The morning sun...

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monocotman

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I took the catts outside for some better photos.
The garden provides an excellent backdrop as it’s so lush after a cold wet May.
First up are the two coeruleas, canhamiana and werkhauseri.
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Next we have the three purpuratas.
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finally a group shot with the semi alba mossiae still looking good after over a month.
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David
 

monocotman

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Thanks Leslie.
I am continually surprised at how adaptable these plants are to indoor windowsill growing.
 

terryros

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From a few pictures I have seen I don’t think you have a standard windowsill! Looks more like the wall of a greenhouse. Do you use south, east, and west exposures? What temperatures ranges do you get throughout the year near the glass?
 

monocotman

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Terry,
I use south and east exposures. East is for those smaller plants with poorer roots or those that like slightly less light like gaskelliana.
as I am now just retired, the house is kept quite warm year round. Daytime temps are around 23 degrees C. When the sun is out is it considerably warmer next to the glass. Nighttime is falls only slightly During th summer but in the winter a bit more. In two of the four windows I have curtains that are pulled every evening so here the night time temps must drop a bit more, but I have not checked.
The other two I leave the curtains open. I cannot say that I’ve seen a difference in growth between curtains open and closed.
However I do grow the warmth loving species like lueddemanniana and dowiana in the rooms with the curtains open.
This temperature differential next to the glass must also generate a bit of air movement.
David
 

GuRu

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David, what a great show. I'm impressed by your growing skills to grow these beauties on windowsills. Congrats. 👌
So far I have some more empty south- and eastfacing windowsills...........
 

monocotman

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Guru, give it a go! I started off about eight years ago with some hybrids and over time as I progressed moved over to mainly the unifoliate species.
They are all doing pretty well.
I found out by trial and error how to water and feed them.
Then, thanks to this forum, when to repot them and the importance of keeping pots separate from each other.
For me now, they are treated as house plants that need a bit more attention.
They get no extras that you would give to greenhouse grown plants.
 

monocotman

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Here are some photos taken this morning of the five windowsills that house the catts. The first two are east facing and the other three south facing. I do not use any shading. As it is warm today, 27c is forecast, the windows are all open.
The main trick for me was to get the watering correct. As I’ve become more experienced, I water them more in the summer, up to twice a week, when in growth and less in the winter, maybe every two weeks. They are all potted in plastic pots in orchiata and are fed with rain mix.
Other than this, there are no tricks. They have to deal with household temperatures and lighting. They receive no extra heating, lighting, humidity or air movement.
We are lucky in the UK that the humidity is usually fairly good, rarely dropping below 50%.
The biggest deal for me is that indoors they can receive full sun without overheating, as they would do in a normal greenhouse.
For me to give this sort of light and keep the temperatures normal in a greenhouse would cost and arm and leg In electricity.
Sun damage is rare and can usually be put down to a lack of acclimatisation.
Retirement means I now have more time and can weigh and water each pot individually.
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David
 

GuRu

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David, thanks for your explanation and very informative photos. 👍 So far the one and only Cattleya I grow indoors is Cattleya maxima. We will see if she gets some sister plants.
 

DrLeslieEe

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I wish mine was as orderly as yours. They are mashed up into the shelves as I see fit. Then they fight for the light and water lol.
 

monocotman

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Leslie, it may not stay like this for long. We hope to move to St Ives, Cornwall (think G7 summit) sometime in the next 12 months.
The climate there is quite different to the east of England, much wetter, more humid, less sun.
I may need to add lighting.
 

DrLeslieEe

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Leslie, it may not stay like this for long. We hope to move to St Ives, Cornwall (think G7 summit) sometime in the next 12 months.
The climate there is quite different to the east of England, much wetter, more humid, less sun.
I may need to add lighting.
Changing growing space is stressful for plants. It will take a year or two to adjust the perfect conditions in my experience. I hate moving lol.
 

Silverwhisp

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David, you mentioned weighing each plant individually. At what percentage of a fully wet Cattleya/Laelia do you re-water? E. g., say, when it’s at 80% or 85% of its fully watered weight?

I weigh many of my plants, too.
 

monocotman

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I used the phrase as a figure of speech. I don’t actually weigh them apart from feeling their weight when I pick them up, to decide whether they need watering.
As I am getting more experienced, I am pushing the envelope with watering more often when they are in full growth. I am convinced that you can produce larger growths by watering ‘ as they approach dryness’ as opposed to when they are actually dry. But only when in full growth, say from when the new growths are half their final size.
I saw this happen with a plant that produced a huge new growth when it accidentally sat in water as the growth matured. It then lost its roots and rotted and died but the new growth was huge and gave me an idea.
 

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