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-   -   Catasetum Watering Consensus (https://www.orchidboard.com/community/catasetum-and-stanhopea-alliance/107074-catasetum-watering-consensus.html)

isurus79 06-23-2021 11:02 PM

It really is amazing to see how fast they grow and how fast the bulbs fatten up once they start getting watered!

mopwr 06-24-2021 09:54 AM

Yeah, regarding flowering. I grow mine under lights, strong leds - they do seem to like the light, because as of right now, they are almost pressed up against the lights, which is crazy because any other orchid I have would ABSOLUTELY get leaf burn being that close to them. I've had higher light dendrobiums and cattleyas start turning purple at 2-3 times the distance the catasetums are from the lights. I once messed up and left a den. bullenianum up about a foot from the lights while changing things around and those leaves were burned in a matter of hours, I have a den. kingianum about 18" from the lights and it has some purple staining on the leaves indicating maximum light has been reached - I'd say the catasetums are maybe about 4-6" from the lights now for reference.

I'd assume the light level they are getting now is somewhere around the equivalent of 5000-6000 foot candles of outdoor peak sunlight, all things being equal (when factoring PAR/PPFD, the fact that light output / intensity is constant, photo period, etc.) So if light is what's needed, I should be good to go - here's to hoping!

I'll provide an update either way, though I have a few months to go before I think they're will be much to report.

camille1585 06-24-2021 09:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isurus79 (Post 960738)
It really is amazing to see how fast they grow and how fast the bulbs fatten up once they start getting watered!

I was just thinking the same thing yesterday when watering! I was surprised to see how much the old bulbs had plumped up and how quick the new growths are developing, and I started watering my Ctsm only about 10 days ago.

WaterWitchin 06-24-2021 10:17 AM

This year is my first to try Catasetum. Four SVO hybrids and a fibratum. I'm doing something like a PET system. Read up a TON this past fall/winter. They've already thrown me for my first loop. All started growing, I patiently awaited that "roots around 4" long" before watering.

All five of these buggers never showed any roots. All straight down into the top layer. So after a couple of months or so when the new growths were around 3-4" long, old pbulbs were looking pretty wrinkly, I shrugged my shoulders and put some water on them. Then a week later I gave them a monsoon treatment and threw some slow release fertilizer on top. They're growing... I haven't seen a root yet. Have no idea what I'm doing, as they aren't giving me the visuals I anticipated when reading.

My watering consensus is it's fortunate for me they seem to know what to do. I'm still just winging it and keeping their bottom reservoir full of water. :blushing:

---------- Post added at 08:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:13 AM ----------

And agree with DC... they ARE a lot of fun. Not sure why I haven't tried them before. I may be getting more and moving on from some that are higher maintenance. IF they don't all die from my lack of expertise and IF I get some blooms.

mopwr 06-24-2021 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WaterWitchin (Post 960759)
My watering consensus is it's fortunate for me they seem to know what to do. I'm still just winging it and keeping their bottom reservoir full of water. :blushing:

My first year anecdotal observations are that watering early is not as much of a death sentence as it is often sold as. There's even information floating out on the internet that the roots stop growing on contact with water or even die if watered too early. That has not been my observation AT ALL. The roots hae not stopped growing for one second, in fact they appear to be growing faster with the added watering and humidity - at a minimum they're growing the same as before.

Now granted, I did wait until I saw good root development before I watered my Fredclarkearas, but by the advice out there I could / should have probably waited longer.

EDIT: Being as I grow in a giant terrarium, I can control all of the factors. Air flow, temperature, light and humidity. I'm wondering if the "early watering issue" that some people encounter is more of an issue with both immature roots and the fact that watering early in the season also tends to coorespond with colder temperatures. In my playing around with factors, I've noticed that plants that typically like to be dry, can be kept almost soaking wet if the temps at the root zone are high enough. Who knows.

isurus79 06-24-2021 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by camille1585 (Post 960757)
I was just thinking the same thing yesterday when watering! I was surprised to see how much the old bulbs had plumped up and how quick the new growths are developing, and I started watering my Ctsm only about 10 days ago.

I keep meaning to create a time series where I photograph the plant each day after watering....but I keep forgetting! :blushing::blushing::blushing:

---------- Post added at 11:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:47 AM ----------

Quote:

Originally Posted by WaterWitchin (Post 960759)
This year is my first to try Catasetum. Four SVO hybrids and a fibratum. I'm doing something like a PET system. Read up a TON this past fall/winter. They've already thrown me for my first loop. All started growing, I patiently awaited that "roots around 4" long" before watering.

All five of these buggers never showed any roots. All straight down into the top layer. So after a couple of months or so when the new growths were around 3-4" long, old pbulbs were looking pretty wrinkly, I shrugged my shoulders and put some water on them. Then a week later I gave them a monsoon treatment and threw some slow release fertilizer on top. They're growing... I haven't seen a root yet. Have no idea what I'm doing, as they aren't giving me the visuals I anticipated when reading.

I bet there are a bunch of roots down there! Probably just emerged at a point on the new growth that is covered up by media!

Quote:

Originally Posted by mopwr (Post 960768)
My first year anecdotal observations are that watering early is not as much of a death sentence as it is often sold as. There's even information floating out on the internet that the roots stop growing on contact with water or even die if watered too early. That has not been my observation AT ALL. The roots hae not stopped growing for one second, in fact they appear to be growing faster with the added watering and humidity - at a minimum they're growing the same as before.

Now granted, I did wait until I saw good root development before I watered my Fredclarkearas, but by the advice out there I could / should have probably waited longer.

EDIT: Being as I grow in a giant terrarium, I can control all of the factors. Air flow, temperature, light and humidity. I'm wondering if the "early watering issue" that some people encounter is more of an issue with both immature roots and the fact that watering early in the season also tends to coorespond with colder temperatures. In my playing around with factors, I've noticed that plants that typically like to be dry, can be kept almost soaking wet if the temps at the root zone are high enough. Who knows.

Cold certainly has something to do with it!

However, complex hybrids like Fdk. you mentioned are basically bulletproof and don't respond negatively to early watering like many of the species do. Withholding water during dormancy works for the entire group and dramatically increases the success of the plants by preventing a lot of rot issues during winter, which is why it's recommended as a blanket statement for folks just starting out with this group. Many (most?) of the species (not the hybrids) have problems aborting roots when receiving water too early. I learned to grow this group in Hawaii and had problems with certain species aborting their roots with early watering.

As you can imagine, there are plenty of caveats to the blanket dry dormancy. For example, complex hybrids don't seem to respond negatively to a wet dormancy, though they also do just fine with a dry dormancy. Maintaining consistently warm temperatures (above 55F) also greatly reduces or eliminates problems commonly associated with wet dormancy. Also, some species (e.g. Ctsm. pileatum) get plenty of rain during their dormancy, which is often very short in the wild. Arthur Holst does a great job of discussing dormancy wetness (or dryness) for each species in his book. That said, while many species are ok with a wetter dormancy, some will absolutely not do well. However, they all do just fine with a dry dormancy.

As you can imagine, explaining the nuances or dormancy over and over and over and over again can be draining. Instead, it's just easier to say "don't water until the roots are 4 inches long" because it's a tried and true method of success, though certainly not the only path to success.

Mr.Fakename 06-24-2021 02:48 PM

People like you are a gift to the orchid world Stephen :biggrin:

I wouldn't have been able to bloom Catasetum lanciferum without all the precious tips you give in your videos.

isurus79 06-25-2021 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr.Fakename (Post 960784)
I wouldn't have been able to bloom Catasetum lanciferum without all the precious tips you give in your videos.

I'm glad to help and can't wait to see more photos of blooms!

mopwr 07-06-2021 12:41 PM

Thanks for the replies, everyone. It's been another week and the increased watering / fertlizing seems to be paying dividends. I had no idea Fdk. After Dark got so big, it's just beginning to grow what I believe is it's terminal leaf and it's around 25"-26" tall from the bottom of the pot to the top of the tallest leaf tip - it could have grown taller, but t's literally pressed up against the top glass of my terrarium. The previous years bulb is about 5" tall if I had to guess, this years bulb is looking like 12-14" tall, it's hard to tell where the p-bulb tip ends (or if it's done growing upwards).

I have a couple of questions around this growth:

1.) With it only being July, is it likely this guy will enter early dormancy? If this plant has another two months of serious growth to do, I'm going to have to figure out a new place to put it. Also, it's getting pretty unwieldy being so large - I have to handle it very careully with two hands when I pull it off the shelf to water it.

2.) I have seen what I believe is the terminal leaf tip come out. Do the bulbs continue to grow wider / fatter, or - related to the first question - do you think it'll just stop growing soon? I'm not clear on if they grow up, then fatten or if they fatten as they grow, so far I see what looks like a mix of both.

Roberta 07-06-2021 01:27 PM

You may need to find another place to put it... it still has some growing to do. (Even as the leaves reach their maximum length they continue to spread out) Is there a place where you can put it outside? In summer, it is very likely to be quite warm enough, the extra light is beneficial. Yes, Fdk. After Dark is a big plant. (Fred Clarke of SVO has been working on breeding smaller Catasetinae hybrids, there were some in the last few offerings of young plants, But this one is big)


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