Cattleya is one of the showiest and most beautiful orchid genus. Cattleya flowers are large and showy and come in the most stunning colors and elaborate shape.
Beautiful Cattleya Orchid
Photo by NjuTIKA
A typical Cattleya flower has three fringed petals where a flashy lip develops on the third petal. It has 113 species and a native of South America. They used to thrive partly under the canopies of the rain forest in South America clinging on tress and derived a lot of humidity and nutrition from the air. It is one of the easiest orchids to care for, all it needs is the sun, water and tender loving care. Talking to them also helps a lot to make them grow robust and of course, bloom.
Photo by gwashley
Unlike the moth orchid and Vanda, Cattleya can withstand cooler temperature for as low as 10⁰ to 13⁰ centigrade but what it loves most is the warmth of the sun and plenty of humidity. What makes it grow and bloom is a change in temperature of no less than 10⁰C between night and day.
Cattleya Orchid Flower
Photo by Celeste33
Cattleyas are partly bulbous plants and the potting material they require are those that drains easily since its pseudo bulbs cannot be emerged in the wet for long or else they will rot. They grow best in rough fir bark or partly rough fir bark. When watering Cattleyas, let the water run through the plant and drain out water it again once the plotting medium is completely dry.
Although Cattleyas love the sun and light, they are better shielded from the intense heat of the sun during midday, morning and afternoon sun are what they love best. A healthy Cattleya has light green leaves. When it turns very dark green, your Cattleya is not getting sufficient sun. When it turns yellowish then the Cattleya is exposed to too much sun.
Photo by orchidgalore
Cattleya will thrive even without the need for chemical fertilizers. But they do a appreciate high-nitrogen fertilizer. Give your Cattleya a teaspoon of it once a month and your Cattleya will reward you with beautiful flowers.