Cattleya Marilyn Lew Care Requirement Help

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Active Member
Feb 17, 2023
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Duluth, MN
I received this cattleya marilyn lew from Ecuagenera USA today. I was hesitant to get it because it has mixed reviews, but this plant looks quite healthy, with a new growth, healthy roots, and plump bulbs. I only got this because the flower looks like a miniature dowiana, to replace the true dowiana seedlings that unfortunately rotted away. It has 25% iricolor, 25% rex, and 50% dowiana in its parentage. It's quite a new hybrid, registered by Ecuagenera in 2021. Is this easy to grow?? I've read that cattleya triumphans (rex x dowiana) has a stable growing habit and isn't prone to root rot like dowiana. Does this mean that marilyn lew is not really prone to rot too? What should I treat it like? It's currently sitting in my greenhouse that's at 80 degrees and about 40% humidity. Does anyone grow this? Anything will help, just don't want to kill it. I have some photos, the first picture is of the bloom from online, and the rest of them are my plant.


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I almost got that one--couldn't decide between it or the Arcadio Arosemena and ended up not ordering either one.
now regretting that...

I was just gonna treat it like any other catt, so interested to see if experts have better advice.
I could resist no longer--I got one and also a rex x dowiana from Ecuagenera-CA. Happy valentine's to me!

Both came in transparent flexible containers, good sized like your appears, but in mostly fine bark, some perlite, tightly packed, very wet, and crammed with good looking roots, at least from all exterior angles. Both plants plump/well-hydrated with new active growths and I wasn't going to repot them but dang if I didn't accidentally topple one to the floor. Whoops.
The r x d root mass fell apart easily enough after crashing and had a buried rotten back bulb and a lot of dead squishy roots in the center, so I was happy enough to get that all out and the plant in a bulkier mix. The ML was so tight with all the new roots and fine bark. I tried to loosen and flush it but failed; ended up basically up-potted a little and I just hope there's not too much dead in the center because I couldn't get at it to check without doing a lot of damage.

I have read that they'd prefer their temp variations in the warm range--not hot, not cold--and could tolerate excursions into cool-ish during their drier season.
And of course, it's still winter here for a while yet, but, at least the daylight is getting longer:) These plants clearly aren't in winter-rest phase, so I figure I should try to keep them warm and actively growing at this point.
I don't have a warm greenhouse so my diurnal swings aren't that great during cloudy/snowy weather (when the sun shines I do get some fabulous passive solar heating though in the plant rooms). At best I can get about 45%RH.
I put the r x d in the warmest place I have and on the edge of the artificial light zone while it recovers, about 70F night/78F day, and the ML in a south facing window, with supplemental lighting, until the sun comes back in earnest, about 67F night and 72 cloudy day.
I do have some seedling heat mats, but concerned that'd be too warm--do you think I should use them?
Where are all the experts from the secret catt club?
I think that you are trying to micro manage the situation. You are worrying too much about culture. Too much about proper temperature. Just take a middle of the road approach. Don’t get so caught up in details.
I order only rarely from November through March. It really needs to be a plant that is way to good, way cheap for me to order much of anything in the dead of winter. That just adds a few problems that I don’t need to deal with during the winter.

My own personal habit is I repot each and every new plant that I buy ASAP. Which is usually in a day or two. I want too see the roots, I want to eliminate all mixes, and I want them in my pots using my mix or media. Keeping in mind the winter is not the best time to repot any orchid, that is why I don’t order much during the winter. I resist the temptation.
But if these were my plants:
I would repot upon arrival
I would not use a larger pot
I would use my mix
I would keep them in lower light then they are going to grow in for me. They need time to adjust. They just took an out of season trip and they need a little time.
Once adjusted you could slowly introduce to their new grow spot.

This week I managed to find something that I absolutely needed to buy. 2 Cycnoches hybrids that I found at a good price. Keep in mind this whole purchase did not cause me much concern. Cycnoches are dormant from early October or so until late February so ordering plants in winter dormancy seemed like a good idea. They both arrived today just before noon. They were repotted by 3 pm in NZ moss. Both are showing the beginning of a new growth, actually perfect timing.
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