Is there a trick to getting multiple growths on a Catasetum?
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  #1  
Old 08-10-2021, 04:30 PM
mopwr mopwr is offline
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Is there a trick to getting multiple growths on a Catasetum?
Default Is there a trick to getting multiple growths on a Catasetum?

The question is pretty much spelled out in the title, but just to give a little bit of background. Now that I've had my first try at growing this alliance and done reasonably well with it so far, there's a couple plants I have that I'd really love to grow into specimens with the most flowers I can fit on a plant (I feel like that's not an uncommon goal here)... To that end, I'd imagine that if you have more new growths, you increase your flowering potential.

Right now, my Fdk. After Dark is showing three spikes, which I'm super excited about, but if I had two growths started at the same time as I've sometimes seen on some of these plants, and I grew it damn near perfectly, one could imagine two matured bulbs with 3-4 spikes per bulb (technically my Fdk. has two new growths, but one is very late and unlikely to bloom in my opinion).

This leads me to two questions:
1.) Is my premise valid that more new bulbs = more flower spikes?
2.) Is there really anything you can do to get more than one growth at a time?

My Clowesia Jumbo Grace 'Alba' was purchased with one moderately sized new growth and a second one was hiding under some of the moss (still growing, but currently on the smaller side). I suspect my Fdk. After Dark put out a very late second growth high up on a back bulb in what I can only guess was a response to cold stress from shipping... Clearly some conditions / species / hybrids are more conducive to multiple growth production; I'm just curious if anyone else has an idea on a technique for pushing new growths.
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2021, 04:54 PM
Clawhammer Clawhammer is offline
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Is there a trick to getting multiple growths on a Catasetum?
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Mature backbulbs are a leading indicator.

Last edited by Clawhammer; 08-11-2021 at 12:54 PM..
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2021, 04:57 PM
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Is there a trick to getting multiple growths on a Catasetum?
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bigger mature plants make more pbulbs...having abundant resources also allows the plant to grow to its maximum potential
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Old 08-10-2021, 05:03 PM
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It generally comes down to growing conditions plus the orchid's natural limits. Also - maybe the more bulbs (the bigger the colony) ----- the higher the chance of getting more new growths. There will always naturally be a probability associated with the number of growths that these orchids can put out - based on the number of bulbs it has. For example - the probability of it pushing out say 10 growths from an orchid having a single bulb could be zero. But 2 growths ----- or at most 3 (maybe) is possible ----- depending on size/weight too.
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Old 08-10-2021, 06:38 PM
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If you scratch off a small new growth in the spring, you'll typically end up getting 2-3 new growths to replace it.

This is actually true for most orchids. Enjoy!
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2021, 07:00 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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Is there a trick to getting multiple growths on a Catasetum?
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I have an FDK After Dark 'Black Pearl' and it's pretty big. It has about eight big, mature back bulbs, but it sill only produces one lead each year. Don't know why. Maybe that's just what it does, or maybe it needs more backbulbs than that, but 8 seems like plenty to me. Oh well, it is what it is.
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Old 08-10-2021, 07:14 PM
mopwr mopwr is offline
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Is there a trick to getting multiple growths on a Catasetum?
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Awesome, thanks guys for the info!

By the way, on the tangent topic of flower spikes, I know there's a lot of variance, but what is the most flower spikes you'd expect to see from a single bulb? In searching around on the web, I've seen some monster plants on the web that have 5 or 6 (maybe more?) spikes on them, but it's not clear from the photos if they're all from one bulb. A lot of people take their photos to close up on the flowers, which I can totally understand, but makes my question harder to answer.
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Old 08-10-2021, 07:16 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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Is there a trick to getting multiple growths on a Catasetum?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopwr View Post
Awesome, thanks guys for the info!

By the way, on the tangent topic of flower spikes, I know there's a lot of variance, but what is the most flower spikes you'd expect to see from a single bulb? In searching around on the web, I've seen some monster plants on the web that have 5 or 6 (maybe more?) spikes on them, but it's not clear from the photos if they're all from one bulb. A lot of people take their photos to close up on the flowers, which I can totally understand, but makes my question harder to answer.
I've only ever had two from one bulb.
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Old 08-11-2021, 08:25 AM
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In my opinion, the number 1 factor controlling growth habit is genetics, and there’s nothing we’re going to do about that…

Culture comes in at a close 2nd, because anything that we do to “short change” the plant can affect its ability to accumulate the resources necessary to fully express the genetically-controlled maximum performance.

Plants that have grown and bloomed nicely for years, have sometimes “jumped into a higher gear” when I - knowingly or unknowingly - changed a cultural factor.
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Old 08-11-2021, 03:05 PM
mopwr mopwr is offline
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Is there a trick to getting multiple growths on a Catasetum?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JScott View Post
I've only ever had two from one bulb.
My current Fredclarkeara After Dark 'SVO Black Pearl' has three right now, but I'm guessing that for most species, two might be a safe max, yeah. Some of these complex hybrids have such vigor that I just assumed that if grown properly four or more could even be possible, but who knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Plants that have grown and bloomed nicely for years, have sometimes “jumped into a higher gear” when I - knowingly or unknowingly - changed a cultural factor.
Yeah, this goes more to what I've been seeing of too that more mature plants are capable of more / faster growth. It's possible that as they get to a certain point in maturity, that they can now pull a few more tricks out of the bag if you do something to push them a little harder.
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