|Orchid Care -
you're growing orchids in a greenhouse or outside in your back
yard, Cattleya's can be
among the easiest plants to grow. On the other hand, if your growing
area is a windowsill in your house, Cattleya's might be a
a wide, diverse group of plants that range in size from small
windowsill plants to
over 4ft tall! If you're growing indoors, choose your Cattleyas
carefully. They need high light. A big, unruly
plant that demands all your window space can be a problem.
Cattleya grow as air plants (epiphytes) high in the
trees of the tropical forest. Their thick, fleshy roots anchor the
plant to the tree while collecting rain water from the occassional
shower. Their root system is exposed to the elements and
long dry periods between rain showers.
Cattleyas love our
Cattleya's grow high in the trees they require strong light with some
direct sun. Their foliage should be rigid and medium to light
in color. If the leaves are dark green and floppy, the plant isn't
getting enough light. If your plant refuses to bloom, it's probably not
getting enough light!
the other hand, if the leaves are hard and
yellowish the plant is probably getting too much sun. In your home,
Cattleya's prefer the spot nearest an east or west
additional lighting, north facing windows just won't do. In Northern
climates, Cattleya's will thrive outside on the patio during the summer
months. When outside, always remember to protect your plants
from the hot mid-day sun.
Cattleyas require lots of
light. Leaf color should be
light green as shown on the plant on the right.
In Nature, the exposed
roots of Cattleya dry
out quickly after rain showers. That means
their planting material must drain easily and dry out
promptly. Their roots need lots of air or
they will rot. The clay pebbles of our Hydroponic System are
Water to 1/4 on gauge
Wait until gauge reads
Make sure bottom of outer
pot is dry before rewatering - allowing air to the roots.
establish an accurate watering schedule, make sure system is completely
dry before rewatering. This could be a week after the gauge reads
empty! Always error on the "dry side" with these plants. Don't be too
concerned about hitting the exact day - established plants are very
forgiving in our system.|
During the summer growing
season, Cattleya will drink a lot more water than other times
of the year.
|The Blooming Season|
Cattleyas will bloom once a year, some more often. Flowers last 1-3
weeks. There is no single season when Cattleya flower. After the first flower opens,
move plant away from hot sun to
prolong the blooms.
These plants need direct sun
and cool evening temperatures to
develop flower buds. Winter
evening temperatures of 55 degrees (or less) initiates the bloom
cycle for most plants.
If your plant has
been growing well for several years
without producing a bloom, it's almost always too little
|The Growing Season|
do best when neglected. They're very tolerant as long as they get
enough sun and not too much water. The best growing area
is a window that gets a couple of hours of direct sun. Cattleya's will
thrive outside on the patio during the
summer months. When outside, always remember to protect your
from the hot mid-day sun.
Cattleyas finish blooming, they take a rest before
the growing season starts. During this period, water
just running plain water through the
pebbles (no nutrients). Don't allow standing water at the base. When
you see new growth increase water to 1/4 - 1/2 on gauge and
applying nutrients full strength. The growing season has begun!
try to force
new growth - these plants have their own internal calendars. Your plant
could be dormant for several months before the growing season starts.
questions? Read first sentence of this section again.
the summer growing season Cattleya will drink a lot more water (2-3
times as much) than other times of the year.
the bloom cycle, be stingy with the water. Just run water through the
pebbles - no standing water at the base until new growth starts.
Cattleyas grow in
a wide range
of temperatures. To perform best, they
need temperatures that
range from 55 degrees at night and up to 90 degrees during the
day. Good air circulation and adequate humidity during the
winter months are
|As with most orchids,
Cattleya's require at least 40% humidity|