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  #1  
Old 04-13-2021, 09:57 AM
Phyte Phyte is offline
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Default New to Cattleya and Need Help

I am somewhat ashamed to say I always disliked Cattleya. The flowers just were not to my liking and I knew I could never provide the kind of lighting they need.

Fast forward a few years and I discovered mini catts! I fell in love with them. I now find myself in possession of quite a few thanks to an extremely kind friend. My problem is that I am finding lots of conflicting care information and my hope is that someone can help provide me some basic guidelines.

I grow under LED's, indoors. I grow a few cacti, succulents, and other plants that require full sun and they are all doing well and many have red coloration so I know the lights are likely strong enough for catts as well. Currently I water once a week. It is tough for me to do more than that.

If I am understanding correctly most of these plants are now all under the Cattleya name but I am going to list them by what the tag says as it is easier. Any care information would be welcome but what I am really having trouble nailing down is how moist the plants want to be and if they need a rest of some kind.

I have:
SLC. Seagulls Tiny Tim
L. Fran's Fuschia Flash
L. pumila
L. Lucasiana
SLC Chili Sauce

My current understanding is that they all would like to be moist and just barely dry out and then be watered again. I am also reading in some places though that pumila wants to dry more thoroughly.

My plan as of now is to pot them up in fern fiber as it holds more moisture longer. I think bark would allow them to dry out too much on my watering schedule.

Any thoughts are welcome.
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2021, 11:46 AM
rbarata rbarata is online now
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Have you ever thought about rupiculous Laelias?
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2021, 12:52 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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Welcome to the Orchid Board!

Read about growing in sphagnum moss. It works well once you learn to use it. The watering interval can often be stretched to a week or more.
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2021, 04:43 PM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phyte View Post
My current understanding is that they all would like to be moist and just barely dry out and then be watered again. I am also reading in some places though that pumila wants to dry more thoroughly.

My plan as of now is to pot them up in fern fiber as it holds more moisture longer. I think bark would allow them to dry out too much on my watering schedule.

Any thoughts are welcome.
Welcome to Orchid Board forum!

The orchids themselves don't like or dislike something - as they don't have brains to like or dislike heheh. Although - like us people - they are biological systems - where the system processes can function 'properly' when given suitable environmental conditions as well as inputs like occasional fertiliser and/or mag-cal etc.

Assuming lighting and temperature are fine, and no attack from organisms like fungus, mites, mealybug, scale etc ....... we do see and hear about issues with roots drowning or 'suffocating' in some conditions - where the roots run out of oxygen in media that remains soggy/wet for a relatively long time. And we do hear and see cases where new roots (or parts of roots) growing into relatively wet regions can sometimes 'adapt' (have cells and structure naturally configured to handle conditions) to wet or wetter conditions.

The following links could become helpful later.

Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here

If the environment that you provide it works nicely for very long amounts of time - then that will be excellent.

Watering just once a week may be ok in your region/climate/growing area. This is assuming the media stays relatively wet for several days after you apply water to it. Just monitor the health of the orchid(s) as usual - watching their leaves. Any issues such as shriveling or changing colour to yellow etc may require inspecting of roots (after unpotting) if root drowning is suspected.
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2021, 08:16 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phyte View Post


I have:
SLC. Seagulls Tiny Tim
L. Fran's Fuschia Flash
L. pumila
L. Lucasiana
SLC Chili Sauce

My current understanding is that they all would like to be moist and just barely dry out and then be watered again. I am also reading in some places though that pumila wants to dry more thoroughly.

My plan as of now is to pot them up in fern fiber as it holds more moisture longer. I think bark would allow them to dry out too much on my watering schedule.

Any thoughts are welcome.
The Cattleya tribe is large, and different members have different needs. L. lucasiana (Now Cattleya) is one of the rupiculous (rock-growing) Laelias. These tend to grow on the surface of rocks, growing roots down into cracks where they find moisture, organic matter, and some coolness. (I grow rupiculous Laelias in mostly gravel, where I have a very thin layer of potting soil in the root zone, to mimic that natural environment). L. pumila does like to be on the drier side - I grow it mounted or in an open basket with large bark. L. Fran's Fuchsia Flash (also now Cattleya) is L. milleri (grows both rupiculous and epiphytic)x L. sincorana (which likes to grow mounted or very open medium) so again, one that would do best mounted or in open basket. The other two are pretty much standard mini-Catts.

Mounted is probably not going to work for you, since the plants dry out too fast - but those that lend themselves to that situation do need to dry out between waterings more than the others. You can possibly come up with a scheme that will let you water just once a week, but it's not ideal. Read through the Semi-Hydroponic forum. That's an approach that may work for you, there are lots of suggestions there.
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2021, 09:19 PM
Shadeflower Shadeflower is offline
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hi phyte,
I was probably like you, the shape of the traditional cattleya reminded me of a frilly dress and people like to make out they are harder to grow.
If you are new to orchids, every orchid will be hard but Cattleya's aren't any harder than most others.
The hard thing with the mini's watering them just once a week is like you say finding the right substrate.
You don't want anything that stays wet too long but nothing that dries out too fast. What can easily happen even if you water enough with minis is that the top surface dries faster where all the roots are but the bottom is still wet. A bit of daily spraying would rectify this but that would require more than weekly watering so finding the right substrate that can keep an even moisture without drying up before the week is up is the goal.
With bark alone you will not be able to achieve this.

What might work is bark + moss or bark + perlite or lecca + moss.

I have tried Cattleya Pumila in semi-hydro and that works just fine so far.
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