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Old 07-28-2014, 02:09 PM
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Question regarding care of a small Cattleya aurea (= Cattleya dowiana var. aurea)

I acquired my C. Dowiana as a small plant about a month ago. The youngest leaf is about 4 inches long excluding the pseudobulb. It was originally potted in sphagnum in a 4-inch terracotta pot, I worked the sphagnum out & replaced with cork pieces. The newest growth is developing roots, all seems healthy right now.

I understand that adult C. dowiana require a fairly dry rest in the winter (my understanding is not bone dry, but infrequent and light watering, roots only). For those of you experienced with this species, should a small plant like this one be given a similar dry rest? If yes, when would you start growing it drier, how often would you give it some light watering (possibly mist roots only)?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:49 AM
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Cold and wet is the biggest issue with the dowiana in the winter. The more light and warmth, the more it can be watered. If you grow under hot lights then you wouldn't need to let it go bone dry for days - think "morning dew" for the plant. If you grow in a window during the winter and you get lots of sunless days, I wouldn't give it any water unless the sun is shining.

A seedling cannot go for long periods of time without moisture without weakening the plant.

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Old 07-29-2014, 06:57 AM
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Thank you Brooke - I was hoping you would post an answer to this question.

In winter, I grow under fluorescent lights - no natural light unfortunately. But, the location is warm (just warm, not hot). My gut feeling was that the seedling would need more water; I'll plan on a "morning dew" at regular intervals, at least 2 times a week, increasing or decreasing frequency depending on how the plant reacts.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:14 PM
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Your plant seems to be over potted. At that size I keep mine in 2 inch pots and in sphgnum. Young Cattleya grow much faster in Sphagnum than bark. The sphagnum needs to be replacd each year.

This is a very-very slow growing Cattleya, which is why you seldom see these for sale flowering.

I try not to buy these smaller than 12 inches high in 4 inch pots and it still takes 3-4 years to flower from this size.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:27 PM
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Hi Jerry

The 4-inch pot was what it came in. I wanted to work out the sphagnum it started out in and replace it with something much coarser and free draining. I wanted to disturb the roots as little as possible (did not want to pull them away from the terracotta). My summer growing is all outdoors, and with rain sometimes occurring daily for extended periods, I did not want to leave the roots in sphagnum.
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