Q: New growths on my Cattleya orchids turn black and die or never grow to full size. The mature growths are wrinkled. I would appreciate any suggestion.
A: From your description, several problems can be inferred. The blackening of the new growths on orchids or their failure to mature usually indicates starvation of some type. Generally, this can results from either (or both) a complete loss of roots or overlong day length. Plants grown in the home and/or under lights and given too many hours of light cannot complete the metabolic pathways that produce their nourishment. Never give a mature plant more than 16 hours of light. As the mature growths of your plants are wrinkled it could be that the plants have lost their roots and need to be repotted.