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-   -   Curling Catasetum (black pearl) leaves and no spikes? (http://www.orchidboard.com/community/catasetum-and-stanhopea-alliance/107067-curling-catasetum-black-pearl-leaves-spikes.html)

bunnylotus 06-16-2021 08:30 PM

Curling Catasetum (black pearl) leaves and no spikes?
4 Attachment(s)
Hi there!

I have had this black pearl catssetum orchid since December of 2017. Every year it has grown me a new big psudeobulb/cane but no flower spikes. This year I have been determined to get it to bloom.

That said, itís growing a new cane/bulb for me now, and I am excited. I noticed however that itís leaves are really curled which Iíve never seen before! Do you know what the cause is? Should I be concerned? This orchid has had some struggles over the years - one summer it got mites (which I got rid of), a second summer it got ants (which I managed to get rid of), it survived the winter texas blackouts, and no matter what it has been very resilient and always grown a very nice pseudobulb and leaves...just no spikes!

It has a really healthy root system, and now that itís big enough (the new growth that is and the roots) I have been increasing water based on my orchid manual. It is in a south facing window (some mild shade). It is in a mix of sphagnum moss and bark, clear pot with slits to help with airation. I have read about giving it fertilizer, and I had given it a few small pebbles of slow release formula (Iíll have to go to my storage closet and see which one - itís nitrogen based - small gray pellets). Wondering if that could be causing the curls? I really went VERY conservative with the amount because I havenít done it before and didnít want to damage the plant....but I desperately want a flower spike this year!

Anyways, let me know re:curling leaves and b) if you have any advice on getting this thing to bloom! Going on four years no blooms!!!!

Ps. I live in TX and the temp in the house is warm around an avg 75-78 degrees. Humidity pretty consistent throughout the house.

Itís also in a room with about twenty other plants (majority of which are orchids). Close by is a phal and a miltoniopsis (both of which just rebloomed for me 😍).

estaciůn seca 06-16-2021 09:25 PM

Curling leaves are often caused by inadequate water. In bark in a slotted pot you should probably water every 1-2 days. I wouldn't use a slotted pot for these because they dry out too fast. But now is not the time to repot.

It would prefer being warmer than your home. They love hot summer nights. They also prefer very heavy fertilizing. OB members in Texas grow them outside for the summer.

Go to the Sunset Valley Orchids Web site and look at cultivation information for Catasetinae.

Roberta 06-16-2021 11:27 PM

If it is growing with a Phal and a Miltionopsis, it's not getting nearly enough light. They need something more like Dendrobium or Cymbidium or Cattleya light. You basically can't water these too much during the growing period - they need LOTS. The way Fred Clarke describes it is "Water like a monsoon". I use sphagnum for the smaller ones, small bark for the big ones, all get watered pretty much every day. So they stay pretty wet. They're also hungry because they're growing so fast - I put a healthy pinch (or what fits in the palm of my hand) of time-release fertilizer, to supplement the fertilizer that they get with all the rest of the plants. Mine live on west-facing shelves outside with 50% shade cloth over them just so they don't get toasted by direct sun. They'll tolerate cool nights but certainly don't need them. (Mine go outside when night temps get to about 55 deg F, and don't go back to the GH until nights cool below that point in the fall)

bunnylotus 06-17-2021 12:02 AM

Well, it is pretty damn wet! And I should say itís within a ceramic pot, but I always put them in clear pots so I can check the roots of the orchid. Anyways, it is regularly watered not everyday, but close to. I check it pretty much daily. I was worried about over watering it because like I said the roots are still green and the moss and bark is still wet/damp. But youíre saying thatís not possible to do that? It should be fine to keep watering?

It is in a south facing window that gets good light. I just happen to have those other two orchids next to it, but itís in the same facing area as both my dendrobium and Cattleya orchids. It used to be in an east facing window.

I donít want to put the orchid outside I forget about them and Iíll kill it. Most likely ERCOT will screw us Texans again and Iíll lose AC and then all the orchids will be happy 😂 . My pug (and I) not so much.

I could move it to an east facing window and swap it with a different plant, and see if that helps.

Roberta 06-17-2021 12:12 AM

Window direction probably not as important as how many hours of good, strong light it gets (that can depend on trees, house, etc) The more light the better. How about fertilizer? Catasetinae during their growth spurt are more like a tomato (or a teen-aged boy) than an orchid - they grow that fast. And fertilizer demand is directly proportional to growth rate. (Most orchids don't need much fertilizer because they grow slowly... Catasetinae are producing lots of new tissue in a short time)

bunnylotus 06-17-2021 12:21 AM

Okay copy that. I think it could go either way. Itís original home was the east facing window last summer and it did well there, so I might just move it back there.

As far as the fertilizer goes I have a feeling I was too anxious/conservative with that and so it needs more. I love my plants so much and it was an anniversary gift from my BF when I first moved to TX and Iím always afraid of hurting it, especially since I donít really use fertilizer regularly with any other orchid I have. Still learning at the end of the day. At catasetums are so different than all the other orchids I own.

But if you think I can be watering more and more fertilizer than I trust you! I am the young padawon!

Roberta 06-17-2021 12:29 AM

Hey', we're all learning! (That's why orchid keep me interested over the years!)

There's a lot of good info in this forum - particularly look for the threads with links to the videos that isurus79 has done. Also, check out the culture sheet from Sunset Valley Orchids: Sunset Valley Orchids - Catasetinae Culture

camille1585 06-17-2021 01:59 AM

I agree with Roberta's comments, and it looks/sounds like your plant should be blooming size.

I also use the slow release fertilizer, in what sounds to be the same rough quantity as Roberta. I also water it with fertilizer, usually higher strength than what the other orchids get (120 versus 65ppm N). Also, about 1/3 of the pot is filled with composted horse manure (the rest is sphagnum) so it really is getting LOTS of food! When I water, I usually fill the saucer under the pot as well, and once that's empty, wait no longer than 1-2 days before watering again.

bunnylotus 06-17-2021 10:29 AM

3 Attachment(s)
So I went into my supply closet to check which fertilizer I had. I have two, the one used was pictured below (the nutricot). It is a 18-6-8 blend according to the back.

The blue fertilizer I got from repotme few years ago, and have not used on this orchid. Should I be using that instead or is there something else you guys recommend? I was very conservative with the nytricot by the way, so Iíd you think that would work for the catasetum then 👍.

Ps bonus pug in photo for you. Sheís the prettiest orchid of all 😂😇

Roberta 06-17-2021 10:40 AM

I use Nutricote, a similar formula (higher on the Nitrogen than the other majors) for the time-relase part (a "top dressing") . The blue food, so called "bloom formula" is just deficient in nitrogen. It doesn't facilitate blooming. Just fertilize with the rest of your plants, the Nutircote will give these hungry plants an extra boost

---------- Post added at 07:40 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:33 AM ----------

The whole concept of "bloom booster" is rather bogus - if you want to reduce nitrogen, just use less of the regular fertilizer, like in winter.

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