Blc. Pamela Hetherington 'Coronation' FCC/AOS

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I have always loved this plant, and this past summer when I finally configured an under-lights setup that I felt would accomodate standard Cattleyas and let them perform their best, I reached out to a friend who periodically made divisions available of his division from the original plant. And here we go- 2 days in and there are 2 blooms (one is sideways and on a lead opposite the pseudobulb with this flower- so not visible) at 7 inches across and still growing/flattening.

For my part, I am really overwhelmed. I have always loved the old standards and know where to get proper divisions- but never could I get an indoor lighting setup going that I thought would suffice. Now I finally got it right- and today is a very happy day.Blc Pamela Hetherington.JPG
 

Ray

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I'm glad there are folks out there growing the big cattleyas. They are very showy, often fragrant, but can take up a LOT of room.
 
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Super clone and bloom. Care to enlighten us on your light setup Tom?

Thanks everyone for your kind words. My only wish is I could get it to bloom a little bit sooner for shows- but then again it is nice to have something in flower at holiday time.

As for the light setup- it ended up being a very simple matter after numerous attempts at complex solutions. I use Philips Daylight T-8 bulbs on that particular set of shelves- four bulbs per shelf.

The trick is to stack each plant individually so that the tips of the leaves are 2-3 inches away from the bulbs. I have found in this way the big Catts I am testing are not only flowering, but new growths are of the height and general proportion of older mature growths that were achieved in their previous greenhouse conditions.

Stray but a little, and things fail. For this final stage of the experiment, this plant's next door neighbor is a big original division of Ranger Six 'A-Ok' that was kept 6 inches away from the bulbs- or about the minimum distance for my mini-Catts- and the plant's sheath did not bear flowers this year. A nice division of a C. mendelii had the same issue plus a new growth that was about half-sized, but to be fair that plant was a bit low on new roots so that might have come into play.

And finally, a very nice C. mossiae I got this summer with 3 leads and 3 green sheaths has put out a new growth with a new sheath that is full sized. It skipped blooming last year for the prior owner who indicates that happens with some frequency on new divisions of that plant, but even so the sheaths have remained green and I have my fingers crossed for a very fine display in the spring. Time will tell!
 

NEslipper

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Always a beautiful flower. A lot of the photos I’ve seen of it show a solitary flower, curious if you’ve found it reluctant to put up more than one flower per sheath?
 

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