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Sophronitis cernua

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Boytjie, Mar 21, 2013.

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  1. Boytjie

    Boytjie Out hiking Supporting Member

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    Could use some culture tips from those who grow this. I grow under lights (T5 bulbs), and have been trying unsuccessfully for three years to bloom this. I've tried more light, less light, more air movement, less air movement, dry winter rest, no winter rest. It gets fed weekly, weakly with MSU, watered with distilled water after it gets thoroughly dry. As a side note, I have read posts by others who have more than one example of the same plant where one blooms like crazy and the other does nothing. Perhaps I just got a reluctant bloomer and need to try a different plant. Anything I'm missing here? This is the last year and then out it goes if no blooms. :confused:
    -Stephen
     
  2. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    Try even more light.
     
  3. newbud

    newbud Active Member

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    I have the same problem. I grow mine in an aquarium with a dual bulb T-5HO lamp next to a window. So plenty of light. I have a fan going about 16 hrs a day and I feed it K-lite and seaweed weekly. Same results. It does have a few new growths though. Any one else grow these?
     
  4. ezil

    ezil Member

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    I too would love to hear how successful growers manage this plant. I have 2, 1 I've bloomed 3x, then I had to remount it and it hasn't bloomed since. It still produces plenty of roots, and 3-4 new shoots each year. The other 1 I inherited and it was more dead than alive. It too grows plenty of roots and new shoots, but (as of yet) no blooms. Both are grown in a terrarium under lights, mid 20C during the day, 15-18C at night, rh. 65-80% and good air flow. Light intensity varies from +/- 2000 fc in winter to 5000 fc in summer. I too have set an ultimatum for these plants. I'll give them until December, but that's it!
     
  5. Boytjie

    Boytjie Out hiking Supporting Member

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    Mine also grows like a weed, 3-4 growths every year. Just no blooms. I typically give a plant two years, or two blooming cycles, to do something. If not, I figure it's either my fault or the plant's, but either way I've got limited growing space, so out it goes.
     
    newbud likes this.
  6. Zack

    Zack Will work for plants Supporting Member

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    A few of you have said you're growing under lights. As this species occurs on the border of the tropics and subtropics, maybe it needs more seasonal variation in daytime length.
     
  7. Boytjie

    Boytjie Out hiking Supporting Member

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    I have my lights on a timer, and vary from 11 hours of light in the winter to 15 in the summer, changing by half-hour increments every month. I guess I could try to widen that by another hour in each direction and see if that helps.
     
  8. Zack

    Zack Will work for plants Supporting Member

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    Hmm, that seems like plenty of variation in day length. I remember that Jacob Uluwehi mentioned in a thread about Vanda tessellata that his plant refused to flower for him under artificial lights, blooming only once it had been moved to a friend's greenhouse. Perhaps S. cernua is another one of these stubborn species.
     
  9. Boytjie

    Boytjie Out hiking Supporting Member

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    If that's the case, out it goes - along with a few other reluctant ones.
     
  10. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I am not going to question/discuss Jacob's observation on his Vanda... however plenty of people have bloomed Sophronitis cernua under light culture. Although I grow mine 5-6 months of years outside, it blooms quite okay under light in the fall or winter. Light is Cattleya light.
     
  11. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    I have one clone of cernua which bloomed reliably for me under 100% artificial light (this one) but two others that after 3 years under artificial light never bloomed.

    I adjust the timer for my light every few weeks in increments of 15 min to correspond to elongating or shortening day-length depending on the time of year.
     
  12. Magnus A

    Magnus A Ph.D.

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    I have several clones of S.cernua and they behave differently grown side by side. Some need a larger temperature difference between night and some need stronger light.
    I have also found that the individual flower lifetime is significantly longer at cooler temperatures for all the clones I had over the years.

    I though must admit that I have them all on my balcony all summer for lower temperature and larger day night temperature variation.
     
  13. Julie Kennon

    Julie Kennon Member

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    This plant sounds like a tough nut to crack...I'll be optimistic and see what happens. Lots of suggestions to try when mine gets to the blooming age.
     
  14. Boytjie

    Boytjie Out hiking Supporting Member

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    I've found after three years with this species that the best approach is to ignore it. I put it as close to the lights as possible and water it when I remember, and if I forget, the plant seems even happier. It finally bloomed for me this past summer. Good luck!
    - Stephen
     
  15. Julie Kennon

    Julie Kennon Member

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    It's funny how some plants do better when you are too buy for them. Thanks for the tip, it's so small now I will probably have forgotten it by the time it gets old enough to bloom. So bright lights it is!