Hybrid Catts

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Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2007
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Toronto, Ontario
I have been thinking of growing big-flowered cattleyas for sometime now. BLC's and LC's in particular. There are a few things that i wanna ask you growers out there though. Would a 430watt-SUnAgro HID be enough to give them the light that they need? Are these hybrids dependent of daylength to flower? Do they need cool temps and cool rests to flower? Some claim these flower twice a year? Is this the norm? Thanks in advance!
Now this is blasphemy on a slipper site:p:p

More seriously I do have a handfull of hybrid and species catts (my wife loves the big pretty flowers). And they smell better than most Bulbophyllums. In general I think they are allot of boring foliage, and take up allot of space just to get 10 days of big showy blooms.

I find them pretty easy to grow in the GH, but several people in the society grow them under MH or sodium pressure lighting. They seem to like 3000 to 5000 fc, but not too much heat. The mini catts don't need as much light, and fit indoors better than the big boys.

In my GH I put the catts allong the walls where they get exposed to the brightest light, and also the extremes in temps. Most tend to bloom in spring to early summer (but many hybrids will bloom 2X/year), and can easily handle temps in the 50s during the winter. They may need this to inititiate blooms. They like fertilizer more than paphs, and I don't change my feeding or water schedule seasonally to get them to bloom. I don't know if the indoor growing crowd bothers to alter their light cycles to initiate blooming.
Thanks, Rick! that's most informative! I'm thinking of growing them S/h in hydroton. It's great to hear that u water them the same way all year. Coz ill the stuff i've read in books say they need definite rests in winter or they won't grow well, or bloom.
I think that most of the hybrids are pretty easy (at least in the GH) and they are the most neglected of all my plants. One of the best Catt people in the US is in our society. You spend a weekend repotting for him, you go home with a Ryder truck full of divisions. I'm always scared to go over to his place because I can't leave without taking some too.

If I get busy I've been known to leave them in the courtyard, toss a couple of handfuls of CHC in the pot, and forget them for a couple of weeks. When I come back, they are rooted! Semi hydro may be too wet for them, but may be fine if you air humidity is low. I grow some species like vandas, mounted or in baskets with virtually no potting mix at all. Most of the potted ones grow roots outside of the potts. Some go down through my benches in the GH, and pick up some of the cool damp air circulating there. Keep in mind that the hybrids are based on species that are often found High up in the canopy and they dry out very quickly after the rains, and the airflow is very high.

If I run out of fertilizer on my Sunday rounds they don't get any and may skip a week or two. But if I see sheaths I usually make sure they get fed.

They do seem to be magnets for scale and mealy bugs so be prepared for that.