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  #1  
Old 03-17-2019, 05:39 PM
D_novice D_novice is offline
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Default Successive blooms smaller year to year?

Hello

I think I know the answer to this question! But I'm going to ask anyway.

I have a large multigrowth Lc. Ancibarina 'Rosedust' (HCC/AOS) that I got from Santa Barbara Orchid Estate two years ago. This plant is L anceps x Cattleya cinnabarina.

This year it's blooms are smaller than last year, even though it's growing under the same conditions (mounted, outdoor culture in Northern California.)

When I used to see this in Phaelenopsis, it seemed to be a sign that the plants just weren't thriving. That's why I no longer grow/try to grow Phals.

This is a big plant with plenty of pseudobulbs and back bulbs. The ratio of reserve to current floral growth should be fine, I'd think - it's better than it was last year, when the blooms were bigger.

Not sure what I can do about this besides abort next year's flower spikes and see if that helps.

Maybe this year's blooms are more intensively colored? Not sure if that's a photo/lighting artifact. Perhaps it put more energy into color rather than size? (I realize I may be grasping at straws here!)

Any other suggestions or thoughts welcome!


THIS YEAR


LAST YEAR
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2019, 08:34 PM
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Some year-to-year variation is quite normal because the weather varies. It does look like this year's have more intense color. The amount of light could be a factor... This year there was a lot of rain, and more cloud cover in southern California, I expect that you got some of the same pattern though the quantities would be different. When you grow outdoors you take whatever Mother Nature throws at you. Temperatures also vary year to year. (Last year's extended summer led to many of my blooms running late - not just the Cyms)
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:38 PM
D_novice D_novice is offline
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Thanks! We definitely had colder weather and less sun than usual this winter. It might be a reach, but we also had 10 days of weird smoky weather from the Camp Fire. Who knows.

I'd have thought more cloudy days would lead to color in the flowers less pigment in the flowers though. Buy maybe any stress increases pigment.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by D_novice View Post
Thanks! We definitely had colder weather and less sun than usual this winter. It might be a reach, but we also had 10 days of weird smoky weather from the Camp Fire. Who knows.

I'd have thought more cloudy days would lead to color in the flowers less pigment in the flowers though. Buy maybe any stress increases pigment.
Those smoky days would also reduce light... I have definitely seen stronger colors with less light in other orchids - and other flowers too. The colors of my roses, especially the peach-colored ones, tend to be much more saturated on the first blooms of spring, more washed out in summer.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:32 AM
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Any change in the frequency of watering?

All the time I have focused over the years on fertilizer formula, concentration and frequency of application, I really believe the frequency of watering plays a bigger role - the more, the better.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
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Any change in the frequency of watering?

All the time I have focused over the years on fertilizer formula, concentration and frequency of application, I really believe the frequency of watering plays a bigger role - the more, the better.
This is an outdoor-grown plant. So Mother Nature probably has something to do with the watering. (This year has certainly been wetter than last, both in number of storms and quantity of rain, and I think colder as well). I water my Catts less in winter because it is cold and humid so they don't dry as fast, even mounted ones.On the days when we have warm, dry winds, of course watering more.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:30 AM
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A) Mother nature doesn't water this plant. All my plants are under a little plastic greenhouse roof in winter to keep them dry. I originally got this specifically to keep L anceps dry in winter, since if they're wet and it gets down to 30 or below, and they are wet, bye bye PBs and inflorescences and everything. So, in winter, the mount gets watered every 2 weeks or so, and fed once/month with 1/4 solution. Of course, it's dark and cold out, that's the rationale for the semi-starvation.
B) I just cut the fading blooms off another Lc hybrid, canariensis, and noticed that the flower stems were about half the diameter of previous years. This plant is in a treefern pot with orchiata and clay pellets and charcoal. It gets watered once/month in winter, because treefern pots don't dry out very rapidly. I think I watered and fed it less last growing season for the same reason though I don't remember exactly. Anyway I hope it's natural variation because I hate to think my plants do well for a couple of years and then start to fade.
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Last edited by D_novice; 04-10-2019 at 12:31 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:24 PM
katrina katrina is offline
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It looks like you have a lot more flowers per spike this year. Maybe that's the reason because I've noticed, sometimes, when a specific plant makes fewer blooms per spike those flowers tend to be larger than when the plant produces more blooms per spike.

As an example - my C perinnii at the last bloom had multiple spikes, most w/2 flowers but one had only one flower and that one flower was was almost double the size of all of the "twins". It was freakishly large! I've noticed this w/other catts too.
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