Thanks, David. My grow room is all catts now. They really like my lights. I’ve moved the Paphs (western exposure) and phrags (eastern) up to our living areas, so they are at room temp now. The phrags are starting to grow rather than decline, after your help. Thanks. Paphs are in spike or starting to bloom so we will see how they like the cooler temps. It will be the first bloom for some, so can’t really compare those, but we’ll see.Those are really beautiful and well grown!
David seemed to have similar growing conditions to my home temps, so I moved the phrags up to ambient home temp from the grow room high of 84. He also grows his In water and re-waters when the water in the saucer evaporates. So I used a soldering iron to put 4 holes in the pot about ⅜” up from the bottom so the roots would get some air, fill the saucer with clean water to just below the holes after I water and let it drain. When the saucer is dry I repeat the process. That and an eastern exposure with ambient room temps (and a fan for circulation) have caused my leaves to start to grow normally (no brown spots). Maybe doing the watering technique in my grow room would have worked, I don’t know. But it freed up a table (¼ of my growing space) when I moved the phrags and Paphs upstairs so more room for catts! Everyone seems happy. We’ll see how they do next spring/summer.what was the fix for the phrags?
Cooler temps were definitely a plus, but I lost my division of Bill’s besseae flavum ‘Broadwaters’ AM/AOS (huge OUCH) after it bloomed and steadily declined in the cooler temps, when the only change was temp. I’m so geared to not rot things, I’m pretty sure I was underwatering Phrags. After asking David what he was doing in similar conditions (which is continuous water via water in the saucer), it greatly improved the growth. I’d read not to sit phrags in water, as Phrag roots need air and water and sitting the pots in water seal off the air. So, I punched holes in the side of the pots as described above and saw real results. My own experiment, but for my conditions, it’s a winner so far!I’m curious too, was it just cooler temps?
Thank you! I really appreciate your comments. Surprisingly, I never get below 63-65 and that’s only in Dec./Jan. But, I almost always have at least a 10 degree day/night difference. Except maybe in winter months.Agree they’re beautiful and exceptionally well-grown! I love the Betty Ford! What do you get for night temps in your grow space?
Thank you!! I thought I’d read (don’t know where) that some need less than 12 hr days to trigger bloom, but you think 12 is sufficient? I just got 2 of Bill Goldner’s besseae flavum ‘Broadwaters’ x self seedlings. Since I killed the division of that, they should be a good test of whether it’s working now.Deb, my two plants of Cattleya Betty Ford 'York' are also blooming right now, one with a four flower spike and the other with a two flower spike. The shape of your blooms is great. I thought the Ports of Paradise would look greener? I have also decided to vary my day length from just 11.5 for a couple of mid winter months to 12.5 for two mid-summer months with 12.0 hours the rest of the time. That is the natural range near the equator where most Cattleyas grow. I am varying the light intensity modestly by raising the lights a bit for the mid-winter months, mirroring the 25% decrease in illumination intensity seen at the equator between winter and summer, but this is probably unnecessary but I need things to fiddle with. I think you are getting the cooler conditions and good moisture with good root air that the Phrags need. When you are confident of the conditions, I have a couple of special Phrags to share with you!
Thank you! I really appreciate your comments. Surprisingly, I never get below 63-65 and that’s only in Dec./Jan. But, I almost always have at least a 10 degree day/night difference. Except maybe in winter months.
The photo below shows the temp goals I go for. The chart originally had minimum temp goals. I removed them because I do my best but can’t bring them as low as I would like. Every month, I manipulate things as much as I can to get as low at night as possible. In winter, I’m limited by my basement temps, as I have no windows in my room, so can only shut off the heat and open the door to the basement. Once, I got to 62 when I left the basement door open to the outside by accident, not something I can do normally (critters come in)!
This schedule was given to me by my mentor in all things growing orchids under lights, Terryros. I am s very grateful for his advice. As a matter of fact, this Betty Ford ‘York’ is a division of his plant. He graciously shared it with me in Aug, 2020. It was shipped bare root, in spike. We grow in different mixes, so I potted it in my Orchiata mix in an 8” pot on 8/6/20 as it was a huge division with great roots. The spike bloomed on 8/25/20 with 4 flowers!! Quite spectacular, those flowers had better form and were bigger. After that, it did not thrive in growth. So I repotted it (again in spike) 9/4/21. I downsized the pot because of root loss and went from super to super/power + mix and it is happier. It bloomed again (this bloom) 11/7/21 with 2 flowers. So I expect once it settles in after it’s repot, it will thrive and the next bloom will be more flowers.
The plants just love these lights (from Orchids Ltd.). I just had to figure out what works in my situation, mostly catts love the temps. I’m in the state of VA (US). So depending on your latitude, you might want to adjust the coldest month if you were to think about trying to make this work for you. Hope this helps.
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