Re: Orchids, and Upper Traps

Wed, 16 Mar 1994 7:34:46 -0500 (EST)

Chris wrote:

>Why the hell won't my orchid bloom? It is a Catleya (sp?)
>that has been watered approximately every two to three
>days and is under 1800 foot candles of light.

My understanding is that many orchids, in particular Cattleyas,
need to have seasonal and daily temperature variations to promote
blooming. By daily temperature variations I mean 55 F at night
and around 65 F - 70 F during the day. By seasonal I mean the
temperatures just stated during the summer, and in the winter
the day time temperature should be cooler than 65 F. During
these cool periods (winter) the orchid forms the microscopic
precursors for blooms. Then, six months later when the day time
temperatures increase, these precursors grow into flowers. I
suggest Rebecca Northen's book for a more detailed discussion.
Try putting the plant right next to a sunny window. Up in
Syracuse it should get cold enough in the winter so that the
temps inside the house are cool right next to the window.
It'll be another six months before the plant flowers, though :).

>My second question concerns "upper" pitchers. There are base pitchers
>and upper pitchers, both of which have very different characteristics.
>My N.mirabilis has been quite happy putting forth base pitchers for
>the past 9 months. It is only about 8 inches tall, but upon inspection
>this morning, I dicovered that it had produced an upper pitcher.
>This has never happened before to _any_ any of my plants. Is this
>just some biological decision on the part of the plant or could it
>have something to do with the fact that I am using hormones for

I've gotten plenty of upper pitcher growth from my N. alata but it
is much longer than 8"--I'd say more like two feet. I hope the
growth on your N. mirabilis has nothing to do with your using
SuperThrive, because I just received a pint of the stuff and
I'm ready to try it on my Nepenthes (particulary that stubborn
N. boissiensis 'rubra').