To all cattleya growers out there, I implore your insight.
I am posting to learn why certain cattleyas never fully open. For example, this week I have a "lovely" Blc. Sunyung Ruby 'King Kong' that refuses to fully open and stretch out its petals. The three flowers would be beautiful -- wonderful size, color, shape, fullness, texture, etc but the plant is worthless since the flowers won't fully open. It is so frustrating for me to spend so much energy all year long pampering a plant for less than adequate blooms. Sadly, I have a few catts that suffer this flaw – especially plants with Oconee/Chia Lin breeding are notorious for this (in my opinion). Locally, I have spoken to other catt growers who say that this just a flaw of this type of breeding.
Now my frustration comes when I know plants of this breeding have won HCC/AM flower quality awards. What are these winning growers doing? Stuffing styrofoam peanuts & wax paper between the petals for weeks? Other forms of flower manipulation? I just don't get it!!!
Is anyone out there willing to share their insight and suggestions on how to get the best out of these blooms? I would truly appreciate anyone’s insight.
Incase anyone is wondering… my growing conditions: southern facing greenhouse, night temps of 57, day terms rise to 85 on a strong sunny day before the exhaust system turns on, humidity remains between 75-95%.
I thank you in advance for any ideas/opinions you are willing to share.