Bela Vista Orchids

Brazil - Saturday, Setember 21, 2019



    The culture of Ctasetuns involves recognition of two distinct  growth phases: 1.Active growth, which culminates with the onset of dormancy, i.e., the withering and loss of foliage; 2. Dormancy, which culminates with the onset of new growth. At the beginning of active growth, watering is particularly critical because of susceptibility to fungal and bacterial disease, and attack by insects. Some species begin to flower as soon as the new growth resumes; others flower upon maturation of the new pseudobulbs, occasionally as late as the onset of dormancy. When flowering, the principal danger to Catasetuns is damage by insect pests.
    1. Optimal control of water is achieved by maintaining plants in a covered area with enough light to support good growth and flowering. Glass panels or transparent plastic can provide suitable cover.
    2. In order to avoid fungal disease, good ventilation is required, along with adequate air turnover.
    3. Exposure of plants to insects is minimized by closing the sides of the area with a screen, e.g., 70% nylon shading, and maintaining access doors shut.
    These precautions, taken together, can reduce disease by 70% and help insure successful cultivation.
    The best time to repot Catasetuns is in the spring, at the commencement of new growth with new roots showing. Pots and potting medium are up to the discretion of the grower. We advise plastic pots for dry environments and porous clay pots for humid environments. The potting medium may be chosen from locally available materials and should be chosen to assure good aeration and accessibility to nutrition. Some of the suitable materials include Dicksonia sellowiana, fir bark and sphagnum moss. We use a mixture of fir bark, charcoal and perlite or sponge rock.
    With the advent of new growth at the end of dormancy, watering is resumed in the following manner:
    1. At first, water only sparingly, taking care that water does not remain within the new growth longer than six hours. Do not water on days of high humidity but water the potting medium directly whenever it seems dry.
    2. When new growth reaches 7-10 cm, increase and maintain heavy watering throughout active growth until the onset of dormancy. During active growth Catasetuns require lots of water.
    3. When dormancy is manifested by the withering of foliage, gradually reduce the quantity and frequency of watering; when leaf fall begins, halt watering completely and permit the medium to dry out.
    Catasetuns require heavy fertilization during active growth. We advise beginning fertilization with
the second watering after the end of dormancy, using a high nitrogen fertilizer such as 10-5-5 [30-10-10]; a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 [20-20-20] is used for the remainder of the growing season. We use one third the recommended concentration [one tsp/gal] at EACH subsequent watering. A more convenient way of fertilizing continuously is to use a slow release fertilizer such as 14-14-14 OSMOCOTE at the rate of 1/2 tsp/pot.
    There is a danger of loosing the plant to rot if fertilization is started before the new growth appears.

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