Cattleya Bob Betts in full bloom

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DrLeslieEe

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Leslie, I know how to train a bud to present well, but what is your technique for training a dorsal?
The dorsal can be trained with a tag taped behind lightly with painter tape (low sticky tape) or titling flower forward for a couple days. This depends on the thickness or substance of the dorsal. A thinner floppy dorsal is best by tilting. A thicker heavier dorsal needs more encouragement with the tape lol.
 

abax

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Leslie, I'm far too picky about Catt. dorsals. It's an idiosyncrasy I'm trying to overcome.
Long ago I don't remember seeing so many reflexing dorsals as I see now. I'm a lot
older than you and have seen more absolutely perfect Catts in private collections.
 

DrLeslieEe

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Leslie, I'm far too picky about Catt. dorsals. It's an idiosyncrasy I'm trying to overcome.
Long ago I don't remember seeing so many reflexing dorsals as I see now. I'm a lot
older than you and have seen more absolutely perfect Catts in private collections.
I think that size is a wonderful trait to have in a Cattleya... BUT.... a straight dorsal gives it that regalness.
 
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I know this only matters to those who are going to judging, but how much training of flowers is permissible? There must be a handful of things that an ingenious little device could help a flower improve and maybe for a beauty contest this is OK? Let’s get those petals to open wider! Whoops, not that much, I don’t want them curving backwards! Bonsai for orchids here I come. I already do some of this with how carefully I control the growths on my Cattleyas. Why not go all in on training the flowers.
 

abax

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terryos, I'm implying that the cloning techniques for a mass market is producing
misshapen flowers. Of course, it happens in wild populations as well, but the mass
market approach has deformed a lot of popular orchids.
*I'm not referring to David's lovely Catt.
 
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The mechanism of the mericloning process always carries with it genetic variability which can range from minimal to substantial. Some variants can end up even better than the plant that was cloned (rare) but a substantial number can be somewhat worse. Then, we get successive cloning of cloned plants and we get farther and farther from the original plant. When we buy a mericlone, we often don't know how many generations of cloning we are removed from the original plant. I have two different plants of Cattleya Betty Ford 'York' with excellent provenance, but the plants and the flowers are clearly different and they bloom at different times of the year. BUT, very carefully done mericloning may be able to produce virus-free plants from a parent that is virused. This can preserve an important and desirable genome.
 

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