Cattleya Orchids – Species and Hybrids
Cattleya Orchid Care
orchids (sometimes referred to as Corsage Orchid) are ephytes (or air
They prefer warm temperatures and high humidity, and are known
for their large, stunning (and sometimes fragrant) flowers.
The huge blooms can reach up to eight inches across, and come in a wide
range of colors and patterns.
cattleya orchids are so beautiful and easy to grow, they are one of the
most hybridized orchid species - there are thousands of hybrids
cattleya species produce one new flush of growth
growing season. New pseudobulbs will typically produce flowers during
the same growing season (usually late summer or winter).
Some hybrids will bloom twice annually.
Flowers will vary by species. Cattleya orchids may produce just a few
showy flowers or bunches of small, wax-like flowers.
Cattleya Orchid Care Tips
orchids need abundant light, they prefer bright, year-round lighting.
Ideally, you should ensure this orchid receives some direct light
sunlight during the morning or late afternoon.
You can tell if your cattleya orchid is getting enough light by
monitoring the color of its leaves:
Dark Green Leaves – Not enough light, which could hinder flower
Light Yellow-Green Leaves – Too much light.
Green Leaves with a Slight Yellow Cast (Apple Green) – This indicates
that your orchid is receiving the ideal amount of light.
Intermediate to warm (60 – 70° F / 16 – 21° C nights and 75 – 85° F /
24 – 29° C days)
to eighty percent humidity is ideal for cattleya orchids. This can be
provided by placing the orchid pot on a tray of gravel filled with a
small amount of water or by placing a humidifier in the room or
Late Spring to Early Fall – Feed every two weeks.
Winter – During cold months, reduce feeding to monthly.
Tip: To prevent and remove excess salts from potting soil, thoroughly
flush with clear water every month.
soil to become slightly dry between watering. Your orchid will need
more water in the summer due to the warmer temperatures (soil will dry
Orchid Potting Mix
The best time to divide is when the plant has more than seven
pseudobulbs. Divide by separating into clumps of three or more.
a flat work space with butcher paper or newspaper. To loosen the
orchid, tap the pot gently or slide a knife between the soil and the
pot. Tilt the orchid pot sideways and gently remove the plant from the
pot and lay it on the work surface.
- Remove as much of the
potting mix from the root ball as possible. Break away clumps of old
potting medium with your fingers so you can view the roots. Trim off
dead or broken roots with a sterilized sharp knife or pruning shears.
Remove any older pseudobulbs, leaving at least four pseudobulbs near
the new growth.
Note: Until a plant
has at least six mature
pseudobulbs, it should be put into a larger pot and not
If dividing a plant, three to five pseudobulbs per division are
- To ensure proper drainage, place 1 in/2.5 cm of
pebbles, broken pottery pieces, or other drainage material in the
bottom of the orchid pot. Select a pot that will allow for
approximately two years of growth before crowding the
the orchid in the new pot with one hand so it's at the same depth as in
the old pot. Cattleya orchids should be placed toward the back of their
pots, not in the center. Gently press potting mixture under and around
the root ball. Arrange the roots so the older growth is toward the back
of the pot.
- Push a stake carefully into the potting medium,
avoiding touching the roots, and tie the leaves to it with yarn or
string for support. Soak the pot in water for 15 minutes to moisten the
new medium, and allow it to drain.
- Keep the plant humid, shaded and dry at the roots until new
Can last many years when propagated by division.
species group is large and varied. Larger species tend to be easier to
grow than their miniature counterparts (mini-catts). Flower form, plant
size, and fragrance vary greatly.
If possible, visit your local nursery
or talk to a local orchid specialist for advice on choosing the best
Uses and Display Tips
A windowsill in a bright, sunny location.
Other Types of Orhcids