Question and Answer

  Subject: Cattleya flowers
Date sent: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 x

From Kathy

Hi. Im Kathy

I have my first orchid plant . Only paid about 10m dollares for it . It had 4 beautiful flowers on it then they fell of I bought it with the flowers they only lasted 2 months .

Do they go dorment for a while?

What the flowers were attached to turned yellow {the stem}.Do I cut the stem back .

How do I tell the difference between the roots and a new stem ?

It looks like I have 2 new stems coming .

When I water it does the water surposed to run right out of the pot or is it time to repot ?

Help Phil

Kathy Connecticut USA

Hi Kathy

As you are form the USA, I presume the orchid you have is a cattleya. If you check the photo gallery page for cattleyas see if the flowers look similar. If so, then you will have a cattleya, and you can follow the cattleya cultural advice on the site.

If the flowers lasted 2 months, then you did well, as the plant must have only just come out.

Orchid flowers on cattleyas grow on the mature growth, so you have to wait for the new growth to develop and mature before the next flowers will emerge. This will usually take 9 to 12 months.

The old flowers will fall off, and the stem from the swollen pseudobulb to the flower will yellow. The bulb with the leaves will however remain and from its base new growths will develop, and will eventually flower.

The new roots are white with a green tip, and are usually roundish. The new growth is bright green and is usually somewhat flattened, and you will see the developing leaves quite quickly. It is possible that you will have two new stems developing on a good plant.

Orchids require water but must also have air at the roots. Allow the potting mix to dry, and then water so that plenty of water drains from the bottom of the pot. Then allow the plant to dry again. Overwatering occurs when you water too FREQUENTLY. You should not have to repot if the mix is still form and water freely drains away. A good mix should last 2-3 years.

I trust this answers you questions.

I trust you continue to enjoy your plant

With kind regards


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