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Go Back   Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web ! > ORCHID ALLIANCES > Cattleya Alliance
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  #1  
Unread 02-07-2013, 05:29 PM
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Default cattleya growing but not blooming

I have a san damiano watermellon gold which grows great. I have had it for 3 years and it puts on two growth spurts a year. It is filling the pot and this growth season has 10 new starts. It has never sheathed or bloomed since I have had it. I have been told that since it is a clone, it may have been cloned so much that it will no longer bloom. It has been tested for a viral infection and found to be free of virus. Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Unread 02-07-2013, 05:46 PM
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Is it mature? Does it get enough light? Does it have darkness at night? Do you give it a balanced fertilizer?
Most of the time if a plant doesn't bloom, it is due to too much fertilizer and not enough light. I did have a Catt for many years that I gave full sun and, like yours, grew like crazy and never bloomed. I finally gave it away. :|
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  #3  
Unread 02-07-2013, 06:07 PM
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The plant is very mature as it is over 4 years old. It gets all the light I can give it which is in a southers window in the winter and outside in summer. I feed it 3 times a month with an 30-10-10-5-2 fertilizer and an additional cal-mag suppliment. The 4th week of the month, it is leached with clear water. It gets darknes in the night as the supplimental lighting turns off before sunset. I am lost as to what else to do.
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  #4  
Unread 02-07-2013, 06:31 PM
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Is it four years from flask or four years that you have owned it? Has it ever bloomed? Does it take a rest period? Mine was nameless so I couldn't even look up anything about it. I tried everything and it just kept growing, sending out tons of new growth twice a year. I even gave it full sun, all day, all summer (didn't burn!) and nothing! But, you might be lucky. If your Catt is only four years out of flask, it might need a few more years. If not, I hope someone can help you.
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  #5  
Unread 02-07-2013, 07:03 PM
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It is 4 years that I have had it and it was already large when I got it. No, it has never bloomed that I know of. I was told by one person that it is a clone and it may have been cloned too many times and probably will never bloom due to overcloning if that is possible.
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  #6  
Unread 02-07-2013, 07:25 PM
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So no lights are on in that room after sunset? Just verifying because even a nightlight or street lights bleeding through can affect certain species and hybrids of those species.
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  #7  
Unread 02-08-2013, 04:13 PM
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Sounds like your growing conditions are pretty optimal. Most Catts won't bloom if they don't get enough light, but from your description, the lighting is good. Also, the fertilizer sound perfect and the fact that it has 10 new growths makes me think that you are doing everything right. And that is most like your problem!

While I've never heard of the clone issue you mentioned (ie. not blooming due to over cloning), I'm pretty sure your Catt has no reason to bloom. In the wild, most Cattleyas will have VERY distinct wet and dry season, with the dry season causing high levels of stress. For a healthy plant, this is no problem as they are perfectly adapted to withstand such stress. Most hybrids come from a mishmash of backgrounds and often bloom freely, without the need for pronounced dry season, but some do need it.

After your newest round of growths have finished growing, the sheaths around the pseudobulbs have dried up and the roots are starting to slow their growth, stop watering and fertilizing. Completely. Give your plant access to the unrelenting mercy of the Texas summer for a few weeks and let the bulbs shrivel a bit.

Then after a few weeks of this, slowly start watering with no fertilizer and I will bet you that plant will bloom its socks off! Very often we coddle our orchids and are rewarded with a very healthy green plant with no flowers. This works for some, but for many Cattleyas, they really need a good hard dose of dryness.
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  #8  
Unread 02-08-2013, 04:51 PM
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Thanks for the shoch treatment hint. I was just advised the same thing for this plant last week and am now letting it hang outside in full sun, no water and cool nights untill the forcast calls for 40 or lower then bringing it inside for the night. Next week is forcast for too cool for outside at night but will be moving it daily in/out till temps go back up. I am about to give up.
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  #9  
Unread 02-08-2013, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newone View Post
Thanks for the shoch treatment hint. I was just advised the same thing for this plant last week and am now letting it hang outside in full sun, no water and cool nights untill the forcast calls for 40 or lower then bringing it inside for the night. Next week is forcast for too cool for outside at night but will be moving it daily in/out till temps go back up. I am about to give up.
Honestly, I would wait until the new growths are finished before you do this. You might end up sending the plant into a tailspin if the timing of the stress is incorrect!
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  #10  
Unread 02-09-2013, 12:31 AM
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I have had good luck with my reluctant blooming catts by changing the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus/potassium when the pbulbs have become halfway mature. As the new growth nears maturity they put out their bloom sheaths or naked flower buds. Quite a few put them out as the new leaves grow. If the leaves have reached maturity and they haven't put out flowers, they aren't going to. Stressing them isn't going to produce flowers. They bloom freely in all sorts of environments abd will bloom whether you stress them or not. Changing up the ratio of N to P/K will induce them to flower. Try a balanced fertilizer until the growth is halfway finished and then switch. Water freely and then let dry completely. Gui fong white jade was a very reluctant bloomer until I did this. Now it blooms from every new pbulb. Too much fertilizer is also a detriment to blooming too. Ray can give you a very useful equatuon for the correct fertilizer dosage. And most of my catts come from stressed backgrounds and none of them bloom very well. Sorry. Good culture and all the right things at the right time will get them to bloom every time.
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