Welcome to my 2021 GROW BLOG for the


Catasetum Sweet Adaline (Catasetum Louise Clarke 'Wonder Woman' x Catasetum Dagny 'Fantastica')


This is traditional Catasetum breeding for impressive large flowers with huge lips on arching inflorescences.  The grex Louise Clarke (Susan Fuchs x Donna Wise) is my mother's namesake. This is a particularly noteworthy cultivar that regularly blooms with as many as 7 inflorescences from one pseudobulb, thus the cultivar name 'Wonder Woman'!  Dagny (pileatum x Brent's Black Hawk) 'Fantastica' is also remarkable for its high flower count, deep burgundy flower color and yellow callus in the center of the lip.  We expect these plants to bloom several times a season with large, beautifully-colored deep burgundy flowers with very impressive lips. ( - Fred Clarke, Sunset Valley Orchids )


Click on the images for a full-sized image in a new tab.


Let the fun in growing begin....





 1 March 2021


I wished all of my Catasetinaes looked as vibrant and healthy as this one.


Some would even suggest based on growth and roots, this one is ready for that first light watering.  I plan on holding off as long as possible. It be fun to watch the roots get longer and make sure the others stay in the medium.  This is a temporary positioning and the first watering will include removal of as much moss as possible, air dry over night and then position in the pot for a happy season.


One observation is the thickness of these new roots, resembling Cymbidium, Vanda and Phals. for thickness after watering.  They include the familiar green root tip.


Left, lower image, the new growth had a extreme lean (towards sun) and I managed to counter that lean by orienting the orchid so the growth once again lean towards the light  reaching a point near vertical.  I only strive for near vertical plants as they balance easier and take up less space in the growing area.









 1 March 2021







 2 March 2021 - potting up


Perhaps premature, I went ahead and gave this Catasetum a soaking (er watering) to loosen up and remove as much of the old moss as possible before the new roots be even more vulnerable.

A couple observations about this particular volunteer.


Looking close at the new growth I am suspect that the rhizome is exposed (no big issue).  The true base of the new bulb is kind of obvious based on the slight swell on the new growth above the suspect rhizome.  It is the base of that swell that should ride just above the clay pellets.


Time to dispose of the moss.


Notice the roots followed the inside edge of the previous pot and never really penetrated into the moss.  Like they were avoiding it on purpose.


I carefully cut away the outer layer of roots and carefully started separating the loose material from the root mass being very mindful of the new roots and their precious root tips. One definitely does not want to break those.


The best way is to be alone at the kitchen sink full of tepid water and in the palm of your hand embrace the root mass but swish your hand in the sink flushing old moss loose and eventually away from the orchid.  gently pull away at old moss and keep rinsing.  I did this early enough in the day that I let the orchid sit in its pot bare root for the day in the shade and overnight to completely dry off.


I left enough behind to help anchor in new medium.

I carefully flipped this Catasetum to get a look a the root mass from a different angle.


The next day the only orchid task on my list was potting this Catasetum.


After a few tries eye-balling how it is seated in the clay pellets I finally was satisfied with the latest attempt.


Catasetinaes are sympodial.  The suspect rhizome indicates each new growth be  (in ideal conditions of course) bigger then the previous.  Also a slight step higher.  Think of a rhizome as the wire in a string of holiday lights with each light being a new bulb.  


If at first you think you can pot it better, go for it. I believe the image left was my first attempt.  The new growth is way to high above the clay pellets.  Try again and again if need be just to get that perfect level.


I also managed to get at least one root clearly visible so I can monitor what is happening under the surface.  Future images will show in my opinion a happily potted Catasetum.


Once a week, when nobody is looking, I give the roots a good misting.  They dry off very quickly.  Mist in the morning and the remaining moisture condenses on the inside edge of the pot and evaporates during the day. 





 7 March 2021

Being vigilant in keeping in mind position with regards to the light and rotating the pot daily, almost vertical growth has been achieved.


I love this brand of clay pellet (HydoCrunch).  It feels like pumice in the hand and because it is round roots can work their way through spaces and gaps much easier then "gravel" shaped clay pellets. Gravel-shaped pellets can settle and form a barrier preventing roots from pushing through. The goal is long, healthy roots sustaining tall abundant blooming plants.   These pellets are also sexier to look at.





 1 April 2021


This plant and specifically the roots are long enough that a once a week watering be a treat.  I water early in the day and then that night pour out the reservoir.  Condensation forms on the inside edge of the pot (LOL, cannot observe this in an opaque pot).  The condensation is just enough humidity to keep the roots slightly damp for a couple days drying out before the next watering.  They will continue to grow into the medium entering the reservoir area like they did in the original thumbpot.


Some unintentional leaf burn due to unexpected heat in grow rack on a day barely 70-degrees in the shade / feels warmer in direct sun and fans were not on.  Lesson learned.


Once I notice the bulb start to swell I will increase watering by adding a midweek drenching.





image width=240 to the left

May 2021





image width=240 to the left

June 2021





image width=240 to the left

July 2021





image width=240 to the left

August 2021





image width=240 to the left

September 2021





image width=240 to the left

October 2021





image width=240 to the left

November 2021





image width=240 to the left

December 2021






Questions, Comments, Typos, Broken Links? - or leave a comment below

  • No comments found

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

Your comments are subjected to administrator's moderation.