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I am craving a Cattleya

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BrucherT

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I have never actually grown a Cattleya species. All your conversation and photos have me craving one. JUST ONE. Or a few little ones...y’all know how it is... I’m settled on Cattleya walkeriana var. coerulea ‘Choujo.’ Or am I???? Hmmm. Anybody got anything in this vein they want to sell me? A division? A compot? Or I have some nice, recently repotted 3yo fairrieanum seedlings to trade...OZ breeding...just idle thoughts to get through another pandemic winter...sigh. If this is a bad idea, feel free to talk me out of it....
 

kitfox

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You could spend a lifetime growing only walkeriana cultivars and it’s primary hybrids alone; quite satisfying. Be careful, though! My walker phase lasted a full decade!
 

BrucherT

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Aw “just?” Ha ha. I tend to grow what I acquire forever... and I just want ONE! Lol and no hybrids for me. I’m a species snob. I know the coerulea is a selected form; I surrender to the breeders on that. The line breeding of Cattleya doesn’t tick me off like it does with slippers...hey, we all have our fussinesses. What ended your “walker phase?”
 

SouthPark

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If this is a bad idea, feel free to talk me out of it....
It's a good idea. And also, even though I've never grown a 'walker' before ------ I think I recall them generally putting spikes out from the rhizome ---- instead of the 'usual' spots (from the base of the leaves).

Also, if we were in a star wars universe, it would be a SkyWalkeriana.
 

kitfox

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...What ended your “walker phase?”
Phrags. Specifically, besseae. And a tiny 1895 farmhouse with limited space. And a wife. And a kid. And a farm with horses, alpacas, donkeys, chickens and turkeys. 😂 And that is just a summary!

I had over 30 cultivars with such variety in a single species. And I THOUGHT phrags were smaller when I bought that first tiny besseae back in the late 90s from Southwind Orchids in VA! 😥
 

BrucherT

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It's a good idea. And also, even though I've never grown a 'walker' before ------ I think I recall them generally putting spikes out from the rhizome ---- instead of the 'usual' spots (from the base of the leaves).

Also, if we were in a star wars universe, it would be a SkyWalkeriana.
Ha ha ha I didn’t even know that. Cattleya always seemed inaccessible/impossible to me indoors but I see windowsill growers in here and I have succeeded in growing Vanda coerulea from flask to bloom. I have spent a few years resuscitating this “Cattleytonia” or Broughtonia thing, which truly delighted me last winter with intensely bright-wine blossoms for months, so...it’s time for me to join the Cattleya Club! And the walkeriana, nobolior, jenmanii coeruleas, all so cute...
 

BrucherT

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Phrags. Specifically, besseae. And a tiny 1895 farmhouse with limited space. And a wife. And a kid. And a farm with horses, alpacas, donkeys, chickens and turkeys. 😂 And that is just a summary!

I had over 30 cultivars with such variety in a single species. And I THOUGHT phrags were smaller when I bought that first tiny besseae back in the late 90s from Southwind Orchids in VA! 😥
Oh! I can see that! Love me some Phragmipedium besseae...I have 4, plus two nameless hybrids, plus a P. longifolium gracile, plus two P. kovachii. But I have yet to bloom any. No idea what I’m doing wrong, hoping it changes this next year. Seems weird that I seem to bloom everything else and not these. I think my besseae flavum would have flowered this summer but alas, I cooked it. Again. Sad days. Oh well, onward!
 

kitfox

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Also, if we were in a star wars universe, it would be a SkyWalkeriana.
Just as big a starring role, too. I hadn’t had one in over a decade this past spring when I went through one of the greenhouses at Seagrove Orchids, and a strong olfactory memory hit me so hard, yet so pleasantly. That wonderful smell...Linda pointed it out to me half way across the greenhouse, an ‘alba’... Almost succumbed to the opiate-like attraction! 😂
 

BrucherT

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Just as big a starring role, too. I hadn’t had one in over a decade this past spring when I went through one of the greenhouses at Seagrove Orchids, and a strong olfactory memory hit me so hard, yet so pleasantly. That wonderful smell...Linda pointed it out to me half way across the greenhouse, an ‘alba’... Almost succumbed to the opiate-like attraction! 😂
I don’t understand; as Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing I can’t resist is temptation.” Or, something like that. It’s a small plant! What’s the harm? You must go back!
 

kitfox

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Oh! I can see that! Love me some Phragmipedium besseae...I have 4, plus two nameless hybrids, plus a P. longifolium gracile, plus two P. kovachii. But I have yet to bloom any.
Dont feel bad. I bought my first besseae from Mr. Kovach, well, he actually gave it to me with a few forgettable species I purchased as a division of a plant he had collected way earlier. He said he couldn’t bloom it, either. 😉 I am pretty sure he would have not been able to bloom his namesake, in his greenhouses, much less Chi Town. Brutal...
 

Guldal

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You could also follow the advice, that David from Cambridge, UK gave to me (click on 'Click to expand' and on the link to the attachment to get all of the post);
This one is for Guldal.
If you only grow a couple of hybrid catts then this and the recently posted blue dinard are the way to go.
Quite apart from the lovely flower, it has the most amazing citrus scent that is evident across the whole room.
View attachment 22433
David
 

kitfox

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Don’t fear the windowsill Catt. Or Laelia. As long as you have a southeast to southwest exposure, many will do great. Just research size. ‘walkers’ are well suited size and temperament-wise. And there is plenty of natural variation in the species to keep boredom at bay.

Hope my number of responses doesn’t annoy, but does show my still-present passion for this humble Catt. 😊
 

BrucherT

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Dont feel bad. I bought my first besseae from Mr. Kovach, well, he actually gave it to me with a few forgettable species I purchased as a division of a plant he had collected way earlier. He said he couldn’t bloom it, either. 😉 I am pretty sure he would have not been able to bloom his namesake, in his greenhouses, much less Chi Town. Brutal...
I am agog. I have read about poor Mr. Kovach, may he rest and soar. I am determined to master these besseae and kovachii too...I bought a teeny seedling from eBay going on 2 years ago...it has barely grown at all, but lives...I think I will convert it to LECA culture soon. The other kovachii is, unbelievably, a fully adult division from an inordinately kind friend who saw my struggly little seedling and was moved to pity. Have had it just a few months now; yesterday I noticed lots of new roots showing through the plastic soup vessel I used for potting and the plant looks altogether hale, so I guess we’ll see... one of this region’s greatest slippermen told me he has never been able to keep the species alive more than 6 months; he keeps his species in Hawaii but produces hybrids from the stock. I want to figure it out and show off! He and another slippertalker are giants among slipper growers and they both grow and produce phenomenal besseae, the envy of my eyes. Two of my besseae are from one of them. So, I know besseae can be flowered here...somehow.
 

BrucherT

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Don’t fear the windowsill Catt. Or Laelia. As long as you have a southeast to southwest exposure, many will do great. Just research size. ‘walkers’ are well suited size and temperament-wise. And there is plenty of natural variation in the species to keep boredom at bay.

Hope my number of responses doesn’t annoy, but does show my still-present passion for this humble Catt. 😊
Are you kidding? I’m honored! And you’re feeding me courage!
 

BrucherT

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You could also follow the advice, that David from Cambridge, UK gave to me (click on 'Click to expand' and on the link to the attachment to get all of the post);
Well I cannot deny the beauty of that flower but aside from some accidental acquisitions to which I’ve grown frustratingly attached, my place is a species-only zone! I’m just a species snob and I accept it. The allure with which I delude myself is that I am growing jungle jewels, for enjoyment and preservation. Jungle-collected plants of known and ancient provenance are my deepest weakness. God help me, I am a horticultural originalist!
 
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Paphman910

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Got the bug for Cattleya walkeriana as well in the last couple of months so I picked up the regular color form. The bulbs turn dark reddish color for the sun and the root tips are purple in color. I have them growing on the balcony on a book shelf.
 

monocotman

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Brucher, are you prepared to open Pandora’s box with just one cattleya?
I grow about 70 on various south or east facing windowsills and nearly all do great.
I don’t have a single Walker as I’ve been told they love high humidity and that is one thing I cannot offer, but others may disagree.
I grow pretty much only large flowered unifoliates species. The big three are labiata ( autumn flowers) trianae ( winter flowers) and mossiae ( spring flowers), so when do you want yours to flower?
Then there are summer flowering species like warscewiczii, dowiana, rex.
Within each species there are myriad colour forms, alba, semi alba, coerulea, rubra, aquinii etc etc it’s just a case of choosing.
If you are after special forms then cattleyas are the ones to collect. There are hundreds with prices for pockets of all depths.
The fischers’s at Orchids Limited have a nice selection of high end cattleyas on their web site if you want to start to investigate but plenty of others in the US offer divisions or mericlones, e.g. Hausermanns.
A really good place to start is Chadwic’s book ‘ the classic cattleyas’ which is just going into its second edition this Christmas. It’s on their web site. If not, look at their web pages on the individual species.
 

monocotman

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Just a couple of other thoughts.
How much room do you have?
Smaller growers like percivalliana and lueddemanniana take up much less space than species like warscewiczii and purpurata.
My personal favourite species is lueddemanniana. Lots of breeding work is going on in South America with this species and the latest dark coloured forms are stunning. Google for Armando Mantellini at orquiverde if you want to drool over those. He has some divisions available in the US.
Likewise for purpurata, there is extensive breeding going on with this species and all its myriad colour forms, especially in Brazil.
Anyway I will wait for others to comment, I am sure that Dr Leslie has some thoughts!
 

SouthPark

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BrucherT is falling into a trap heheheh. It is a utopia trap ----- into the world of ....... ok .... orchids hehehehe. It is true that Brucher is already very into orchids. But it is well known about inevitability hehehe ...... the need to spread wings and expand. To ..... just .... get more! More kinds. It's cliche for sure, but orchids will do that sort of thing to people. It's a trap heheheh.....but at least it is one that we want to get stuck in. But being human and being very flexible, we always can get out of it ....... but once we're in ....... better to stay in hehehe

At first, some growers may think species are the only way to go. But many will also find out that hybrids will get them in the end. There's always at least 1 hybrid that will get them in the end. Getting deeper into the orchid 'well'. Having a combination of both hybrids and species will definitely make our days :D
 
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Guldal

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Brucher, remember, it often starts with a cheap Phalaenopsis hybrid or two....and then.....!!!!
It did in my case - and we've heard the same story over and over again in PA (Paphioholics Anonymous)!
I’m just a species snob and I accept it.
I also started out as a 'speciesist' - and though my preferences in general veer on that side, a few hybrids have found their way into my collection (f.ex. Paph. Lady Isobel - "but it's a cross of two of my favorite species"; Paph. Leeanum - "but it's a classic hybride"; Paph. Alexej - "I'm in general not happy with intersectional hybrids, but...."; etc. etc.)
I don’t have a single Walker as I’ve been told they love high humidity and that is one thing I cannot offer, but others may disagree.
As Catts are a new addiction for me, I haven't, yet, flowered the few walkers, I have, but they seem to grow well and thrive on my window sill. Maybe my inorganic growth medium, that contains as well waterabsorbing as waterrepelling elements, helps with the humidity issue:

20201128_135351.jpg
 

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