Let the foliage color be your guide to the amount of light necessary for good growth and flowering. As a general guide, cattleyas want very bright shade, with some sunlight early or late in the day. Temperature Requirements. Although Cattleyas come from the tropics where the sunlight is hot and intense, most species are found at fairly high altitudes where the air is cool and moist, particularly in the morning and at night. Higher daytime temperatures encourage faster growth, although if you plan to keep your orchid in higher temperatures you will have to remember to maintain higher humidity conditions, more air movement, as well as more frequent waterings.
Water Requirements. Improper watering, both under- and over-, leads to the death of Cattleyas, than any other single cause. There are two aspects of proper watering to consider: when and how. Once a week is a good base to begin, remembering that some factors will speed up drying of the potting medium, others will slow it down. A lot of sunshine, heat, good air movement, active growth, a large plant in a small pot, low humidity, the type of potting medium such as bark, gravel, tree fern chunks, etc.
Conversely, high humidity, dark, cold, cloudy or rainy weather, large pots, inactive plants that is, not in active growth , tightly packed potting medium, little air movement and similar circumstances will slow the process of drying and hence decrease the frequency of watering. Note that some of these factors affect the entire collection of plants, other affect only certain individual plants. Watch each plant carefully, consider each by itself. Each beginner must learn for themselves, but remember that plants will recover much more rapidly from under-watering and it is best to err on the dry side, following the rule, when in doubt, don't water.
Do not soak their plants in a bucket of water. Should one of the plants have a disease or insect infestation, all those soaked in the same water after it may well become infected. Humidity Requirements. Therefore, except in areas where natural humidity is quite high, or during cold, cloudy or rainy weather, it is important to add moisture to the growing environment, especially during the day.
This can be accomplished in a number of ways. Using a Humidity Tray is one of the best ways. These trays are nothing more than a water-holding tray filled with gravel. The gravel-filled trays are filled with water to a level just below the surface. To prevent plants sitting on constantly wet gravel the plants are placed on small saucers or pieces of plastic or metal grid placed on top of the trays.
A plump lead pseudobulb indicates a well-hydrated plant. In the greenhouse, the humidity is best increased by use of a humidifier. Where natural humidity is high or where humidification maintains a high degree of humidity, increased air movement is essential to prevent stagnant air and the development of diseases. Good ventilation or the use of fans is recommended. Most cattleya orchids produce one new flush of growth annually, and each new pseudobulb should produce flowers the same growing season, often in late summer or winter.
Depending on the species, they may produce just a few blossoms or bunches of smaller, waxy flowers. New flower buds are protected by a thin sheath that emerges from the center of the leaf. Growth Cycles. Most species cattleyas have relatively distinct growing and resting phases during the annual cycle. While the plants are actively growing, they should be fed and watered regularly. Some do stop growing and rest in the winter, some do not. Learn to recognize the signs of growth and the signs of resting, and care for your plants according to their needs during these parts of the cycle.
The resting phase may last a few weeks or a few months. Fertilizer Requirements. The best fertilizer depends on the potting medium you use. Overfeeding, in cattleyas, can lead to loss of roots and consequent death of the plant. To a lesser degree, when feeding a well-rooted plant, overfeeding can result in the production of vegetative growth instead of flowers, sometimes resulting in blind sheaths.
In feeding, it is better to err on the side of too little than on the side of too much. Recommended Fertilizers:. Horticulturist William Cattley is associated with this plant's name for accepting a shipment of this beautiful flower in London in a withering state and nursing it back to health.
He further popularized the plant by having it catalogued and published in journals. Cattleya orchids are not difficult to care for, and even beginners can find success with getting them to flower. They make lovely houseplants, but they can also live outside year-round in tropical climates and during the warmer months in areas that experience frost.
The key to growing them successfully is providing the right amount of light, maintaining the proper temperature and humidity, and watering and feeding adequately. But watch out for some common houseplant pests that can cause foliage damage, including scale , mealybugs, and spider mites. Plus, keep an eye on the pseudobulbs the swollen storage organs on the stems , which can give you clues about your plant's health. A plump pseudobulb indicates a happy, well-hydrated plant.
These orchids need bright indirect light for optimal growth. When grown as a houseplant, an east- or west-facing window that gets a lot of light is ideal. However, any harsh midday sun that comes through the window should be diffused with a sheer curtain. Similarly, the orchids like outdoor sunlight in the morning but should be protected from the strong afternoon sun.
The foliage of orchids that are getting too much light often will turn yellowish or even be scorched brown or black in some areas. Cattleya orchids will thrive in a commercial growing mix made specifically for orchids. This usually includes fir or sequoia bark and potentially perlite, horticultural charcoal, coconut husk chips, tree fern fiber, clay pellets, gravel, and more. When grown outdoors cattleya orchids can be slab-mounted , a technique in which the orchid is manually attached to a tree host.
To mount the orchid, wrap the roots in moss; wire the plant on top of a shelf made of organic materials, such as driftwood or cork bark ; and attach it to a branch, tree trunk, or log. These orchids require a moderate amount of moisture. Water whenever the growing medium is fairly dried out; typically a weekly watering is sufficient. Do not let the orchids sit in a consistently wet growing medium, which can cause root rot. At each watering, water deeply so that the water sprays the foliage and runs through the container drainage holes.
Many growers prefer to sit the orchid container in a sink to do this. Otherwise, lingering dampness can cause mildew and other disease. Cattleya orchids prefer daytime temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder temperatures and frost can kill a plant.
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For the given name, see Cataleya given name. Bahia, Brazil. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. March Royal botanic Gardens Kew. Retrieved 21 February Royal Horticultural Society. ISSN The Cattleyas and Their Relatives. Timber Press. ISBN Retrieved 29 June Retrieved 28 June Further combinations in Cattleya Orchidaceae ". Archived from the original on 8 September Retrieved 1 July Orchid Growing Basics.
Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved 3 July Authority control: National libraries Japan. Categories : Cattleya Laeliinae genera. Hidden categories: CS1 Portuguese-language sources pt CS1: long volume value All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from November Articles with permanently dead external links Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata Use dmy dates from November Articles with 'species' microformats Articles to be expanded from March All articles to be expanded Articles using small message boxes Commons link is on Wikidata Articles with NDL identifiers.
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Cattleya is a genus of orchids from Costa Rica south to Argentina. The genus is abbreviated C in trade journals. Cattleya (/ˈkætliə/) is a genus of orchids from Costa Rica south to Argentina. The genus is abbreviated C in trade journals. cattleya, (genus Cattleya), genus of about 45 species of orchids (family Orchidaceae), several of which are commercially important as ornamentals and.