I recently purchased a beautiful red cattleya orchid. The plant has done very well for me and, since blooming, has produced three pseudobulbs. Can I expect more flowers soon? Drew L
Cattleyas have the flowering characteristic where by they only bloom on their newest leaf growth or pseudobulb. This process occurs at the same time each year and is individual to the plant. For example, a cattleya that blooms in July this year will bloom again each July forever. (The exception is the miniatures which can bloom several times a year). Larger plants, which have multiple pseudobulbs, are capable of producing a stunning display of flowers as all the buds open at once.
It is rare, however, to have the pseudobulbs mature and bloom out of synch with each other. In your case, the three new pseudobulbs, when fully mature, will likely just sit there until next year when they burst forth with blooms. Orchid growing requires patience but once a year, your cattleyas will reward you for your efforts.
The blooms of my phalaenopsis dried up and fell off. A week later, one of the leaves turned yellow and also fell off. I thought the plant was gone. Now I’ve noticed a new green double shoot coming up. What is happening? Nancy M
It is perfectly normal for a phalaenopsis to lose a leaf or two during the summer, after it blooms and, as it prepares to grow new leaves on top, provided the plant has at least three leaves remaining. (A plant with only one or two leaves is stressed out and requires immediate attention such as repotting into sphagnum moss or changing the environment).
The new shoot that you describe sounds like a new plantlet emerging from the base which sometimes happens if the center of the plant (crown) cannot produce new leaves due to damage or rot. All is not lost, however, since the new shoot has all the energy of the mother plant and draws on the large root system within the pot to grow a replacement plant relatively quickly. In all likelihood, those small leaves will grow large by winter and the plant will bloom on schedule.
I received an orchid about a year ago and it seemed to bloom forever. Now what do I do with it? Soil, water, sunlight? Carol K
Ideally, it would be nice to know what kind of orchid you have since the growing requirements vary considerably within the orchid family. Most likely though, your orchid is one of the five popular genera available today - Cattleya, Dendrobium, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, or Phalaenopsis.
There should be a plant label in the pot that, at least, identifies the general orchid type if not the complete botanical name (genus, hybrid, variety).
In the event that there is no label in the pot, try to identify the plant by consulting an orchid book or viewing a website (search 'orchids').
Here is some background information that you will need: All the popular orchids mentioned above are epiphytes (grow on trees) or semi-terrestrials and require a potting media that is somewhat airy. Soil is too dense and will smother the roots. Typical orchid media is cypress or fir bark chips, peat moss, or sphagnum moss. Some orchids do not need to be repotted for several years while others need fresh media yearly. The watering schedule is practically the same for the five popular genera - drench thoroughly once or twice a week. The sunlight requirements are critical to good growth and blooming - Cattleya, Dendrobium, Oncidium are intermediate light and Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis are low light.