Cattleya is a genus of 113 species of orchids. Most Cattleyas and their relatives are easy to grow. With reasonable care, they can be grown anywhere in the world. With proper care, a Cattleya plant can be grown on indefinitely and can be flowered year after year. Proper care depends on a few basic factors, each of them influenced by the others. They are: 1) light and shade; 2) temperature; 3) air movement; 4) humidity; 5) watering; 6) potting and potting medium; 7) feeding. The essence of good growing is in achieving a happy balance of all factors in relationship to each plant. This is not too difficult, but it demands knowledge, understanding and careful observation on the part of the grower.
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Flowers can be harvested when fully open. Cut the stalk just above the bud sheath and below the blooms with a sharp blade.
Divide when plants overflow their containers or remove backbulbs and pot seperately.
Place plants in positions of high light, but no direct sunlight, they will tolerate a great deal more light if accompanied by sufficient humidity and air movement to keep the leaf-temperature down.
Potting medium must be light and drain freely, best to use specialized orchid mix, water freely in summer and more sparingly in winter.
Flower colours range in many colours except true blue and black.
America, Central and South America, Costa Rica and the Lesser Antilles south to Argentina.
Susceptible to scale insects, red spider mites, aphids and mealy bugs