What Happen to These Orchids?


Cymbidium Sleepy Sarah ‘Lovely’ x Ruby Eyes ‘Tetra Baron’:

This Cymbidium  is one of my early orchids. and it was repotted into three divisions few years ago. I gave one to a friend. Today it is only one pot of this orchid left and is still struggling to grow mature bulbs.


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Repotting & Dividing Our Cattleya Orchid

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Many articles online recommend to repot Cattleya orchids in Spring. Our unifoliate Cattleya just finished flowering few weeks ago and the new flower bud in the sheath was rotten and I cut it out yesterday. This morning I decided to repot and divide the orchid plant, even though it is near autumn in another 2 weeks.

Looking at our Cattleya, it looked like it had been grown in that pot for a long-long time as the surface of the growing media was fully covered with moss. New growths and roots hung outside the pot. When I took it out from the pot, the root system was not very good with many rotten and the growing media had started to disintegrate. The rhizome was long and it would need a big pot to accommodate the whole plant in and big pot is not very good. So I decided to cut the plant into two sections. One bigger part consists of the new bulbs + leaves and the roots that were hanging outside the pot. The other section is smaller that consists of the old bulbs and leaves. It has only very few healthy roots, but I hope it will grow more later on.

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Cattleya – Flower Growing Stages

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The no-id rhizanthoid unifoliate Cattleya orchid that I recently bought has a a flower sheath and a small new growth. This new growth is still too tiny to see what it is going to be. It can be a new bulb or another flower sheath, any which way it certainly is happily welcome.

I will recorded the progress of the flower sheath and the new growth. I will make updates here until the flower has grown in full bloom and the new growth has reached the point where I am sure what it is going to be, a bulb or a sheath………………….

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Cattleya – Another Flower

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Another note about our Cattleya orchid (NOID).

Flowers grow from near roots

Guess what? I spotted what is called a Cattleya sheath. It is where the flower bud will immerge. From the slightly transparent sheath I can see a bud. I am sure it will be another bloom! I am so very-very pleased.

My husband said that I was like a little kid with a brand new toy. Completely obsessed! Yes, I am really captivated by my very first Cattleya orchid. I read many articles and watched videos about it. How to grow it and all about the plant characteristics. From all that I have learned so far, all Cattleya flowers grow from the bottom of the leaves, so it is on the top of the long Pseudobulb.

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First Cattleya Orchid


Cattleya Mauve Colour

I went to Caribbean market this morning. The weather today is sunny and pleasantly warm 24 – 27 deg. C. It is school holiday and also many people are still having their end of year holiday, so the market was very crowded when I got there.

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Repotting Cattleya Orchid

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It is not my orchid! My friend Rieka asked me to repot some of her orchids again this year. One of them is Cattleya Blc. Ballandean ‘Bette’ x Blc. Prophecy ‘Montere’. I knew nothing about growing cattleyas as I had never grown them before. The plant was in a terrible state with a lot of dead bulbs and rhizomes. The few remaining leaves also look stressed. So before doing anything to it, I had to find out about Cattleya growing requirements in Melbourne area. For the very first time I learned that cattleyas have rhizomes similar to Iris plants.

Cattleya Orchid after Repotting.

Cattleya Orchid after Repotting.

  • Temperate to Tropical climates: 9 deg. C in winter and up to 35 deg C in summer. Mature plants can be kept outside all year around with  around 70 % sunlight (30% shade), never under direct sunlight. During very hot weather around summer time, keep it under 50 % shade. Young plants are better to keep indoor during very cold winter months.
  • If the leaves are too green, it means that the plant needs more sunlight. If the leaves are kind of yellow it means too much sunlight. The good leaves are supposed to be thick and stiff (not floppy).
  • Can flower all year around if winter is milder.
  • Watering is done when the medium has started to feel dry (by poking a finger under the surface of the potting medium).
  • Half strength liquid fertilizer weekly or every watering time during hot weather.
  • Mist the area if humidity less than 50 %.
  • Planting medium consists of large bark chips, pieces of charcoals, a bit of perlite.
  • Repot when plant has become overcrowded.

To repot Cattleyas generally similar to re-potting other orchids, by getting rid of dead materials. As the cattleya that I repotted had a lot of dead roots, rhizomes and bulbs, I cut all of them off before I replanted it. I also got rid all of the growing media. Position the plant with the new growths (where the plant likely to grow) more towards the middle of the pot. I used a slightly smaller pot than before, a pot that is too large will make the medium too wet and cause root problems.

I never knew before that Cattleya orchids were supposed to be kept outdoor under the shade. I thought they had to be kept indoor (in temperate weather) like Phalaenopsis. Maybe I will try to get a couple for myself to try. The plants are small and do not take so much space like Cymbidiums, and the flowers are really beautiful.

Cattleya Orchid - A lot of dead bulbs and rhizomes

Cattleya Orchid – A lot of dead bulbs and rhizome

New Growths - Cattleya Orchid

New Growths – Cattleya Orchid

After finished repotting

After finished repotting


 December 21, 2013

Another Rieka’s orchid, very overgrown Cymbidium in a large pot. It was so very heavy, I could not take the plant out myself and my husband had to help me and eventually we ended up in cutting the plastic pot open.

I had never seen any Cymbidium grown in such a large pot and so over grown. Many leaves were damaged from fungal problems and sunburnt. More than half of the bulbs were without leaves and many of the foliage looked like they had been shredded on the tip. It was a surprise to see that the roots were quite healthy and plump. The small bark chips had almost completely disintegrated leaving only a compact ball of roots. I managed to divide the large plant into two section and each has three back bulbs. I saved the rest of the healthy back bulbs with roots to grow later. After I tidied them up, they look quite ok.

Overgrown Cymbidium Orchid

Overgrown Cymbidium Orchid

Two newly repotted Cymbidium from the 2 divisions

Two newly repotted Cymbidium from the 2 divisions


Another orchid belongs to Rieka, I am not sure but I think it is another miniature Dendrobium. How odd, I just got one from Vivi but with reddish bulbs/stems. Rieka’s small orchid was also had a lot of grass growing and with most of the leaves were dry or eaten by snails (?). It was in a deep and large pot, so I repotted them into two smaller squat pots. I think miniature Dendrobium like to be pot bound.

Rieka's Mini Dendrobiums

I think it is miniature Dendrobium