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  #1  
Old 02-23-2019, 03:16 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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ISO: Advice/Tips/Tricks for Deflasking Catt Seedlings for the first time!
Default ISO: Advice/Tips/Tricks for Deflasking Catt Seedlings for the first time!

Ok guys! I have purchased my very first catt species flask. We are going to hold off for weather to really warm up before shipping though. I told him I didn't want to risk anything so play it safe rather then sorry and I'll wait! (Plus I feel more confident they will stay alive and healthy in the labs care than my own still!) I got the flask from HBI Orhids/Mick Fournier and really hope he produces quality flasks! Everything I had found looked very good....anyone out there that can comfort me on this choice???

So I have read LOTS of posts by so many of you about choosing flasks and answering others questions. REALLY helpful! I guess I just would like you to throw out any tips or tricks or advice you might have! I also have a few more specific questions...

- Compots versus individual? (if compots are chosen which is what I am leaning towards, I will break them up by size to give smaller seedlings a chance) my concern is it was brought up that if one seedling becomes infected with something, you are more likely to loose the entire pot...thoughts??

- I do plan to wait until spring as long as this is doable based on the flasks condition before deflasking....or I will call a lab and have them replated if necessary and they aren't ready to be deflasked yet! This was adviced by Orchid King??? Something like that...Phillip maybe?? in another post!

- I have already been growing the species (C. dowiana) for a very short while and she is actually doing better then expected....I took a highly advised approach with my dowiana and have her in a basket with loose moss, roots hanging out and then a fan blasting her 24/7 and she has her own light on her too. I was really quite skeptical of this because dowianas are so likely to rot and I don't normally use sphagnum. I also had only ever read a fan should be pointed away from the orchids not directly on them but I gave it a try and am seeing the first signs of new growth starting!

- So my question.....as I am learning from my C. dowiana while I wait for my flask....I know I can't apply this exact method after deflasking but how do I use this knowledge to my advantage with the flask babies and helping them survive? Or should I at all?? Can I plant them into compot baskets instead of pots? I also have heard many mention A much higher mortality rate when using sphagnum versus bark and since they won't have their own personal fans while in their "propagator", I don't think moss would be the best. I think it's the combo that is so good with the C. Dowiana....any advice?

Lastly, after deflasking they go in their propagator/clear case. Since they need low light, they don't need any type of light overtop their humidity case right?? And, any advice on how long to take to "harden" them off?

Any other advice or tips would be GREATLY appreciated!

---------- Post added at 12:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:53 AM ----------

Oh and incase Ray sees this! I do have every intention in using the Garden solutions on them!!

---------- Post added at 12:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:02 PM ----------

Oh shoot! Backup question!!

To use fungicides/to not use fungicides??
I've heard they can stunt growth but then others swear by them....opinions? And if so, or if I should have it at LEAST on hand, any highly recommended brands??? I currently have physan 20....should I get something else or isn't there anything gentler?

Last edited by emmajs243; 02-23-2019 at 02:58 PM..
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:08 PM
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Which Cattleya in the flask? It's not clear from your post.

C. dowiana has very different winter care requirements from other Cattleya species.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:17 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Oh sorry E.S.! Just so excited I got ahead of myself! The flask is of 10 little C. dowiana seedlings!

So, I have a friend who sent me their C. dowiana a few weeks ago because they needed a plant sitter until May and I wanted time growing the species before ordering and receiving a flask of them. This particular plant was just taken off of its winter dry cycle about a week or so after spotting the new growth...I was told by the owner that she has had best luck waiting until the new growth is really apparent and not just a "bump" before returning the plant to regular care.

As a result, I really didn't get much time experiencing their very particular winter dry cycle but I know that you obviously barely water and do not fertilize during dormancy. I just personally didn't get the opportunity to perform, monitor, tweak and learn through this period.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:22 PM
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Subrosa Subrosa is offline
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I've heard that seedling dowiana can be kept moist for the first winter. I have 3 dowiana seedlings in semi-hydroponic culture, a rosita and 2 aurea, and they've gotten normal watering albeit without fertilizer since they came in for the winter. But then so have my 3 nobilior, which also supposedly need dry winter rests. And 2 out of 3 of those are fairly large, mature plants. Although I've never deflasked directly into semi-hydro many have successfully. The flasks I have worked with I set up in an aquarium with a raised platform of plastic light grid, aka egg crate about 3"-4" off the bottom. I filled the aquarium to just below the platform and put a small submersible heater set for 85°F in the water. I sat the pots of seedlings on the platform and covered the works with plastic wrap to hold in humidity. Once the seedlings adjusted and put on some decent growth, I started gradually peeling the plastic wrap back a bit more and more until I removed it at which point the seedlings were fairly well hardened off.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:32 PM
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I would try something like what Subrosa did. You can also go to a hardware store and get window glass cut to fit the top openings in aquariums. You will probably need to attach a handle with some epoxy to lift them.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:37 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Subrosa! GREAT idea! I could definitely do that...I always had planned on just using a lid on a clear storage container with a heat mat underneath because I figured it would give them more indirect light while still allowing light through but I could definitely still use the same method in that I would think!

I also have heard that plastic wrap can be used...I just had planned to use a lid until I read your comment and your wording of "peeling the plastic wrap back"...that's when it hit me....plastic wrap does make it very easy to control exactly how much air you are allowing in because you can either peel it back or poke a few holes in it even to allow air in.....I guess, you have a lot more control on exactly how much you want to remove very easily because it is pliable plastic wrap! Versus an object like a lid!

I also REALLY like your idea of putting water in the bottom! Great idea! I didn't even know they made submersible water heaters! I guess I did for pools and things like that but never would have thought about it in this context! That would be extremely helpful for keeping humidity up!

I have read many have had success deflasking seedlings to s/h....I am a tad....worried with s/h just due to my first trial with it being pretty bad but I would say that was a lot due to me....I would also expect it being much easier to take a seedling from a flask to s/h directly versus transitioning them later on. I'll have to think on that one!

Also! VERY intriguing to read the success you have had with dowiana seedlings in s/h!!! I would never think to try that with them just because they are so prone to rot! I also would be horrified of killing them during the transition period! If you ever propagate your rosita seedling PLEASE let me know! I've been searching for a quality C. Dowiana var. rosita for quite sometime now! I have my own aurea seedling coming in soon and the flask babies I have coming are actually by a var. aurea cultivar x var. splendens cultivar! I am excited to someday see those blooms! *Fingers Crossed*

Thank you both for all your help! The glass lid is also a great idea ES!
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