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:59 PM
Clawhammer Clawhammer is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
401 - Add Inocucor Garden Solution monthly to your watering regime and you'll put the majority of rots in the rear view window. It's a formulation containing multiple, cooperating consortia of beneficial bacteria and fungi that kill and consume pathogens, secrete antibiotics that preclude future infections and stimulate growth, to boot.
Hi Ray. Do you use Inocucor in S/H planted orchids as well? I'm wondering if I should save mine for organic plantings or if the BB work in inorganic media as well... Thanks!
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