Houseplant Spotlight: Cattleya Orchids - Showy tropical blooms with exuberant colors and scents
Cattleyas have specific light and water requirements but once those needs are met they will flower prolifically.
Cattleyas thrive with high light levels but not direct sun. The brightest room in the house will keep a Cattleyas happy.
A watering schedule is very important with Cattleyas for optimal growing conditions. Plants in a 6 inch pot plants should be watered at least once a week. For smaller plants the easiest way to judge when a plant needs watering is to pick it up and judge the weight of it and watering when light in weight. While watering, inspect the cattleya for plumb bulbs. Shriveled or dehydrated bulbs mean the plant is not getting enough water.
Fertilize cattleyas with each watering while the plant is growing new roots and foliage. Once the new leaf and bulb form scale down the fertilizer to half-strength.
Cattleyas require excellent drainage and will quickly rot in soggy potting medium so avoid sphagnum moss in favor of chunky orchid bark mix.
Cattleyas grow on trees in the tropics with their roots hanging down. Since cattleyas don’t typically grow in soil and are used to excellent drainage they should be allowed to dry out after watering.
Repotting and reblooming
Healthy cattleyas need repotting every 12 to 24 months. Remove old potting material and dead roots. If oldest bulbs are dead cut off where the live growth begins and repot in pot with enough room for two years growth.
Cattleyas are famous for their gorgeous tropical style and fragrant flowers. They are easy to grow and bloom in the home. Cattleyas come in a multitude of colors, shapes, and fragrances.