Catasetum bulb size with one versus multiple growths?
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  #1  
Old 09-21-2021, 12:05 PM
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Default Catasetum bulb size with one versus multiple growths?

I have a question for the Catasetum experts out there.

I only have one plant from the Catasetinae group (a Clowesetum) that grew a single gigantic bulb last year, far larger than the previous year(s) and bloomed for the first time. This year that bulb has put out 2 growths. However when looking back at photos from last year, they are clearly lagging behind in development. Sept 23rd of last year, the bulb girth was 15cm at the fattest point. Today I measured the growths, and they both have a circumference of 9cm. Which is 40% smaller than last year, and which seems like an uncomfortably large difference.

Is it normal for growths to become smaller when there is more than one ? If you considere total bulb volume, it's the same as last year, but I would expect that both would be larger, due to 2 sets of everything (leaves and roots).


If the smaller size isn't normal, this means that my culture was suboptimal this year, and I've already identified 2 potential causes:
  • A massive spider mite infestation in June, which led to quite a bit of leaf discoloration.
  • A lack of heat waves this summer. Last year was abnormally hot, and the average temperature in my apartment was probably at or just above 30C for a large part of the growing season. This year has been more normal, around 25-26C inside, and there has been far less sun (my plant lives in a south facing window).
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2021, 12:53 PM
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You'll have to wait until the plant goes dormant to make the comparison. The plant's development can change pace from year to year, so the bulbs might not be at the same size (or same stage) on the same day from year to year.

However, if the newest bulbs do end up being smaller, it is likely due to cultural issues. Leaf damage cause by spider mites could lead to less photosynthesis and smaller bulbs. Lower temps could produce less growth in the same amount of time as last year.

Something else to consider is the plant tried with two bulbs, which requires more nutrition and water, plus high light to achieve. If any of those are only sufficient to grow one bulb and not two, then you might have another variable to consider. Could light, nutrition, or water be a limiting element?
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Old 09-23-2021, 01:57 AM
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Thanks for the advice!

I don't think they will grow much more, here in northern-ish Europe the growing season is nearly at an end. If the plant behaves the same as previous years, dormancy will start in a little over a month.


I don't think water and nutrients have been the limiting factor since I've been doing the same as last year and check the plant daily to see if I need to refill the saucer. I can't control temperature, but can try to cram it under my grow lights (though these are not the sort of plants that easily fit on a tiered shelf system!).

I certainly have a lot to think about for next growing season!
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:49 AM
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Catasetum bulb size with one versus multiple growths? Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camille1585 View Post
Thanks for the advice!

I don't think they will grow much more, here in northern-ish Europe the growing season is nearly at an end. If the plant behaves the same as previous years, dormancy will start in a little over a month.


I don't think water and nutrients have been the limiting factor since I've been doing the same as last year and check the plant daily to see if I need to refill the saucer. I can't control temperature, but can try to cram it under my grow lights (though these are not the sort of plants that easily fit on a tiered shelf system!).

I certainly have a lot to think about for next growing season!
@Camille, where I can get a Cata in Europe?
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:55 AM
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So far not one of my five "new" catasetum have reached the size of last year's growth. I've been told by folks who know how to grow them to have patience and wait, and I'm trying but have doubt. Having never grown them before this year, it's just a waiting game. I frankly have no idea what I might be doing wrong with their culture... plenty of water and fertilizer. Can't wait to see how this turns out.
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Old 09-23-2021, 12:42 PM
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@Camille, where I can get a Cata in Europe?
Schwerter always has a couple types in stock, and I've seen some at Guilo Celandroni Orchidee. They pop up occasionally at other vendors, but you usually see the same sort of hybrids over and over again. Asendorfer Orchideenzucht still has some nice ones - back when Regina Elsner retired she gave/sold her stock to them, which includes a lot of crosses imported from SVO. They still have some left (in the 'other orchids' category), and I'd recommend you look there!

Check your PMs, I'm sending you a message with additional information!
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