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  #1  
Old 06-20-2021, 09:00 AM
Rhonda Svoboda Rhonda Svoboda is offline
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Default Pot. Burana Beauty 'buenaflor' lifespan

This is another orchid that I've had for years. Its bloomed once or twice but that was over 5 years ago. Its healthy, gets full sun, fertilizer, etc. I am about ready to throw it out. I can use the space for my orchids that bloom.
Here's my question: Do orchids just get old and well..worn out? or just age and reach the end of their lifespan?
I don't want to give up on it but in the end...that's why we grow orchids..for the blooms...
Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2021, 09:23 AM
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Wow, that looks healthy and well-grown. Orchids don't have a fixed lifespan. It should be covered in flowers in season. The commonest reasons for Catts not to flower are not enough light, or not enough fertilizer.

It doesn't look light stressed. How long are you running the lights in winter? If it's getting full summer sun, maybe it needs more winter light. Is it under trees or shadecloth outside?

How are you fertilizing?

Edit: Also, try cooling it in fall/winter if you can while maintaining high light. Does your winter growing setup have a day/night temperature change?
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Last edited by estación seca; 06-20-2021 at 09:42 AM..
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  #3  
Old 06-20-2021, 10:04 AM
Rhonda Svoboda Rhonda Svoboda is offline
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Thanks as always for your imput!! Your amazing at this stuff. So when I put it in full I thought I had acclimated it enough but it burned so I pulled it back into only morning sun for a few weeks. I just repotted it so I'll rest it for a week before putting back into full sun.
My orchids are in my home during the winter. The normal temps are around 70 day/ 45-50 nights. I fertilize every two weeks.
My grow lights are on for 12 hours because I don't have a T5 grow light so its weaker light.
I am thinking that its not getting enough winter light and/or the use of the grow lights for 12 hours are inhibiting flowers because its altering the day length.
Does the length of daylight stimulate flower production as in a que to bloom?
Thanks
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Old 06-20-2021, 12:30 PM
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I don't think a 12-hour winter day inhibits flowering; ancestors come from close to the equator, where there isn't a lot of difference through the year. Your winter day-night temperature differential is great.

In the tropics the solar intensity and daylength don't vary as much through the year as in the Midwest. My observation has been winter solar intensity in the Tropics is stronger than summer intensity in places I've visited like Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit and St Louis. Yet we know people flowered Cattleyas in England, even farther north, before electric lights. And people who grow outdoors, without supplemental light in summer, flower Cattleyas in the Midwest.

A lot of orchids grow on branches of deciduous trees. They are in bright shade during the wet season, and get a lot more light during the drier season, when trees drop their leaves. The deciduous Dendrobiums experience this. Many Cattleya species come from evergreen forests, though, and don't experience this.

I flower Cattleyas in my southeast facing sunroom. It gets about 4-5 hours of morning sun in winter, and only 1-2 hours in summer. But the plants are in bright shade the rest of the time, and my solar intensity is much higher than in your area.

Others posting here from the Midwest have said they couldn't flower Cattleyas until they gave even more winter light.

So if you want to give these one more try, I would suggest you get more and brighter lights for your plants that aren't flowering. What are you using now? If they're fluorescent fixtures, when did you last change the tubes?
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  #5  
Old 06-20-2021, 02:15 PM
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Hey Rhonda,
you have been growing orchids longer than me so not sure I can help, I have yet to flower my small burana beauty myself but it's coming along, now I am dreading facing not having it flower for 5 years, that would be terrible.

From the picture I can only add a couple of observations. The first observation is that only one pseudobulb is bigger than the rest. This indicated that although the plant has a lot of pseudobulbs something was preventing it from reaching the size the latest pseudobulb has reached (which finally looks big enough to flower). Every cane before this even though there are maybe 20 there did not reach their potential, either from wrong temps, too little light, wrong substrate or something else causing the plant stress. This year it looks like the latest growth has grown above the rest reaching it's potential for the first time but you have just unpotted it now so that will probably hinder flowering again till next year (if you decide to keep it till then)

So if it helps I think this past year it has finally gotten what it needed to flower but it won't now because its been repotted. It would be a shame to throw the plant out, at lesat try to cut away most of the old bulbs to keep the plant a bit smaller. Keep the 5 latest pseudobulbs and you will have a much more manageable size again that will keep all its energy if you leave it enough bulbs.

Extract from the Aos:
Quote:
Duration
Longer is not always better. First, plants need a night just as we do. They are adapted to the daily cycle of the sun and different parts of their metabolic cycle are accomplished during light and dark periods. In addition, many orchids, especially species, are adapted to changes in day length. This is called photoperiodicity. Fall-blooming cattleyas flower as day length shortens while spring-blooming ones as day length increases. If these plants are grown under conditions of constant day length they may never flower. The old cattleya cut-flower growers used this knowledge to time flowering for important holidays and it's used today by Poinsettia growers for the Christmas market. Why is this important to the hobby grower? It's really quite simple. While a street light outside your greenhouse or living room window will produce such little light that being on all night won't matter that's not the case for lights in your growing area. If your only choice for a growing area is one that is lit late into the night, it would be best to concentrate on those plants like Phalaenopsis that flower without regard to day length.
Light, the Key to Successful Blooming

Last edited by Shadeflower; 06-20-2021 at 02:39 PM..
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  #6  
Old 06-20-2021, 02:19 PM
Rhonda Svoboda Rhonda Svoboda is offline
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I have actual grow lights that I got off amazon. They are free standing LED grow lights that cost about $60.00. I noticed last year that the light intensity wasn't as strong as the previous years so I consider them 'disposable.'
I am getting a high quality T5 or equivalent this fall but I get confused when shopping around for them. There are so many models and systems to choose from. I am just a hobbiest- not a commercial grower so findinf a system that meets my needs, is aesthetically appealing, and affordable is tough- any suggestions?
BTW- am I suppossed to put my Catt.'s in full sun 8 hours a day? Some say yes and others no. One of my Catt.'s can't get enough sun and a couple others burn- does it just depend on the individual orchid?
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Old 06-20-2021, 03:13 PM
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Yes, it depends on the individual orchid, as well as clouds. Some hybrids have a lot of ancestors that prefer more shade.

If your plants can tolerate the light it's better to give it. My Catts look bad because most of the leaves have some kind of sunburn. Most people wouldn't push the light as much as I do so I don't recommend trying to to all the way out on the edge.

There is a lot of information in the Lighting forum. I don't grow under lights now so I won't add anything other than I would get LED and definitely not T5. LED are much more efficient; you get more light and less heat for a given amount of electricity with LEDs rather than with T5s.
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Old 06-20-2021, 03:25 PM
Shadeflower Shadeflower is offline
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Rhonda,
I am pretty sure you just copied and pasted a question you literally asked already in a different section half an hour ago.

You won't get a better answer by asking the same question multiple times.

Like I've said you have been growing longer than me but yes I am discovering that every species has their own tolerance to light. The online guides are good guides but watching the leaves gives a lot of clues to help make adjustments for the next season.

A phal I have took 6 months to develop a sunburn so it developed the signs just after Christmas from damage it had received the summer before. That really surprised me but it gives me clues on what I need to do for next summer.

On most orchids you want to achieve a slight purpling or darkening of the bulbs or leaves to indicate it is receiving a good amount of light and you need to make adjustments, see how the plant responds and find out what it likes, that is what makes us better growers. We can sit in front of the computer reading care guides all day long and think that is all there is to know about growing orchids but there are a lot of things that care gudes cannot teach and no matter how much you ask other growers they cannot give you the answers that observing your orchids will give you.
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Old 06-20-2021, 07:24 PM
Rhonda Svoboda Rhonda Svoboda is offline
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Shadeflower- Thanks for the tips. Also- I copied the post because I am looking for specific tips on grow lights and decided I would address that specific question as a stand alone. I know how the site works but its a good reminder to all who read these messages
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:38 PM
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I have mostly fluorescent lamps. I recommend LED's. I have one Sunblaster LED lamp which is from Hydrofarm (Amazon). I plan to eventually convert completely to LED lights. For a while, the LED lights were quite expensive and unreliable but that has changed. When choosing lights, go with a dependable brand or a dependable vendor. Some of the cheaper lights can possibly be a fire hazard.

---------- Post added at 11:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:27 PM ----------

I had a Cattleya long ago, bought without a label, that, in ten years, never bloomed. I put it in full sun, all day (people said it wasn't getting enough light), fertilized it only during the spring and summer, it had cooler winters with shorter daylight hours...etc. and each pseudobulb put out two pseudobulbs twice a year. I tried everything and the other Cattleyas all bloomed but that one never did. I eventually even had two huge pots of it. It even had undisturbed dark nights one year. I still have no idea what it needed to actually bloom. I lost both pots of it with many other Cattleyas due to the bacterial plague during the Calcium deficiency learning experience. Ten years...no blooms, came from a florist who bought the orchids to use the blooms so I knew it had bloomed once. I sometimes wonder if it was virused or if it just needed really high light all year instead of just during the summer.

Instead of tossing it, it might be worth donating it to an orchid society and asking to be informed if it ever blooms. Oddly, some orchids that never bloom for one person might bloom for another.

I have a few Cattleyas right now that were said to be blooming size a few years ago but haven't bloomed. They had not bloomed previously so I am not too worried...yet.
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