Some advice needed with Catasetinaes and dormancy period
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  #1  
Old 11-22-2017, 11:02 AM
Manu Manu is offline
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Some advice needed with Catasetinaes and dormancy period Male
Default Some advice needed with Catasetinaes and dormancy period

Hey Catasetinaes experts :-)

So these were impulse buys from an orchid show last year. In the picture, the plastic pots are FDK after dark black pearl and the other one is cycnoches warscewiczii x catasetum tenebrosum.

The FDKs were tiny seedlings. The original seedlings bulbs were discarded. As you can see the progression is good and they are quite larger then last summer. I've provided a heavy watering and feeding regimen which seems to have paid off based on the size they've reached. I see some activity at the nodes. Swelling and pushing outwards. I'm suspecting they might be able to push out spikes this year?

All 3 pots started under my lights setup but as they matured they were too large to fit and are now in my windowsill (I needed the space anyway it was out of the question to keep them there in the first place). They aren't getting much light as it's pretty cloudy lately but do get occasional direct sun from noon to 4. The largest FDK shows signs that it wants to soon drop it's leaves.. the smaller ones not at all. The other one in the blue pot isn't showing signs that it wants to drop it's leaves either. That one is getting quite fat.

So, here are my few questions:
Is that swelling sign of a spike coming?
I've already reduced watering and cut down the fertilizer. Is this ok even for the ones that aren't showing yellow leaves?
I remember reading to stop watering completely by January regardless of the plants condition, is that accurate?
Any tips to get them to bloom, if they have reached a mature state?

In the windowsill they currently get daytime temps of 20-24C and night from 15-18C. Humidity is quite high, around 60-70%. Light is failry low, around 1000 to 1500FC with occasional 4000-5000FC from 1pm to 4pm on sunny days.

I'm also wondering about what to do with them next spring/summer. My shelves are full, they won't be going back there. I'll have windowsills to start them in the spring but these things get too large to stay there... Can I grow these outdoors in the summer time in my region? I remember reading that anything under 18C will send them on dormancy... We get occasional night time drops to 10-12C some summer days... Days are normally nice and warm, rarely anything below 20C from June to September, but nights can be quite cool at times.

Thanks
Emmanuel
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2017, 08:20 AM
AvantGardner AvantGardner is offline
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Some advice needed with Catasetinaes and dormancy period Male
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Emmanuel,

Sounds like you’re doing everything right. Yes, now is the time to taper down with water, no more fertilizer, even for the ones who aren’t showing signs of dormancy. They definitely look large enough to bloom. For me, to encourage blooming takes many factors into account, high feeding rates in summer, high light, and a cold snap, just to name a few. They will bloom when they’re ready. Sometimes I have plants with large bulbs that don’t bloom for one reason or another. Some times the bulb from the year before is too small, the plant is short on reserves, stressed for one reason or another, etc... Bottom line is your plants look good. Keep doing what you’re doing

---------- Post added at 07:16 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:15 AM ----------

Ps you’re right about the outdoor night temps, they’re too low

---------- Post added at 07:20 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:16 AM ----------

I keep mine above 16C and up to 38C
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  #3  
Old 11-23-2017, 08:38 AM
Manu Manu is offline
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That's great thanks for the advice. I have no more indoor space for these guys and they get to big at some point in the summer to maintain in the windowsills. I''ll either try to sell them or perhaps consider growing them outdoors and bringing them in on cold nights, my main concern with this, is these guys are spider mite magnets and I'd be scared to compromise the rest of my collection.

Day time temps should seldom be an issue from May to September, I'm concerned about the few below 16C nights we do get in the summer. If the temerature drops to say 10-15C for a few hours is that bad, it's rarely that temperature for more then a few hours, often around morning dew time.

---------- Post added at 08:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:36 AM ----------

Or maybe a miniature pop up greenhouse and I can increase the size of my Catasetinaes collection?? Are these efficient enough to keep the temperature a few degrees higher at night?
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:19 AM
AvantGardner AvantGardner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manu View Post
That's great thanks for the advice. I have no more indoor space for these guys and they get to big at some point in the summer to maintain in the windowsills. I''ll either try to sell them or perhaps consider growing them outdoors and bringing them in on cold nights, my main concern with this, is these guys are spider mite magnets and I'd be scared to compromise the rest of my collection.

Day time temps should seldom be an issue from May to September, I'm concerned about the few below 16C nights we do get in the summer. If the temerature drops to say 10-15C for a few hours is that bad, it's rarely that temperature for more then a few hours, often around morning dew time.

---------- Post added at 08:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:36 AM ----------

Or maybe a miniature pop up greenhouse and I can increase the size of my Catasetinaes collection?? Are these efficient enough to keep the temperature a few degrees higher at night?
I bought a mini pop up greenhouse a few years back and it worked great to keep the heat up at night, with the help of a space heater set to kick on at a minimum temp. You’ll have to invest in shade cloth as well, try to get your intensity around 3000-4000 fc.
Spider mites are a real concern, but high humidity, misting, and local treatment with neem oil has proved effective.
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:50 AM
Manu Manu is offline
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Seems like a lot of trouble for a few plants.. I'm working on a second larger indoor growing space.. I might try to keep them alive next summer and then move it back to my new area when ready! Thanks for the tips.
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Old 11-23-2017, 01:56 PM
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Another way of looking at spider mite magnet plants is that they are indicator plants. They will be attacked first, and you can then treat the rest of your plants. If you open windows during nice weather, you are going to get spider mites onto your plants. You might as well have an early warning system.
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
Another way of looking at spider mite magnet plants is that they are indicator plants. They will be attacked first, and you can then treat the rest of your plants. If you open windows during nice weather, you are going to get spider mites onto your plants. You might as well have an early warning system.

Fully agree with that statement.. I actually keep some spider mites magnets around the house (not orchids, roses, tomatoes, etc) so far so good, I think I'm one of the few that have never seen a single spider mite indoors, windows open from June to October!

I also use the predatory approach. My collection is FULL of Hypoaspis miles, which is a predatory mite that feeds on fungus gnats, spider mites and other nuisance! They stay alive and reproduce in great amounts by eating my springtails and their larvae (which I have in great amounts as well), I'm a heavy waterer, which works well with my ecosystem given that everything is mounted. If ever a spider mites dares coming even close to my shelves it will be guaranteed death for her!
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Old 11-26-2017, 11:46 PM
Manu Manu is offline
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I have a follow up question or two. One of my FDK has a spike emerging. It looks like it has a few more coming as well. The 2 other plants too have nodes swelling and should spike shortly. I'll need to move them out of that windowsill before there is an accident with the curtains or kids/dog (it's a bay window and the sill is too low. Anyway, won't be able to enjoy the blooms from there.

How sensitive are they to change in conditions once in spike? I was thinking of cutting the leaves back down and readding them to my Phal selves, does this sound like a bad idea? I'm scared it will confuse the plants with increased daylight hours and temperatures.. or else I have 2 other windowsills that would be safer, but will get much less light. Is light even still needed at this point?

Last edited by Manu; 11-26-2017 at 11:51 PM..
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:11 AM
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The spike will direct itself toward the light, so if you want a natural curve to the spike, moving it isn't a great idea. My two Fdk.s both have fully developed spikes before they start to drop their leaves, so I'd be cautious about cutting the leaves off if they are still in good shape. If they are already looking wilted and scruffy, though, it might not make much difference.

I doubt that the temperature would be any concern. I try to give as much light as possible but if the buds are already set that might not be so important. So I guess it matters how far along in the blooming process the plant is.

Last edited by fishmom; 11-27-2017 at 12:15 AM..
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
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The spike will direct itself toward the light, so if you want a natural curve to the spike, moving it isn't a great idea. My two Fdk.s both have fully developed spikes before they start to drop their leaves, so I'd be cautious about cutting the leaves off if they are still in good shape. If they are already looking wilted and scruffy, though, it might not make much difference.
The leaves are still nice and green. I was thinking leaf surface might not be needed once spikes start growing, it's got bulbs full of energy afterall, does it still need leaves for photosynthesis?

So I have 2 options, cut leaves and provide fair amount of light, Or, not cut leaves but provide less light in another location...
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