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Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Posted by parodise Germany (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 4, 13 at 12:20

Hello everyone,
my Coelogyne cristata has been outside (sunny balcony) from late April and has grown some 6 new healthy bulbs (it's a young plant), all with small bud spikes now and some even with yet another generation of bulbs. Our temps have been around 12-17 deg. Celsius (53-63F) during daytime, and around 5-9 (40-48F) at night. This week is also supposed to turn out rather warm with similar temps. The plant has been getting only a smattering of water. My question is, do I leave my Coelogyne outside for another week, probably longer? Or do I bring it in and keep warm/cool?
Thanks.


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

  • Posted by arthurm Sydney, NSW AUST (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 4, 13 at 13:20

Coelogyne cristata is a beginner's orchid here at 33 degrees something south.
Average Summer Temps 17min 27 max
Average Winter Temps 7min 17max
Extremes low 1C High 40C +
Shadehouse/sheltered spot in the garden and a bit more shade than say Cattleyas.
Sorry, not much help except to tell that it is pretty tolerant here and I do not know what will happen if you keep it too warm over winter.


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Arthurm,
thanks a lot for your help! I wonder if I take it in now - won't it be too soon for it to start growing flower spikes? Or they'll just sit there until it's really time for them to bloom? Should I induce dormancy? Like I mentioned, there are a couple of little bulbs developing on this year's growth - does that mean the plant is still active and will need its rest? Won't +1C kill the flower spikes?
Thanks.
Lena


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

  • Posted by arthurm Sydney, NSW AUST (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 4, 13 at 13:46

It flowers late winter/spring here. If it gets down to 1 or 2C in the yard there is nil frost because the cold air drains away to lower levels. Besides that those temps only happen once or twice a year.....
Your real worry is what will happen if you keep it too warm in winter. You need an answer from some of the real orchid growers from northern USA and the cooler parts of Europe.


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

I see, I guess, I'll keep it outside a while longer, till night temps start going down close to zero and then move it to an unheated northern room. Will it wake up by itself or should I move it to a warm place at some point so it wakes up? Sorry to ask so many questions, but it's my first encounter with cristata and first full winter that I'll have to bring it through...
Below is my cristata last March - some time after I bought it at an orchid show.


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

It is a cool grower from the sides on the Himalayas. I would keep it as cold as possible while avoiding frost. I have been watering it profusely almost daily but am planning to slow down a little. It also has flower buds galore and lots of new growth. Usually blooms in Feb/March.

Nick


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Check out the 'Ask and thou shalt receive' thread for a picture of the alba variety.

Nick


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Nick,
you confirmed what I thought I should do - thanks for reassurance! I think mine will have another 1,5-2 weeks outside and then I'll move it to an unheated room, maybe with a window ajar.
The alba variety is definitely on my must get list!

Lena


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

I grow mine in a g/h in middle USA and my temps never go below 60 degrees. I grow it in Catt light, water the basket every other day and it reliably blooms every December into January. This pic was taken January 5, '10.

Coel cristata LUR_4844

For me, this is a water hog and if not given enough water the spikes will blast. Note the very plump pbulbs in the pic. I suppose if I grew it outside, in cool temps, the water would need to be reduced but it doesn't "need" the cool temps to bloom profusely.

The plant pictured is currently in spike along with my alba version and should bloom again in the Dec. into Jan. time frame.

Brooke


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Brooke,
what a gorgeous plant you have! Loved how compact it is, too!
Does your cristata go visibly dormant before blooming? Does it produce the second batch of new bulbs during the summer? I guess I'm trying to keep mine cold so as to induce dormancy and make it stop growing the new bulbs which I'm not sure will ripen over the winter... The ones it starts growing after blooming in late winter/early spring do just fine and are fully ripe and fat.

Lena


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Lena my cristata's never receive any form of dormancy. They are tended as I described above all year round. Prior to having to be hung to display them, I actually grew both of them in net pots sitting in a saucer of water. Once they over grew their net pot, I sat the one in a plastic vanda basket and hung it. My alba is hung in the original net pot. Here is a more current pic of the cristata taken Jan. 15 '12.

Coelogyne cristata  JCL_1345

Here is my alba version taken at approximately the same time. Note it is more of a rambler than the normal cristata and does not have any fragrance.

Coelogyne cristata alba JCL_139801

Shortly after blooming they will start on new growth which will produce the next years blooms.

Brooke


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Brooke,
the pics of your plants, especially last year's cristata's, left me in total awe. I have lots to aspire to!
Is the regular cristata in your last post the same plant as in your first picture in this thread??
I guess, so far I have tended to give my cristata rather spartan conditions, you clearly showed me I should relent and pamper it:)
How much sun do your cristatas get in the greenhouse? How do you fertilize them? What medium do they sit in? Bark?
BTW, are all albas ramblers by nature?

Lena


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Cristatas can be ramblers or have tightly packed pbulbs. I have both and their growth characteristic is definitely different. Andy sells both but maintains it is one and the same plant. James Rose from Cal Orchids claims that there are 2 varieties. He calls the packed version var grandiflora. I cannot get confirmation of this, I don't think 2 varieties are generally recognized. Both of my plants were/will be large before 1st bloom. The rambler has bloomed, the packed on has not yet.

Then there is the matter of 'alba'. The grand champion at the Tokyo Orchid Congress is an alba. That one is a rambler, I think the alba variety can be found in both rambling and packed plantas. The Japanese grand champion is available, read my other thread and contact the owner. He comes to the US once or twice a year and can bring a piece on request to a show and then mail it USPS. He also occasionally imports plants to Cal Orchids and will include a piece of that plant which Cal Orchids can then forward. I have a piece of that one and it has also doubled in size since I got it in May so seems to be a rapid grower which all of them appear to be.

My regular one is huge, I will include a photo of a photo. Huge by my standards that is, I have heard it called a baby by someone who has seen really big ones which they apparently will readily get to. The picture is of poor quality as I lost the original and can only take a picture of the plant's photo as it won 'Best of Show' at the Westminister Orchid Show last Feb. Even though it's a poor quality photo it demonstrates the size. This is it's 3rd bloom, the 1st was in Feb 11 and was about the size of Highjacks 1st picture.

I'm growing it in a 14" shallow wire basket from HD which it overflows. The basket is lined with cocconut fiber mat and filled with Orchiata/Perlite. It seems to double in size every year. When it blooms I should be able to get good quality photos. I use RO water with MSU fertilizer but soak it in tap water once a month so it can get the weird trace minerals found in our tap water like Cyanid, Arsenic, Uranium and Cobalt 6 (ha ha, sad but true).

It is in the coolest spot of the cold GH, gets watered and fertilized at least every 2 days and shows no sign of dormancy. All the pbulbs are plump, a friend of mine who waters his once a week has wrinkled old pbulps. His new ones are plumb.

It's a rewarding plant and it will survive our warm summer as demonstrated by the guy I mentioned but is not growing or blooming optimal for him.

Good luck landing the Japanese one, Nick


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Lena the pic from '10 is the same plant shown in the '12 picture. It certainly isn't a slow grower.

I can't remember what they are potted in but I suspect it is in coconut husk. I lined the net pot with sphag, put in packing p'nuts then mounded the coconut around the roots. Until the net pots had to be hung, the pots sat in water. I use Orchiata seedling bark now in place of the coconut husk.

I use MSU for rain water as a fertilizer and it is used usually weakly weekly. It grows in Catt light.

It appears all the alba varieties available here are the rambling type.

Nick feel free to call me by my first name.

Brooke


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Sorry about that, Brooke.

Nick


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Nick,
you have a very beautiful cristata deservedly crowned "Best of Show"! I can't even begin to imagine what it will look like when it blooms for you this year!
Regarding growth type, I heard some people say the rambler and the packed one are two varietes, while others claim the type of growth may depend to some extent on the growing conditions: amount of light, water and temps. Incidentally, the same observation has been made about the packed cristata being less willing to bloom than the rambler.
My cristata's pbulbs have gotten definitely smaller and rounder compared to the pbulbs I bought it with. The seller grew it in a greenhouse. My conditions are definitely drier and the exposure to the sun might have been way higher than in the greenhouse. I fertilized it and watered quite regularly. All the new pbulbs are going to bloom...
I grow mine in a regular plastic pot as it retains moisture better and probably keeping it moist in a wire basket in a heated apartment/sunny balcony would be too much hassle...
How diluted is your fertilizer - I was surprised that you fertilize every 2 days - must be really weak solution? Do you also fertilize when the plant is in bloom?
How come you have so many trace elements in your tap water? Just curious...
Do regular cristata and alba bloom at the same time?
Will await new pics of your plant!

Lena


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Brooke,
I knew cristatas are active and fast growers, but I didn't realize they grow SO large SO fast! Can't wait to see your 2013/2014 blooms! Your pictures are very artistic and surely bring out the best in the plant!
BTW, my coelogyne has the same conditions as my old Catts, which bloom profusely and dependably. But then again, my Catts have been trained to survive my cacti conditions... I guess I have to understand, that coelogyne is no cactus and like you and Nick said, water it and fertilize more and keep a bit warmer...

Lena


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Lena, ask your local water department to send you a list of the elements found in your tap water. You'd be amazed. All of that stuff is so dilute it will do absolutely no harm however, I have seemingly forever watered my water sensitive plants, who routinely get only RO water, with tap water once a month. 1/2 hour later I flush them with the usual RO water. The RO starts out with a ppm of less than 10, my fertilizing unit then bumps it up to 120 to 150ppm, which is what I water with all the time. Adding the tap water routine was recommended by some of the great growers of Pleuros in the SF area.

I do water when in bloom as in the GH, some are in bloom some are not. some are growing, some are not. To give each a different cocktail would drive me crazy. Hence all get the same all the time. It seems to work very well for the survivors, I try not to remember the others.

The cristata seems to have 2 aspects, color and growth habit. On the growth habit, I will post a picture of my 'compact' one. It has 30 pbulbs and there is no sign of blooming at this time. It is the first time I have heard it said that these guys are reluctant bloomers but I certainly relate to it.

Nick


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Here is a picture of the rambling type which is loaded with flower spikes at this time. It and the compact one get exactly the same care and exposure to light etc. I got the 'rambler' with about 20 pbulbs from someone who got tired of it as it never bloomed for him. It bloomed the next spring after growing in the cold GH. I can't say for sure that it is a slow bloomer, maybe if it had grown cool, it would have bloomed earlier. The space between the pbulbs is at least 2".

Nick


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

The other one I have it Coelogyne cristata hololeuca 'Pure White' which is the one that won grand champion in Tokyo. I got it with 4 pbulbs this spring, it now has 9 and 2 flower spikes so it seems to be a very active grower and willing bloomer. The owner, Koichi Ejiri of Suwada Orchid Nursery, told me it took 20 years to reach the fantastic size seen in Tokyo. He also said that they sell 3 varieties of cristata, the regular with plenty of yellow in the throat, the alba and the 'Pure White'. He implied that the alba and the 'Pure white' had subtle differences but I'm not sure exactly what he meant. Here is a picture of the 'Pure White' which has a similar rambling growth as my regular. I dont know what color my compact is as it has yet to bloom.

Nick


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

  • Posted by arthurm Sydney, NSW AUST (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 6, 13 at 13:33

When I said way back that Coelogyne cristata is a beginners orchid....it is here in the sense that bits are readily available at orchid society sales tables and that it is easy to grow.
There is a little problem and that it is not for the space challenged and that is why I do not have one.
Best grown as a specimen and I know that the one pictured here gets very little TLC from its owner.
Coelogyne cristata
Just hanging underneath a shady tree out in the garden all year, gets a bit of morning sun.


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Nick,
thanks for posting more pics - I very clearly see the differences in growth habit.
Here's my cristata - it looks really scruffy compared to yours and Brooke's. This is its first year with me - bought it back in March. It has spent a lot of time outside getting plenty of sun, water and fertilizer and has produced 5 new pbulbs, all presently with flower spikes. Is it normal for an orchid to downsize the pbulbs and change their shape the way mine did?
I guess it looks like more of a rambler-type...
Lena


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Rambling vs compact does not relate to culture but downsizing of the pbulbs does. It is giving you the pbulbs consistent with light, water, food and temp you are providing. As long as it blooms, who cares. I'm sure next year's will be a little bigger.

They are readily available here also but you see very few of them. I have never seen an alba, only the regular ones and then not big. Mine, which is far from being considered BIG, is the largest one I have seen in SOCAL.

Nick


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

This is a cristata from a local orchid show in Munich. Wonder, how old this plant might be...


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

And these are rambling hololeucas from a show in Dresden


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

Arthurm,
clearly, cristatas thrive on neglect... How low can the temps go in the wintertime where the pictured coelogyne resides?
Do people who have large cristata specimens "thin out" their plants, i.e remove really old pbulbs? Or do they just let them sit there infinitely? Does the plant grow simply over them?
Lena


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RE: Coelogyne cristata with bud spikes - temperature?

  • Posted by arthurm Sydney, NSW AUST (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 6, 13 at 22:20

Temps about 1 or 2C, but here is the "sub tropics", take more notice of what Brooke is telling you re. temperatures.
It is a very desirable orchid, but when you have to move orchids around as the seasons change and you have limited space, size of the plant does become an issue.


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