- Nov 15, 2017
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Three years ago, I took on some cacti and this orchid from a friend who was going through medical stuff and couldn’t maintain his collection. He said it was “some kind of Cattleya.” He was growing it in a degraded pot with almost no mix pot on a humidity tray in a Chicago apartment window; most of the other plants were actually desert cacti, which were thriving; he said he pretty much watered the cacti and the orchids at the sane time — and it showed. The roots of this thing were unexpectedly buried deep among the river gravel pebbles of three humidity trays and hung down 24 or more inches once I pulled it out. I repotted and did my best but this is the first and only orchid in this group that I have ever gotten to survive; I hadn’t tried very often but all attempts had ended in compost. This one, I summered outside the past two years, with only moderate shelter from the sun; more or less taking I would say 70% full sun, in Chicago, from May to October, then it comes in and hangs in my southwesterly window. Feeding k-lite and occasional KelpMax from FirstRay’s (if you haven’t tried his stuff, well, I can’t say enough good about it or Ray himself and he is an inveterate SlipperTalker!), misting daily with RO water. Last year’s growth, begun in August, set a sheath but no flowers. Yesterday these two buds opened and I’m... proudly shocked, I think you can say. As you can see, it’s not really a Cattleya, I don’t think. Any ideas? Of course my friend lost the tag years ago. It is bifoliate, if that helps. Kind of seems to sit dormant and unhappy from spring to first week of August, when roots uncap and the new lead appears. I feel like I got lucky with weather and Ray’s products here and although this group is not my focus, I am thrilled with the brightly tropical odd flowers here, at the moment gazing out upon the results of our first big snowstorm of the year. Really hoping the knowledgeable folks herein can help get a name, or at least proper group, on this sweet scrappy thing. Thank you most kindly.