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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 06-30-2013, 10:17 AM
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Default Cut old spikes??

I recently (Feb) split and transplanted a very old cattleya into two pots. It was a real hack job as the plant had been in the same pot for too long (3 yrs) and did not want to move!! I had to take a large knife and "saw" thru the root system. It was not pretty. Anyway, I put each transplant into those "swiss cheese" pots and they seem happy, so far. One has sent up 4 new spikes and the other smaller one, 2 spikes. I would like to cut a few of the older spikes and let the new ones take off - the old spikes are unattractive to say the least. If it is not wise to do so now, would I be able to after the new spikes have developed more. Thanks
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  #2  
Unread 06-30-2013, 10:29 AM
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OK. Are you talking about spikes, as in the stem coming out from the top where the flowers are, or are you talking about the bulbs?

Cattleyas do not re-flower from an old spike and they can be removed once the flowers are gone and they dry up.

I'm just not sure whether you mean the bulbs/canes or old inflorescences.

Can you post a picture?
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Unread 06-30-2013, 01:10 PM
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No, not the top where the flowers emerge. At the base of the old spikes. The old spikes are shriveled looking but I thought some had to be retained as they do have leaves. I will get a pict and post shortly. Thanks.
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Unread 06-30-2013, 01:37 PM
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I guess I'm using the wrong terminology. I guess these old ones that I want to cut are bulbs with leaves. The new ones (I called them spikes) are coming out from alongside the old bulbs. Here are a couple of pictures. Thanks.
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Cut old spikes??-dsc01527.jpg   Cut old spikes??-dsc01529.jpg  
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  #5  
Unread 06-30-2013, 04:03 PM
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No, do not remove old bulbs, they store the energy for the new growths, from which flowers come. Nevermind hold the leaves that absorb light to metabolize with. You are calling pseudobulbs spikes and new leads new spikes.

-Ceci
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Unread 06-30-2013, 04:14 PM
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You are talking about wanting to cut off old pseudobulbs. The new growths in your photos could be called shoots or buds, I call them leads; they will form into a rhizome and pseudobulb with leaves and also new roots will form there.

Do the old pseudobulbs that you are talking about cutting have green leaves. If so then perhaps you should leave them on the plant. If they no longer have leaves then you could cut them off but if the new leads have started to form roots then you want to be very carefull to not injure the new roots.
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Unread 06-30-2013, 06:14 PM
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I don't think anything only 2-3 growths back from the new leads should ever be cut off. That's niot much energy reserve. It's not like bromelieads with the pups that can be twisted off. They need that connection back to the main plant's energy stores.

-Ceci
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Unread 07-01-2013, 07:24 AM
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Thanks to all - I guess I'll leave old growths alone and look forward to development of new ones.
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  #9  
Unread 07-01-2013, 12:46 PM
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Yup. The larger a plant is anyway, the more energy it can pull from to grow more, larger growths. Divisions should be at least 3-4 pseudobulbs to keep a plant vigorous, and the larger a plant the more growths and flowers it can support. My favourite4 aphorism: If it's brown, cut it down. If it's green, let it be.

Good luck with the plants!

-Ceci
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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:09 PM
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....you should be able to tell how well the plant is doing if the new shoots rise to meet the height of the older canes. If they do not then the plant has not equaled its best health and may be in need of re directing the plants energy if too much old growth is left. Many times cutting the older canes off at the base will excite new growths in and of itself stimulating root growth of the newer shoots. I cant prove any of this Im just sayin

Was that a question I answered?
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