Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cattleya skinneri

I have one C. skinneri - the 'Heiti Jacobs' clone.  Seems like many people grow this species in a basket, mounted or in a shallow pot with fast draining medium.  My plant was in a basket filled with coconut husk chips and topped with a bit of sphagnum, but it declined this year.  Weak growths, no flowers.  I decided to move it to a pot.  I killed a very strong plant of this species a few years ago when I re-potted at the wrong time.  So my experience is that this species will absolutely not tolerate a re-pot at any time other than when new root growth first initiates.  I noticed root tips this week, so the weekend was the target.  After removing the plant from the basket I could tell the roots were not doing well.  Perhaps the basket was too big or filled too much, but I'm guessing the CHC retained too much moisture in the center of the basket and that's all she wrote.  If I had a greenhouse I would mount this plant.  As it stands, I'm trying to move plants from baskets to pots.  Anyway, in the pictures below you can see the new root growth, four divisions (two lead, two backbulb) and the Aircone pot I used to re-pot.  I like clear plastic so you can tell how much moisture is in the pot and can see the roots.  Aircones have a little cone at the bottom that projects into the media in the center of the pot - this is supposed to keep the media "airier" and reduce rot - so we'll give the skinneri a shot in these pots.  I potted up the two leads; two backbulbs are just hanging around.

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