Safe to repot Cattleya bowringiana now?
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  #1  
Old 01-20-2008, 10:40 AM
smweaver smweaver is offline
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Default Safe to repot Cattleya bowringiana now?

I just received a present from a friend whose grandmother is downsizing her orchid collection due to her advancing age. It's a large Cattleya bowringiana that has approximately twenty mature pseudobulbs and it's the bulkiest Cattleya I've ever seen. Having no firsthand familiarity with this species, I'm hoping that someone here can advise me on whether or not it would be okay to repot the plant now. I believe it's in a rest period since there are no new signs of growth, and I really think it should be repotted because it's overgrown in a large plastic tub (the rather flimsy kind that are used at places like Lowe's for holding perennials, which aren't really designed for permanent use). The leaves and pseudobulbs look very healthy, but I would imagine, just from my cursory examination, that its roots are probably not in the best shape. Would it be okay to transplant it now--as gently as possible--into a new pot with new mix while it's dormant, or is this (as with many of the bifoliate cattleyas) a species that would not react favorably to being repotted while it's dormant? I would appreciate any advice that I can get.

Steve
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2008, 12:35 PM
Ross Ross is offline
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I would wait till signs of new growths with their new roots before repotting. If you are worried about the fagility of the container, can you put that one in some sort of sturdy container (one inside the other?)
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2008, 02:08 PM
smweaver smweaver is offline
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I'll probably just drop the whole thing--plant and plastic pot--into a clay pot. And then I'll try very hard not to obsess about the plant and leave it alone until spring.
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:59 PM
Ross Ross is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smweaver View Post
I'll probably just drop the whole thing--plant and plastic pot--into a clay pot. And then I'll try very hard not to obsess about the plant and leave it alone until spring.
I totally agree. Good choice, Steve.
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2008, 08:17 PM
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cb977 cb977 is offline
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I recently repotted mine...which involved soaking and removing it from a treefern pot!!! Talk about nerve-wracking! It wasn't doing well and I had no idea how long it had been in that pot so I decided to experiment.

It is now in a wooden backet with CHC and I see new root growth coming through.

Now you have to make a decision
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2008, 11:14 PM
DebsC DebsC is offline
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How to Grow Cattleya bowringiana

ALTHOUGH Cattleya bowringiana is probably the easiest of all the Cattleya species to grow, it does have its preferred conditions. Like most Cattleya species, it benefits from lots of sun and air and, when actively growing, should receive an abundance of water. Many growers under-pot these plants so they can be watered more often and still not develop a sour, soggy medium. This means you allow only enough space in the pot for one year’s growth instead of the usual two years.

Cattleya bowringiana can be repotted at almost any time of the year, but the best time is when new roots begin to emerge from the swollen base of the lead pseudobulb. When repotting, it is important to keep the bottom of the swollen base of the lead pseudobulb level with the surface of the medium and not below it. The “eyes,” which produce the new growths, are set quite low on C. bowringiana, and when they are covered with medium, the new growth will sometimes rot as it begins to grow.

In the United States, Cattleya bowringiana will send out new growths in late May or June that will mature by late summer. The plants will flower without a rest period in late September and October. The number of flowers produced on a flower spike depends on the overall size and strength of the new pseudobulb. The taller and more robust the pseudobulbs, the more flowers you will get. Flower color is also enriched on strong pseudobulbs and the flowers will last longer — up to 31/2 weeks instead of 21/2 weeks. — A.A. Chadwick.
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That said, my bowringiana is already putting up new growth and it's only January!! It's a very old plant that was given to me years ago and it was already old then!

It has always started new growth early in the year even when I grew it in the house. It now resides in the greenhouse in a 14-16 inch pot and has 2-3 growths hanging over the sides. in all different directions.

To say it is a hardy plant is an understatement!! You'll do just fine with your new friend, Steve. Providing it doesn't eat your greenhouse or growing area!
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2008, 01:01 AM
kavanaru kavanaru is offline
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My C. bowringiana started a new growth by the end of December (probably, it has never read Chadwick's article ). I had to repot it, as the medium was not in good conditions and the overal look of the roots was not good. I waited until the new roots started to growth for the repotting, andfound that most ofthe old roots were "gone". What really surprised me is that the root are very very thin... is it only myplant or is it general characteristic of this species?
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  #8  
Old 01-21-2008, 07:09 PM
DebsC DebsC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kavanaru View Post
My C. bowringiana started a new growth by the end of December (probably, it has never read Chadwick's article ). I had to repot it, as the medium was not in good conditions and the overal look of the roots was not good. I waited until the new roots started to growth for the repotting, andfound that most ofthe old roots were "gone". What really surprised me is that the root are very very thin... is it only myplant or is it general characteristic of this species?

Although I encourage all my orchids to read fine articles such as the Chadwick article, apparently they prefer reading the cartoons!

My bowringiana has thinner, more wiry type roots, too. I'm assuming this is normal for them.
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